Fastnet Race leaders making the turn

Published on August 9th, 2021

(August 9, 2021) – It was a blustery start and first night at sea in the 49th Rolex Fastnet Race, with the 337 entries facing 25+ knot southwesterly headwinds and violent wind against tide seas, though overnight the wind has slowly eased.

With the majority of the fleet still toughing it out in the Channel, at 0800 BST this morning Maxi Edmond de Rothschild was the first Ultime to reach the Fastnet Rock with co-skippers Charlies Caudrelier and Franck Cammas. While not a record pace, her time of just 20 hours 50 minutes remained impressive given the conditions.

Almost 10 hours after the lead Ultime trimaran, Russian Dmitry Rybolovlev’s brand new ClubSwan 125 Skorpios became the first monohull to round southwest Ireland’s most famous rock this evening. Again, with the mostly upwind conditions, the massively fast Skorpios was unable to better the record monohull time to the Fastnet Rock of 26 hours 45 minutes 47 seconds, set in 2019 by George David’s Rambler 88. Skorpios’ time was 30 hours 38 minutes 43 seconds.

Although racing outside of the IRC fleet, Charlie Dalin and Paul Meilhat on the 60ft IMOCA Apivia have done a phenomenal job leading the IMOCA fleet since they charged out of the blustery Solent 24 hours ago. Approaching the Fastnet Rock, the talented Frenchmen, both past class winners in this event, were leading the IMOCA class, 35 miles ahead of second placed Charal, the defending IMOCA champion, sailed by Jérémie Beyou and Christopher Pratt.

Sail GP

UPDATE: The extraordinary 32m long Ultime Maxi Edmond de Rothschild finished tonight at 20:24:54 BST, setting a new baseline time for the race’s new longer 695 mile course to Cherbourg of 1 days 9 hours 15 minutes and 54 seconds. The winning effort was led by co-skippers Franck Cammas and Charles Caudrelier with crew David Boileau, Erwan Israel, Morgan Lagraviere, and Yann Riou.

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The 49th edition of the biennial Rolex Fastnet Race started from the Royal Yacht Squadron line on August 8 in Cowes, UK with the finish line moved from Plymouth, UK to Cherbourg, France, extending the distance from 608 to 695 nm. The 2021 race had 337 starters from 24 nations including Japan, Mexico, and eight from the USA, but the majority from Europe, including the largest ever turn-out from France.

Source: RORC

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