Rolex Fastnet Race: The race starts from one of yachting’s most famous locations: the Royal Yacht Squadron in Cowes on the Isle of Wight on Sunday 11th August 2013. The start sequence begins with the first warning signal at 11.50 BST for the 45th edition. The sequence last for two hours from 1200 to 1400.
One of sailing’s greatest contests reconvenes in August in the shape of the 45th edition of the Rolex Fastnet Race. A sporting institution, Europe’s oldest offshore race entails a gripping and punishing 608-nautical mile journey from Cowes, Isle of Wight to Plymouth via the Fastnet Rock, off the southern tip of Ireland.
An incredible – and record – 380 yachts could start the biennial race. In response to immense demand and the continuing popularity of the event, the Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) increased the limit for this year’s fleet after the entry list was filled within 24 hours of opening. Over twenty countries and territories from five continents will be represented, with crews comprising both fully professional and amateur.
Rolex Fastnet Race 2011. Start cannon at the Royal Yacht Squadron. Copyright Rolex / Carlo Borlenghi
The Rolex Fastnet is a genuine rite of passage for any sailor. Conditions can be harsh and are always changeable. The race is as notoriously difficult to finish, as it is to win. The competition is democratic: the handicap system applied to the main body of the fleet means the overall winner can spring from any size of yacht. Niklas Zennström’s 21.94m/72-foot British Mini Maxi Rán 2 is the defending champion and is seeking to make history by becoming the first boat to win the race three times in a row: an achievement that would border on the miraculous.
Current race record holder, the Volvo Open 70 Abu Dhabi from the United Arab Emirates, skippered by Ian Walker, will set out to defend her line honours title and to better the benchmark monohull time of 42 hours, 39 minutes she set in 2011. Abu Dhabi will be wary of her competition. Igor Simcic’s 30.48m/100-ft pan-European Maxi Esimit Europa 2, the undisputed fastest boat in the Mediterranean, is taking part for the first time. Mike Slade’s primarily British crewed 100-ft Maxi ICAP Leopard, twice the event’s fastest finisher (2007, 2009), will be tough to beat given the right mix of conditions.
The race start from the Royal Yacht Squadron in Cowes is scheduled for Sunday 11 August, with the first warning signal at 11:50.
The fleet will be hosted in Plymouth at Plymouth Yacht Haven where the Race Village will be set up.
Rolex Fastnet Race 2011. Passing by the Fastnet Rock at dawn. Copyright Rolex / Daniel Forster
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How to follow the Rolex Fastnet Race
For more information about the Royal Ocean Racing Club and the Rolex Fastnet Race, please visit http://www.rorc.org
Timings for Starts
The race starts from one of yachting’s most famous locations: the Royal Yacht Squadron in Cowes on the Isle of Wight on Sunday 11th August 2013. The start sequence begins with the first warning signal at 11.50 BST for the 45th edition. The sequence last for two hours from 1200 to 1400:
1200 – Multihull
1210 – IMOCA60
1220 – Class40
1230 – IRC4
1250 – IRC3
1310 – IRC2
1330 – IRC1
1350- IRC CK & IRC Z
Where to watch: Cowes Start
The best vantage points of the start will be along Cowes Green and Egypt Esplanade on the Isle of Wight. Spectators will also be able to listen to the live commentary on the speakers along Cowes Parade and The Green from Fastnet Radio. As the fleet funnels out of the Solent there will be a good chance to see the yachts from Yarmouth on the Isle of Wight, and Hurst Castle on the mainland. Further along the coast Anvil Point, St Alban’s Head, and Portland Bill should also give a good view of the race on its outbound leg.
Fastnet Radio 87.7 FM
Follow the Rolex Fastnet Race with full coverage live on Fastnet Radio. Beginning with commentary and live video from the start in Cowes on 87.7FM from Sunday 11th August through to the prizegiving in Plymouth on 16th August and also covering the fireworks championships.
The easiest way to follow the fleet is via the RORC’s mini site http://fastnet.rorc.org. The latest news updates, press release and positions as well as information from the race course can be found on the site. Images from the fleet, blogs from the boats and web updates as well as morning and afternoon press race reports are all part of an initiative to make the race more interactive for family and friends and those following the fleet.
Watch the Rolex Fastnet Race online with the fleet tracker. Yellowbrick trackers are fitted to every yacht so you can see each boat’s position along the course. View by class or select your favourites to follow friends and family, check out their boatspeed and weather conditions in real time, read the social media feed and see how the live leaderboard is developing at http://fastnet.rorc.org
Plymouth – A Welcome Return
Arriving into Plymouth Sound will be a memorable moment for every competitor in the 2013 Rolex Fastnet Race as it signifies the end of 608-nautical miles of non-stop racing. The city has been a sanctuary for sailors ever since Sir Francis Drake famously played a relaxed game of bowls on Plymouth Hoe before setting out from the River Plym to defeat the Spanish Armada in 1588. The Royal Navy continue to call Plymouth home at nearby Devonport, the largest naval base in Western Europe.
Rolex Fastnet Race – Race Village
Plymouth Yacht Haven, Mount Batten
Race Village Features include:
Rolex Fastnet Race – Race HQ
Rolex Vip & Hospitality
Relaxed deck and stage area
Lanson Champagne Bar
Coffee and Pastries Café
Live TV screens with Race content & Fastnet Radio
Henri Lloyd official clothing partner
INMARSAT – Stay connected at sea.
Exposure marine torches
Offshore Racing Feature
Rolex Fastnet Race Activity
Plasma screens with race tracker and data
Fastnet Radio 87.9FM – broadcasting live daily
Daily prizegivings in the Race Village
Pontoons open to public Thursday 15th and Friday 16th August
Live entertainment Wednesday 14th to Friday16th August – 1500hrs to 1900hrs
Featuring around 4 artists each day, under the umbrella of the Acoustic Circus. The line-up will include
the very best acoustic/singer songwriter talent from the South West region. The unique format of the
Acoustic Circus affords the audience a fast moving and varied show.
Rolex Fastnet Race Village open 10am to 7pm daily
Sun 11 Aug Race starts Cowes
Mon 12 Aug Race Village Open
Tue 13 Aug Race Village Open plus International Fireworks
Wed14 Aug Race Village Open plus International Fireworks
Thu 15 Aug Race Village and Pontoons Open
Rolex Fastnet Race. Fireworks at Queen Anne’s Battery in Plymouth. Copyright Rolex / Carlo Borlenghi