Fastnet Race adjusts for spunky weather

Published on August 7th, 2021

Cowes, UK (August 7, 2021) – Like a trial run for tomorrow’s start of the Rolex Fastnet Race, today the Solent has been in blustery mood with an overcast sky, rain and perpetual gusty winds. The forecast for the start of the 49th edition of the world’s largest offshore race remains for winds of 20-25 knots with gusts into the 30s, although the rain is set to subside.

Given the conditions, the Rolex Fastnet Race’s organizers, the Royal Ocean Racing Club, have decided to rearrange the order of tomorrow’s start times. They will now be:

Multihulls (MOCRA, Open) 1110 (BST)
IMOCA, Class40 1125
IRC Zero 1140
IRC 1 and Figaro 3 1155
IRC 4 1210
IRC 3 1225
IRC 2 1240

Previously IRC Zero, home of the largest monohulls entered in the Rolex Fastnet Race, was to have started last. Usually this allows the small boats to enjoy seeing them stride past. However, in the big conditions forecast, the RORC are steering a more prudent course.

“The wind angle now makes it fully upwind at the start so we’ve made this change principally to make it safer for the big boats to get through Hurst Narrows,” explained Chris Stone, Race Director of the Rolex Fastnet Race.

Meanwhile today in Cherbourg, the race village opened and the final check-ins have taken place. The international flotilla has been slowly leaving Cherbourg and other ports on the continent ready to arrive off Cowes prior to start time. Some of the faster boats are going to the wire with the 80 nm crossing – the Bouwe Bekking-skippered VO65 Sailing Poland was due to leave Cherbourg at 0300 while Italian Giovanni Soldini’s modified MOD70 Maserati was departing at 0500.

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The 49th edition of the biennial Rolex Fastnet Race will start from the Royal Yacht Squadron line on August 8 in Cowes, UK. The 2021 race has moved the finish line from Plymouth, UK to Cherbourg, France, extending the distance from 608 to 695 nm.

Source: RORC

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