Rolex Fastnet Race 2019
The Fastnet Race is one of the world’s most famous offshore yacht races organised by the Royal Ocean Racing Club of the United Kingdom. The 2019 edition of the Rolex Fastnet Race will start on Saturday 3rd August 2019. The race will now run the week before Lendy Cowes Week, whose dates remain unchanged, starting on Saturday 10th August.
Generally considered one of the classic offshore races, ‘Fastnet’ is a difficult contest testing both inshore and offshore skills, boat & crew preparation and speed potential. From its inception, the Fastnet Race has proven highly influential in the growth of offshore racing, and remains closely linked to advances in yacht design, sailing technique and safety equipment.
The Fastnet Race takes place every two years over a course of 608 nautical miles (1,126 km). Starting in Cowes on the Isle of Wight, competitors cover a course of 608 nautical miles and round the Fastnet Rock off the southwest coast of Ireland before returning via the Isles of Scilly to finish in Plymouth. The race has a huge worldwide following and has seen continued growth over recent years, with the limit of 300 boats having to be increased to over 340 due to high demand.
The Fastnet is a challenging race; as it takes place in August, the race is often dominated with a Westerly airstream that are often strong to gale force in strength. For the Volvo 60 this race is a perfect match between their strong offshore potential performance and the safety margin offered by the close proximity of land throughout much of this race. For new sailors and those with many years under their belt, the Fastnet offers a high degree of challenge and the excitement of being involved in a major offshore event.
Program Rolex Fastnet Race 2019
- Saturday, August 3rd: Start of the Race in Cowes
- Thursday, August 8th: Prize giving in Plymouth
Rolex Fastnet Race 2017 – Highlights
Qualification and Suitability
The Rolex Fastnet Race is not a race for novices. You, your crew, and your boat must be prepared for severe weather, large and confused seas, and strong winds. Whilst the RORC welcomes first-time competitors to this race, they emphasise that proper preparation, planning and training is essential. This is reflected in the criteria which apply to every entrant:
Crew Qualification Overview
- At least 50% of the crew (but not less than two) including the Person in Charge, must have completed a minimum of 300 miles of offshore racing together, within 12 months of the start of the race on the boat that is entered
- At least 30% of the boat’s crew (but not less than 2), including the Person in Charge, must have completed training to Section 6 of the World Sailing Offshore Special Regulations within 5 years of the start of the race
- Minimum of 1 member of the boat’s crew must hold a in-date First Aid Certificate completed within the last five years. Please note that some first aid certificates only have a validity of three years.
Experience and Mileage on the boat that has entered
The RORC stipulates a minimum experience requirement of 300 miles of RORC offshore racing, completed by 50% of the crew (but not less than two) including the Person in Charge within 12 months of the start. An offshore race is considered to be of more than 75 miles and at least one night at sea. To fulfil this requirement the Competitor shall enter and complete an appropriate number of RORC races before the start of the race.
Qualifying with the RORC series
The 300 miles of offshore racing should be completed within the RORC’s series of races, within 12 month of the start of the Rolex Fastnet Race. The RORC series consists of nine offshore weekend races, typically of 100-150 miles in a variety of locations. Six races start in the Solent and race in the English Channel, two are based in the North Sea with starts from Harwich and Burnham on Crouch, and there is an opportunity to race in the Irish Sea as well. The RORC Provisional 2019 Programme can be viewed here and further details can be found in the Notice of Race.
There are many advantages from doing your qualifying miles within the RORC race programme, not least because you get a chance to size up the competition. Some of the RORC races cover parts of the Rolex Fastnet Race course and you can practise starts from the Royal Yacht Squadron’s line. You also become familiar with the layout of the Sailing Instructions, Start Sequence and other RORC procedures and paperwork.
When it is not reasonably possible to access RORC races, or in exceptional circumstances, an alternative method for qualification may be agreed by the RORC. A Service Yacht may qualify similarly or submit written authority from her service establishment. Proposals should be lodged with the RORC as soon as possible after entry.
Read the guide for entrants here
Rolex Fastnet Race 2019 Package Volvo 60 Challenger
We will complete two days solid safety training before this event to ensure that everyone has the skills necessary to enjoy a fun, safe event.
What is included?
- Food while on the boat
- Accommodation on the boat once training has begun
- 2 days of safety training prior to the event
- Crew shirt to wear onboard & keep
- Entry and Dockage fees
- Safety gear
- Damage waiver
Just bring your boots and waterproofs and you are good to go.
What to expect
Coming on board an ocean-going sailing vessel for a regatta or ocean-crossing may lie outside your normal day-to-day experience but Spartan Ocean Racing has a team of professionals for who this kind of thing is just another day in the office. Your skipper and mate are going to be there for your entire experience with us and will help you through every aspect of the adventure. From learning about all the safety equipment present onboard right through to what to wear and what to pack- we can help you navigate the whole process. Click on the titles below for more information.
Before starting your event you will complete a two-day training event provided by the skipper and mate that will be running the boat you are sailing on. This training will equip you with the information you require to be safe on board the vessel in all circumstances and the insights that will make your experience come to life. The first day of training covers safety and the second-day deckwork. Our online guide details further what your training will cover.
They often say, ‘you are what you eat’ but in offshore sailing, we could also add, ‘you are what you wear’. Getting this one important element of your packing wrong before an event can lead to a really miserable experience on board the boat – whether it be from too much heat or excessive cold. The online guide gives you a hand choosing which clothing to pack and which to leave at home.
Challenger’s skipper has already sailed around the world so he has a broad range of experiences to draw on and share with you. Whether it is tips on what to wear, how to stay clean & fresh or how to set up your bunk so it is as comfy as possible the skippers and mates will be there to guide you through the process. We don’t want you to merely ‘survive’ the experience we want you to really live it! Our on-line guide gives you the inside track on what to expect during your event.
Learning how to deal with the weather on board a boat at sea requires a good degree of common sense and the insight of a professional who has already been through the same conditions.
Whether it is the burning heat of the Equator or the frigid winter cold of Challenger’s home waters in Atlantic Canada the professional crew will help you adapt as much as possible. Our online guide gives you a run down of how to deal with both extremes.
Regatta’s Volvo 60 Challenger
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