Please select your home edition
Edition
Auckland On the Water Boat Show

Rolex Fastnet Race – Class leaders firming up

by James Boyd on 10 Aug
Lann Ael 2, Didier Gaudoux's French JND 39 is leading IRC One in the Rolex Fastnet Race © Rolex / Carlo Borlenghi http://www.carloborlenghi.net
Overnight and into a magnificent West Country morning, boats have been streaming across the Rolex Fastnet Race finish line and into Plymouth Yacht Haven.

With this the leaders in the bigger classes have begun firming up along with the prospects for the boat will be the crowned overall winner under IRC in the Royal Ocean Racing Club's biennial flagship offshore race.

American Ron O'Hanley's Cookson 50, Privateer is the leader in the IRC Zero from the Ker 46 Lady Mariposa, and yesterday seemed to be in good shape to take the overall prize across the 312-boat IRC fleet vying for the Fastnet Challenge Cup. However overnight the IRC One leader Lann Ael 2, the JND 39 of Paris-based Didier Gaudoux pulled into the lead. In IRC One the powerful looking La Crouesty based boat holds a lead of more than two and a half hours on corrected time over the equally angular Lombard 46, Pata Negra, being campaigned by the Dutch de Graaf family of Baraka Ker 40 fame.

'We had a fantastic race - we were lucky with the weather,' said Gaudoux. 'The conditions were quite good for the team and the crew and the passage from Fastnet Rock to the Scilly Isles was perfect for us.' However at present there are many smaller boats still capable of lifting the overall IRC prize off the IRC One leader.



Last night, first home on the water in IRC One was James Neville's Ino XXX, winner of May's Myth of Malham race. Like all of the planing boats, the HH42 enjoyed the downhill conditions enabling them to blast back from the Fastnet Rock, hitting speeds into the mid-20s and covering 75 miles in four hours. This made up for the headbang of an uphill struggle they experienced outbound to the Rock. As Neville recounted: 'We found it quite challenging because the chop was quite short and the heavier boats, like the Italian boat [Vittorio Biscarini's magnificent Mylius-designed 50 footer, Ars Una], make better way in those conditions. Off the Lizard we went inside and they found more wind offshore. We were the last boat to go to the east of the TSS.'

In IRC Two Gilles Fournier and Corinne Migraine's J/133 Pintia is looking good for first prize following their arrival at the finish line at 05:33 this morning.

'We had some good results already in IRC Two this year,' said Fournier. 'But the Rolex Fastnet Race is the peak of the season. We have had an internal battle with our friends on Lisa, including Commodore of the RORC Michael Boyd, since the beginning of the season.'

Due to the tidal state at the time, Pintia went to the west of the all-important traffic separation scheme off the Scilly Isles. Fournier said he enjoyed rounding the Fastnet Rock, even though it was at night. 'You are pleased when you round that because it is an amazing place. You wouldn't want to spend your holidays there, but it is a legendary place and we are now part of the legend.'



Nick and Suzi Jones' First 44.7 Lisa, skippered by RORC Commodore Michael Boyd, finished 36 minutes after Pintia this time correcting out into second place, 1 hour 13 minutes behind of the French boat on corrected time.

Boyd acknowledged that Pintia had stolen a march on them at Portland Bill. 'We failed to get to there in time. Pintia went in and we probably should have followed her and they just managed to get through the gap. We went outside and lost quite a few miles but we gained them back at Lyme Bay when an awful lot of boats went in and we were surprised to see some of our competitors at anchor there. We were further offshore, in the wind. That kept us up with the IRC One boats.'

The boats in Lisa's group saw 25 knots on the nose, some of the strongest conditions crossing the Celtic Sea to the Fastnet Rock, requiring the crew to live on the rail. Boyd described the Fastnet Rock, off his native Ireland, as 'extraordinary, absolutely magical'. While the First 44.7 isn't a weapon downwind, the boat had a bowsprit and asymmetric spinnakers added to her Banks sail inventory for this season, aiding their return journey back from the Rock.

Lisa currently lies second in IRC Two and eighth overall under IRC, results with which Boyd was pleased. 'I don't know if we had the best of the conditions, but certainly it is a great result and does seem to show that we were very favoured. But we had a great group of guys, everybody very focused, very good food, lots of stories and lots of laughs.'



This afternoon the leaders in IRC Three and Four are due, along with the Two Handed class, where the Loisin father and son, Pascal and Alexis, on their 2013 overall Rolex Fastnet Race winning JPK 10.10 Night and Day have taken the lead from Ajeto!, the J/122e of Robin Verhoef and John Van Der Starre.

Giacomo Yacht SalePredictWind.comMackay Boats

Related Articles

France annihilates Rolex Fastnet Race competition for a third time
The Royal Ocean Racing's biennial flagship event attracted another record-sized fleet of 362 boats, six more than 2015. As ever the course took the giant fleet west down the English Channel, either side of the prohibited 'traffic separation scheme' zone between Land's End and the Scilly Isles, across the Celtic Sea to the Fastnet Rock, four miles off southwest Ireland, back south leaving Bishop Rock and the Scilly Isles to port and then, on past the Lizard, to the finish off Plymouth - in total 605 nautical miles.
Posted on 15 Aug
More from the Rolex Fastnet Race by Nic Douglass
So many adventures, and so little time! At the Fastnet we covered action from the start, to the Volvo and the finish. What a great representation of sailing! An absolute pleasure to talk with Didier Goudoux, the overall winner on IRC of the Royal Ocean Racing Club's ROLEX Fastnet Race on his boat Lann Ael 2 with his son and daughter on board with him. So many congratulations and hope to see you again soon!
Posted on 14 Aug
International competitors look back at the Rolex Fastnet Race
Artemis Ocean Racing claimed the Clarion Cup for being 'first British yacht home', while Katsu won the Irish equivalent Richard Matthews was presented with the Dennis Doyle Memorial Salver as the competing skipper with the greatest number of Rolex Fastnet Race participations. Deb Fish won not only the prize, with Rob Craigie, for having the boat (Bellino) with the top mixed IRC Two Handed crew, but also the Maite de Aramblaza Trophy for the best yacht with a female skipper.
Posted on 12 Aug
France claim Fastnet Challenge Cup for third consecutive time
Even the Chinese boat, Dongfeng Race Team, that won Volvo 65 competition had a largely French crew. Early on, the overall prize looked set to be a big boat affair with both the JV 115 Nikata and George David's maxi Rambler 88 leading until the run back from the Fastnet Rock favoured the medium-sized boats.
Posted on 11 Aug
Rolex Fastnet Race – Three in a row for Night and Day
Probably the toughest battle was the duel for the lead in the largest class of the smallest boats, IRC Four. The Loisins were pleased with their tactics at Portland Bill where they went very inshore (too far inshore, judging from the look on the face of père Loisin), however that gained them three miles.
Posted on 11 Aug
Rolex Fastnet Race – Poised to join the pantheon of greats
Arriving on Wednesday morning, Ron O’Hanley’s Cookson 50 Privateer assumed leadership of the race As yachts continue to pass the finish line off the Breakwater Lighthouse in Plymouth Sound, the spotlight is shining firmly upon the question of who will claim the race’s most sought-after prize, the Fastnet Challenge Cup and Rolex timepiece, awarded to the overall race winner and decided on handicap under the IRC Rating system.
Posted on 11 Aug
Oman Sail celebrate top five Rolex Fastnet Race finish in Class 40
On the run back from the Fastnet Rock, the team picked up another place to cross the Plymouth finishing line in fifth. In the international class of 26 level-rated yachts – part of a record-breaking Fastnet fleet of 368 race boats – Oman Sail were amongst the leading pack in the early stages along Britain’s southern coast and across the Irish Sea.
Posted on 10 Aug
V and B prevails in the Class 40s as Trentesaux has a comfy ride
Class40 leaders arrived in Plymouth this afternoon, with victory going to V and B skippered by Frenchman Maxime Sorel. These boats are designed to a box rule created in France in the early 2000s. With more than 150 examples launched in the last 13 years, it is also highly international with boats competing from crews as far afield as Oman, South Africa and Japan, ranging from professionals (both old timers and budding youngsters) to enthusiastic amateurs.
Posted on 10 Aug
Rolex Fastnet Race – Perseverance pays
Monohull line honours victory for his 88-ft Maxi yacht in 2017 follows three contrasting races over the past decade. David’s first Rolex Fastnet Race in 2007 on the 90-ft Rambler was defined by an epic contest with Mike Slade’s 100-ft Maxi ICAP Leopard. The two yachts provided a spectacle of raw intensity as they duelled around the Fastnet Rock before Slade’s British yacht eventually claimed victory by a little over an hour.
Posted on 9 Aug
Rolex Fastnet Race catch up with the Sailor Girl + Videos
I arrived just in time to talk with George David the owner of Rambler on the dock in Plymouth as well as one of his crew While I was competing at the Tasar World Championship in Japan where my Dad and I came third and were the first Masters team out of 97 crews, my assistant (self-proclaimed 'Minion') Brigitte Berry was on the ground for the start in Cowes to talk with a number of crews before the start, capture some awesome boat porn, and then catch up with Ned Wakefield from Team Concise at the finish in Plymouth
Posted on 9 Aug