GET, SET, SAIL
Following months of meticulous preparation for crews and organisers alike, a record breaking addition of the Rolex Fastnet Race got underway in some style. The largest eet in the race’s 92-year history, comprising 368 yachts from 29 countries, were treated to kind conditions, blue skies and a consistent, building westerly breeze as they were divided across seven start sequences in front of the Royal Yacht Squadron’s clubhouse Cowes.
The 2017 Rolex Fastnet Race eet was truly diverse. First away were the nine multihulls with the MOD70 Concise 10 immediately asserting her status as favourite to arrive rst in Plymouth. Following the departure of the multihulls, the subsequent starts showcased a range of boats
from cutting-edge to historic, professionallysailed to family-crewed, the IMOCA 60s, Class 40s, through to the bulk of eet embodied by yachts in the 30-50-ft range including a large number sailing double-handed. The nal start was reserved for the largest and fastest monohulls. In this class, range of designs and size of yachts is remarkable. At 115-ft Nikata, a high-performance cruising yacht, has become the largest monohull to ever compete in the race. Her nearest rival in size, Ludde Ingvall’s 100-ft CQS, was built with the more single-minded objective of racing fast.
The Rolex Fastnet Race, organised by the Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) is considered the world’s largest and most diverse offshore race. It is one of three 600-nm offshore races partnered by Rolex. The others are October’s popular 608-nm Rolex Middle Sea Race and the legendary 628-nm Sydney Hobart Yacht Race held annually at the end of the year.