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Rolex Fastnet Race - U.S. to take on world’s largest offshore race

by Katie Steiness on 24 Jul 2013
Bella Mente, Hap Fauth © Rolex / Carlo Borlenghi http://www.carloborlenghi.net
When the Rolex Fastnet Race sets sail from Cowes, Isle of Wight, on August 11th, sailors from the United States will be among the 3,500 competitors in 380 boats from over 20 countries. The world’s largest offshore race will showcase the most diverse range of yachts imaginable; from 30ft to 130ft and attracts aspiring sailors to professional crews who race all over the world.

Now in its 45th year, the race started with seven boats in 1925 and nowadays, sailors worldwide are drawn by the history and sporting lure of the greatest offshore contest. The challenging 608 mile race from Cowes to the Fastnet Rock off southwest Ireland and back around the Scilly Isles to Plymouth, is now by far the biggest of all the international 600 mile offshore races.

As well as attracting some of the fastest and largest record-breaking boats on the planet, four American boats and their crews will be on the start line for the world’s best-known historic offshore race:

The starters include:

Bella Mente

Hap Fauth/Robert Ouellette

JV 72 Custom

Minneapolis

Minnesota

Team Wild Goose

Dan Walsh

Class40

Rye

New York

Momentum Ocean Racing

Emma Creighton/Dan Dytch

Class40

Freeport

Maine

Lilla

DP Yachts Ltd/Nancy Pietro

C.N.B. Briand 76

Mattapoisett

Massachusetts


'This is a world-class distance race. The race has a reputation for being multifaceted and extremely challenging and the Bella Team loves the idea of challenging conditions as well as great competition.' says owner, Hap Fauth.

Launched in Spring 2012, Bella Mente is the second racing yacht built for owner Hap Fauth. This latest Mini Maxi is 72 feet long and was designed by Judel/Vrolijk.

Hap has been building Bella Mente Racing since 2005 when he purchased the first of the three racing yachts that have been part of the program. With his team, Hap has raced throughout the U.S. and all around Europe. When he is not competing on the water, Fauth runs a number of businesses that span many industries – from agriculture to aerospace – and brings many of the same principles and tactics that he uses in the boardroom to the development of his sailing campaign.

Hap Fauth purchased his first Bella Mente (a Judel/Vrolijk 66 built in 2002) in late 2005 and still has many members of the original team sailing with him today. The team won the Newport Bermuda Race in 2006 on the original Bella Mente and the 2011 Transpac on the second Bella Mente (a modified Reichel/Pugh 69 built in 2009). In 2012, the team captured the Mini Maxi Rolex World Championship with the current Bella Mente, and in 2013 plan to defend that title at the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup in September and also go after the Rolex Fastnet.

Crew includes some well-known names in racing:

Michele 'Mickey' Cannoni's sailing background includes working as mid-bow for Luna Rossa at the 32nd America’s Cup where the team made it into the Luis Vuitton Cup finals.

John Cutler is best known for winning the bronze medal in the Finn Class at the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, South Korea. In 1992, he was selected to be a sailing coach for the New Zealand team for the Summer Olympics in Barcelona, Spain.

Daniel Fong's major sailing accomplishments include winning the 2011 America’s Cup onboard Oracle as the headsail trimmer. Fong also sailed in the Whitbread Round-the-World race in 1997.

Hartwell 'Hart' Jordan's career highlights include seven world championship titles and the bronze medal at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia in the Soling Class. He also has been involved in four America’s Cup campaigns.

Ian 'Soapy' Moore has been a navigator in the Volvo Ocean Race and as navigator and performance manager for America’s Cup Campaigns.

Mark Newbrook has worked for two America’s Cup syndicates as a grinder.

Romolo Ranieri's sailing accomplishments include racing in three America’s Cup campaigns with the Italian syndicate Luna Rossa, which won the Louis Vuitton Trophy in 2000.

Mike Sanderson is a two-time winner of the Volvo Ocean Race and has held numerous World Records. Mike has been involved in four America’s Cup campaigns and was ISAF World Sailor of the Year in 2007.

Grant Spanhake has been involved in six America’s Cup and four Whitbread campaigns. Grant has also been involved in three Olympic campaigns where he was sail designer and trim coach.

Momentum Ocean Racing, Class40 GBR93, Emma Creighton (Deer Island, Maine, USA), Dan Dytch (Lymington, Hants) and Skip McCormack

Emma Creighton tells the story of how the crew met: 'Dan and I met in France during the 2011 season while we were both preparing for the Mini Transat. After racing against each other for the year, we decided we should start sailing together. In 2012, I had a Class 40 for the summer, and competed in The Atlantic Cup (up the East Coast of the US) and Dan joined me for the inshore crewed portion of the race. I joined him for some racing at Maxi Worlds and Les Voiles de Saint Tropez on the Wally he was running. Two years later and we're engaged, living together and have our own Class 40 (an Akilaria RC2, ex-Concise II).

'Joining us for Fastnet will be our friend Skip McCormack (USA) who also raced with us in Newport, RI for the inshore portion of the Atlantic Cup in 2012. Dan's been around Fastnet Rock a number of times before. I've competed in two races that were supposed to go around the Fastnet but had a course change at the last minute due to weather (2011 Mini Fastnet and 2013 Normandy Channel Race), and Skip's never been there either - so we're looking forward to ticking it off the bucket list.'

'The Class40 fleet should be a really competitive one this year, the race will be great training for the Transat Jacques Vabre (France to Brazil in November) and a chance to see how much we've learned about our new boat this Rolex Fastnet website
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