Lonely Rock changes course
The Lonely Rock Race, which was created in reaction to the RORC’S decision to move the finish of the 2021 Rolex Fastnet Race from Plymouth to Cherbourg, had to contend with its own course change in the first running of the race this August.
The offshore, which was organised by the Royal Western YC, started from the Eastern Solent on 16 August, in keeping with the original Fastnet racecourse of 1925. The fleet was to race past the Isles of Scilly to Fastnet Rock. However, with two developing low pressure systems in the mid-atlantic threatening storm force conditions, organisers decided to shorten course, using Wolf Rock, 20 miles east of the Scillies, as a turning point. Fastnet Rock lighthouse later recorded sustained winds of over 50 knots, with peak wind speeds of over 60 knots.
Pip Hare and crew of Paul Larsen and Mike Ferguson aboard her recently relaunched IMOCA 60 Medallia took line honours in the event. The race was a post-refit shakedown for Hare ahead of this November’s Vendée Globe.
“It was about learning, pushing the boat and racing against ourselves. I do want to sail the boat in big breeze, but there were winds of 60 knots in the centre of the storm and those are the kind of conditions I’ll be trying to avoid in the Southern Ocean.”
Thomas Kneen’s Sunrise, a JPK 1180 took the IRC win overall, just ahead of 1180 Dawn Treader.