Please select your home edition
Edition
Southern Spars - North Technology

Rolex Fastnet Race - Brits prove their talents

by Matt Carter on 20 Aug 2013
Andrew McIrvine’s First 40 ’La Réponse’ in action in the 2013 Rolex Fastnet Race © Rolex/Daniel Forster http://www.regattanews.com
In the Rolex Fastnet Race, five young sailors from the British Keelboat Academy have proved themselves as promising keelboat sailing talents by completing the world famous 608-mile Fastnet challenge which concluded in Plymouth on Friday (16 August).

The historic 45th edition of the Rolex Fastnet Race – the world’s largest offshore race – saw three sailors from the RYA and UKSA joint keelboat racing initiative compete on board First 40 'La Réponse' finishing first First 40, 14th in IRC 2, while a further two sailors mastered the biennial race aboard Ker 40 'Magnum 3', finishing sixth overall, first in IRC 1.

The BKA’s Christopher Robinson, who was sailing on-board Andrew Pearce’s 'Magnum 3' along with BKA teammate Rob Bunce, was pleased with the overall performance and end result in what was his first Rolex Fastnet Race.

'I’m very pleased, and happy that we were rewarded as a team for all the hard work that has been put into the boat during the season,' he said.

'Our tactics and teamwork were exceptional, even when we had fallen behind the pack at the Scilly Isles, no one’s head dropped and we just kept working hard,' continued the Mastman/Grinder and secondary trimmer from Edinburgh.

Robinson was full of praise for Andrew Pearce and his 'Magnum 3’ crewmates, who pulled together to keep the boat racing as fast as possible during some very tame Fastnet weather conditions which didn’t see more than 20 knots of wind across the six days of racing.

'The crew we have on board are very experienced, and I am constantly learning new things by sailing with them. During the race we never saw more than 20 knots of wind, so we were constantly looking to be in a fast mode rather than a high mode. The highlight for me was the last night blast reaching down the Irish sea topping out at 18knots - spray everywhere, torrential rain, pitch black and a huge smile on my face!'

Meanwhile in IRC class 2, Ollie Kemp, George Johnson and Cameron Ho were satisfied with their result on board Andrew McIrvine’s First 40 'La Réponse', with Ho admitting that the experience gained from competing in one of the world's classic offshore races will be invaluable in their future sailing careers.

'Our sailing careers are all built upon all of the unique aspects of every race we sail. The Fastnet is an excellent race to have under the belt, and we look forward to sailing many future Fastnets on a variety of boats and in a variety of conditions to further our career development,' said the Bow and Mid-Bow from London.

'Also, though we each specialise in certain roles, we all spent a good amount of time in almost every position on the boat, which in the long term helps us become well-rounded sailors.'

Ollie Kemp, who was Trim and Helm on board 'La Réponse', cited the high points of the memorable race which welcomed 336 yachts from 20 different countries.

'The entire La Réponse crew was excited for the race as the boat had to retire in 2011 due to a steering failure. We worked our way up the fleet coming out of the Solent and were third in Class 2 and in the top 10 overall within 18 hours. On the run back from the Isles of Scilly to Plymouth we worked especially hard, pumping on every wave. In doing so we made good gains all the way to the finish.'

Johnson, Mast and Main, from Southampton, added: 'The race was generally just a fantastic experience. The most enjoyable part was definitely just the sense of accomplishment that you feel when you round the rock and when you cross the finish line. Also, appreciating the beauty of nature – looking up at the clear night sky and seeing shooting stars every few minutes, having a group of dolphins race up to the boat and play in the bow wake for half an hour at night, their bodies glowing in the phosphorescence was just Fastnet British Keelboat Academy
T Clewring One DesignZhik Dinghy 660x82InSunSport - NZ

Related Articles

A balanced test of nerve ahead of leg 3 of Solitaire Bompard Le Figaro
The opening stages tested every aspect of the solo racing sailor’s art – boatspeed in all conditions, weather strategy. The opening two stages tested every aspect of the solo racing sailor’s art – boatspeed in all conditions, weather strategy, tidal strategy, sleep management and boat-on-boat tactics.
Posted today at 12:11 pm
18ft skiffs - Yamaha victorious at Mark Foy Worlds in Fiji
The trade winds arrived just in time for the final day of racing at the Mark Foy Worlds in Fiji. The trade winds arrived just in time for the final day of racing at the Mark Foy Worlds in Fiji. With 20knots on the course the fleet finally got to unpack their little rigs for a day of thrills and spills.
Posted today at 7:18 am
Voisins joins the Energy Challenge ahead of Transat Quebec – St Malo
Phil Sharp Racing is delighted to welcome Voisins Department Store on board as an official partner to Energy Challenge Phil Sharp Racing is delighted to welcome Voisins Department Store on board as an official partner to the Energy Challenge, ahead of the next big event of the Class 40 calendar, the Transat Quebec-St Malo (Transat QSM).
Posted today at 6:05 am
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - ETAs into Derry-Londonderry
The Clipper Race fleet is closing in on Derry-Londonderry ahead of the start of the Foyle Maritime Festival. The Clipper Race fleet is closing in on Derry-Londonderry ahead of the start of the Foyle Maritime Festival. The finish line to the LegenDerry Finale is approximately a three hour motor from Foyle Marina where the fleet will be berthed.
Posted today at 5:20 am
2016 TP52 Super Series – More action shots from Day 3 by Ingrid Abery
Photographer Ingrid Abery has provided this gallery of images from day three of Audi Settimana delle Bocche Photographer Ingrid Abery has provided this gallery of images from day three of Audi Settimana delle Bocche
Posted on 30 Jun
2016 TP52 Super Series – Day 3 images by Ingrid Abery
Photographer Ingrid Abery has provided this gallery of images from day three of Audi Settimana delle Bocche Photographer Ingrid Abery has provided this gallery of images from day three of Audi Settimana delle Bocche
Posted on 30 Jun
Azzurra remains in the top three at the Audi Settimana delle Bocche
The course was beautiful and short enough so that the windward/leeward race that had to be abandoned could be recovered. The third day of racing saw breezes kick in a bit late. The Racing Committee decided on a 12 nautical mile course that took the fleet from Porto Cervo to the Secca di Tre Monti between Sardinia and Caprera, and back.
Posted on 30 Jun
A fistful of winners at Audi Settimana delle Bocche Regatta
So far Bronenosec, Provezza, Azzurra and Quantum Racing have all led the table and the points remain extremely tight. So far Bronenosec, Provezza, Azzurra and Quantum Racing have all led the table and the points remain extremely tight. Quantum Racing, with Doug DeVos on the helm, achieved their own points goal for the day.
Posted on 30 Jun
2016 TP52 Super Series – Images from races four and five by Max Ranchi
Photographer Max Ranchi has provided this gallery of images from races four and five Photographer Max Ranchi has provided this gallery of images from races four and five
Posted on 30 Jun
GC32 Racing Tour – Can one town tip the scales for Armin Strom Team?
With a population of 6500, Kerikeri is known for rural surroundings, plentiful orchards and a true laid back Kiwi life Kerikeri, one of New Zealand’s most northernmost towns is where team manager Sharon Ferris-Choat, bowman Alex Bryning, boat captain Ned Dalbeth Hudson and two-time Kiwi Olympian Andrew Murdoch, the latest addition to Armin Strom Sailing Team, all grew up. Their passion for sailing ignited while attending Kerikeri High School.
Posted on 30 Jun