Please select your home edition
Edition
Wildwind 2016 728x90

Cowes Week and the Rolex Fastnet - Two great events rolled into one

by Sue Pelling on 18 Jun 2013
Dunkerque Plaisance Team Sue Pelling http://www.royalcorinthian.co.uk
In one year’s time, when two of the world’s iconic sailing events like Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week and the Rolex Fastnet Race follow on from one another, it is not surprising to see many competitors grab the opportunity to participate in both events.

Although the events are not directly connected, and are run totally independently, there is a natural historic bond between the two. The events feed off each other with many of those competing in the Rolex Fastnet Race, using Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week as a good warm up, while those participating in Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week often see the Fastnet as an opportunity to extend their sailing holiday.

Entries to Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week during ‘odd’ years when the Fastnet takes place generally sees an increase in entries, particularly international entries. This year is no exception because to date almost 20 per cent are from overseas, as far afield as Australia and the USA.

There are many high profile professional teams signed up including Geoff Boettcher’s Secret Mens Business 3.5 (Australia) and Peter Vroon with Tonnerre De Breskens 3 (Netherlands). However, one of the most interesting overseas pro entries is the 100ft yacht Esimit Europa 2. This sailing team, which sails under the flag of the European Union, and competes for the Slovenian Sailing Federation and Yacht Club de Monaco, has Jochen Schümann (German triple Olympic gold medallist, and double America’s Cup sailor aboard Alinghi) on board as skipper, with Alberto Bolzan at the helm. After achieving 19 fastest times at all the races they’ve attended so far since 2010 and setting five new course records including line honours and course record in 2012 at the Giraglia Rolex Cup, this team looks set to challenge for the big prizes at both Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week and the Fastnet Race this year.

Commenting on the forthcoming events on The Solent, Igor Sim?i?, owner of Esimit Europa 2 said: 'We are eager to repeat our success outside the Mediterranean for the first time. Three inshore races at Cowes Week will serve as a great introduction to one of the season’s highlights, Rolex Fastnet Race, where we’ll try to take line honours among the monohulls.'

As well as the numerous professional teams taking part in both events, there is also a healthy number of club sailors keen to pit their wits against the cream of the big boat racers.

Philippe Bourgeois, sailing with his French team on his A35 Dunkerque Plaisance-Gill race team who won their class at Cowes Week in 2010 and took part in the 2003 Fastnet Race, says Cowes Week and the Fastnet Race hold many happy memories. 'They are two magic events during two holiday weeks. We have no professional sailors on board, just friends with competitive spirits who enjoy the exciting challenge of both events. One of the best experiences at Cowes Week is having the pleasure of passing the legendary Royal Yacht Squadron line each day with so many good competitors. The Solent is so magic for racing, and the organisation of the event is amazing.'

For some, racing Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week and the Rolex Fastnet Race are lifelong ambitions. Tillmann Frank from Germany who owns an 1982-built Albin Stratus – Sagitta – says when he was a boy during the 60s and 70s a yacht from his sailing club (Flensburger Segel-Club) often raced on the Solent, and participated in the Fastnet Race. He said he was fascinated by the challenge: 'My dream was to sail my own boat to the Fastnet Rock one day, so last winter I decided the time had come. Because we were travelling such a long way across the Baltic Sea and back, we decided to participate in Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week too, so we are really looking forward to our extended holiday in the UK.'
Cowes Week website
Protector - 660 x 82Bakewell-White Yacht DesignBarz Optics - Floaters

Related Articles

RORC Caribbean 600 race kicks off tomorrow
The light air forecast is not good news for the Italian ocean racing trimaran which is designed for much stronger winds. Soldini’s men have been monitoring the weather situation closely after the formation of a low-pressure storm system far to the north of Antigua disrupted the normal strong trade wind conditions.
Posted today at 6:00 pm
Vendée Globe – Roura to finish Monday morning with Super Superbigou
Eleven skippers have already finished and eleven were forced to abandon their race. Seven solo racers were still at sea this Sunday afternoon. Eleven skippers have already finished and eleven were forced to abandon their race.
Posted today at 5:40 pm
Spectacular opening for the 2017 RORC Caribbean 600
The highly acclaimed Antigua Band 1761 took to the stage and lit the blue touch paper. Sailors enjoyed a traditional Caribbean welcome with the Panache Steel Orchestra opening the musical entertainment, complimentary drinks and fine Caribbean fayre.
Posted today at 5:05 pm
H.H NOOD Regatta - Local sailors make waves on Tampa Bay during Day 2
Michael Zonnenberg, of the Lightning division, is currently one of only two local skippers leading a class. With sailors from across the country and beyond in town for the annual Helly Hansen National Offshore One Design (NOOD) Regatta this weekend, stand-out local skippers were a highlight of Saturday's competition. Michael Zonnenberg, of the Lightning division, is currently one of only two local skippers leading a class.
Posted today at 3:27 am
Krabi waters deliver a spectacular Day 3 of the Bay Regatta 2017
Opting for just two starts each day – monohulls / multihulls – has proven a successful strategy for 2017 The Bay Regatta Opting for just two starts each day – monohulls and multihulls – has proven a successful strategy for the 2017 The Bay Regatta, getting the boats off early and enjoying the good breeze and eye-candy that is the Andaman triangle of Phuket-Phang Nga-Krabi.
Posted on 18 Feb
Amedeo writes his own Vendée Globe story
Parisian political journalist turned solo ocean race Fabrice Amedeo secured 11th place when he crossed the finish line Parisian political journalist turned solo ocean race Fabrice Amedeo secured 11th place when he crossed the finish line off Les Sables d'Olonne at 09 hrs 03 m UTC this morning Saturday 18th February.
Posted on 18 Feb
Vendee Globe - Under a square head jury rig and storm jib - Day 104
Conrad Colman updates from the Atlantic as he makes 6.2kts under Jury Rig with 488nm remaining to sail Conrad Colman updates from the Atlantic as he makes 6.2kts under Jury Rig with 488nm remaining to sail to reach the finish line of the Vendee Globe. The single handed sailor is attempting to become the first competitor in the eight editions of the solo non-stop round the world race to complete the course using only natural energy. He has 200nm under the makeshift rig
Posted on 18 Feb
Amedeo writes his own Vendée Globe story - 11th place
Fabrice Amedeo secured 11th place in the Vendée Globe when he crossed the finish line off Les Sables d’Olonne Journalist and solo ocean race Fabrice Amedeo secured 11th place in the Vendée Globe when he crossed the finish line off Les Sables d’Olonne at 09 hrs 03 m UTC this morning Saturday 18th February. His excellent finish represents the culmination of a dream to take part in the famous solo ocean race around the world. Sailing Newrest-Matmut Amedeo's elapsed time for the course is 103 d 21h 1 m.
Posted on 18 Feb
EFG Sailing Arabia – The Tour - Douillard avenges upset with victory
French sailing star Thierry Douillard avenged shock last-minute defeat in opening stage of EFG Sailing Arabia – The Tour French sailing star Thierry Douillard avenged a shock last-minute defeat in the opening stage of EFG Sailing Arabia – The Tour by snatching victory in round two of the Gulf classic on Friday.
Posted on 18 Feb
2016 Community Sailing and Training Award winners recognized at NSPS
2016 Community Sailing and Training Award winners were celebrated as part of 2017 National Sailing Programs Symposium The 2016 Community Sailing and Training Award winners were celebrated on Thursday night as part of the 2017 National Sailing Programs Symposium (NSPS) at the Sheraton Austin Hotel at the Capitol in Austin, Texas.
Posted on 18 Feb