sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Video Gallery Photo Gallery
Sail-World.com : Rolex Fastnet Race fleet ready to set off
Rolex Fastnet Race fleet ready to set off


'La Jolie Brise passing the Fastnet Rock, West Cork, Ireland'    Brian Carlin ©    Click Here to view large photo

This year's biennial race to Plymouth via Fastnet Rock off southern Ireland, the Rolex Fastnet Race, is ready to set off.

France is probably the world's top nation when it comes to offshore racing with events such as the singlehanded round the world race, the Vendée Globe, and classes like the IMOCA 60, Class40 and Figaro. In addition to their domination of many of the IRC classes, French boats also represent the majority in the non-IRC classes competing in this year's Rolex Fastnet Race, which sets sail from Cowes tomorrow from 12 noon BST.



This year's race features some of the very best sailors from across the Channel, including Michel Desjoyeaux, PRB skipper Vincent Riou and François Gabart. Between them, they have won the last four Vendée Globe races. The podium finishers from the 2012-3 Vendée Globe are all taking part, with Gabart back on his winning IMOCA 60, MACIF, Alex Thomson on his third-placed Hugo Boss, while second placed Armel le Cleac'h, has graduated up to skipper of the 31.5m long trimaran, Banque Populaire.

Michel Desjoyeaux is the world's most successful shorthanded offshore sailor having twice won the Vendée Globe, and the prestigious La Solitaire du Figaro three times. This year's race, which he is sailing on MACIF with his protégé François Gabart, is only his second Rolex Fastnet Race but represents the 20th anniversary of his first - aboard the Whitbread maxi, La Poste.

Desjoyeaux says he first heard of the race when he was 14. 'Two of my brothers were here with Half Tonners and they phoned home on the morning of the start and they said we're coming back to France because there was a big storm coming. That was in 1979...'

Francois Gabart -  © Vincent Curutchet / Macif  
For François Gabart, this will be his first Rolex Fastnet Race, but he knows the course well and says he is pleased to be here because the hull of his IMOCA 60 was built at Green Marine in Hythe.

'The Rolex Fastnet Race is one of the most famous offshore races. I wasn't born in 1979, but I heard a lot about it. I remember when I first sailed to the Fastnet Rock - it was something big,' says Gabart. Since the Vendée Globe, MACIF has had her mast replaced and has her pre- Vendée sail wardrobe on board.

Eight IMOCA 60s are competing in this year's race, all of them being sailed doublehanded in preparation for this autumn's Transat Jacques Vabre.

For German Jörg Riechers this will not only be his first Rolex Fastnet Race, but also his first major race in his new IMOCA 60, mare, previously Michel Desjoyeaux's 2008 Vendée Globe winner. 'When I was young I dreamed of doing the Admiral's Cup, which was strongly connected to the Rolex Fastnet Race. This is a classic race. You get the trimarans, the Open 60s and the Class40s and all the IRC boats. It is the gathering of the best boats in the world.'

Seventeen boats are competing in the Class40. Unlike the IMOCA 60s, these are being sailed fully crewed. Among them the favourite is probably Sebastien Rogues on his Mach 40 EDF Suez, recent winner of the Les Sables-Azores-Les Sables race.

Again it is Rogues' first participation. 'The Rolex Fastnet Race is a mythical race, like the Rolex Sydney Hobart. You have to do it at least once in your life. It has a long history, and there have been some very tough races. I am very honoured to be participating. It's a good race to see the level of competition before the Transat Jacques Vabre.'

Class40 Vaquita -  Tim Wright -Photoaction.com ©  

This year's race marks the debut for two new models of Class40, with Spanish former World Champion Gonzalo Botin competing on Tales II, a new design from his Emirates Team New Zealand naval architect brother, Marcellino, while the Austrian-flagged Vaquita, is the latest Class40 from Tom Humphreys (son of Rob). Damien Seguin is also taking part on his new Akilaria RC3, Des Pieds Et Des Mains, which is so new that is has yet to measure and so is competing under IRC.

Interestingly aside from being Class40 skippers, both Seguin and Bruno Jourdren, skipper of Lord Jiminy, are also leading paralympic sailors - both silver medallists in Beijing, while Seguin won 2.4mR gold in Athens.

The turn-out in the smaller 32ft Figaro class is growing with a strong turn out from the Artemis Offshore Academy. The race is particularly special for Rockfish skipper Henry Bomby.

'The first time I sailed a Figaro was the Fastnet two years ago. That summer I got selected for the Academy. If I'd know then that in the next two years I would have done two Solitaire du Figaros and started to get my own sponsors, I would have been pretty happy.'

Most of the new recruits to the Artemis Offshore Academy are also competing in the Figaro class, while Sam Goodchild, the leading British finisher in this year's La Solitaire du Figaro, is competing in the Class40 aboard Peter Harding's 40 Degrees.

Weather is currently at the forefront of competitors' minds as this will dictate their fortunes over the next few days.

Typically the forecast benefits either the big boats or the small boats, but this year, race meteorologist Chris Tibbs says it is far from clear whether either will come out on top.

According to Tibbs, the start and first stage to St Alban's Head will be in south-westerlies before the wind starts veering into the northwest, making for a starboard tack-biased beat down the coast of the UK. Significant for the bigger half of the fleet, is that the wind is currently forecast to stay in the north-west making for a full beat across the Celtic Sea to the Fastnet Rock and then a dead run back, with a broad reach on to the finish in Plymouth in relatively light breeze.

The wind only frees up for boats heading outbound to the Rock, when it backs into the west on Tuesday night/Wednesday morning. The slower boats, which won't be crossing the Celtic Sea outbound to the Rock until then, will be in for a fast reach across and back, but they may then get held up depending on the movement of a ridge of high pressure due to encroach into the mid-southern Channel area on Thursday.

With the forecast as it is at present, Chris Tibbs believes that favourite for this year's race could be among the 35-40 footers.

RORC website
Fastnet Race website


by Peta Stuart-Hunt

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=113067

8:45 PM Sat 10 Aug 2013GMT


Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.


Related News Stories:

11 Aug 2013  Rolex Fastnet Race - Edmond de Rothschild to make double-handed attack
10 Aug 2013  Rolex Fastnet Race - Record fleet for international classic
10 Aug 2013  2013 Rolex Fastnet Race - Continues to progress at the RORC
10 Aug 2013  2013 Rolex Fastnet Race - Figaro Class gets its own ‘billing’
09 Aug 2013  Tous au Fastnet!
08 Aug 2013  Rolex Fastnet Race - 300 boats fight for the Fastnet Challenge Cup
07 Aug 2013  Rolex Fastnet Race - Spectator zone now in place
02 Aug 2013  Rolex Fastnet Race - Clash of the Titans
25 Jul 2013  Rolex Fastnet Race - Record breaking fleet all set
13 Jul 2013  2013 Rolex Ilhabela Sailing Week images by Carlo Borlenghi
MORE STORIES ...






News - USA and the World























America's Cup Book Review: Winging It - Oracle Team USA's comeback *Feature by Richard Gladwell Sail-World.com/nz,




Rolex China Sea Race 2014 - nip and tuck for IRC honours by RHKYC and Guy Nowell, Sail-World Asia, Hong Kong


























HUD Vision: An interview with Afterguard Marine’s Alex Moret *Feature by David Schmidt, Sail-World USA Editor, Seattle














America's Cup: Expected de Ridder penalty should be reduced *Feature
World Youth Sailing Week – Second edition officially presented + Video
Rolex China Sea Race - Sailing classic returns
Les Voiles de St Barth – Fired up for battle
CNN Mainsail Down Under for the 75th JJ Giltinan Trophy - 18ft skiffs
Volvo Ocean Race: North Sails on outfitting the Volvo 65
Image gallery: James Cook High's Royal encounter on Steinlager 2 *Feature
Volvo Ocean Race - Maersk Line named shipping partner
Congressional Cup - Victory for Taylor Canfield and crew
SSV Oliver Hazard Perry joins America's Tall Ship fleet + Video
2014 Halifax – Saint-Pierre Ocean Race
Oyster Regatta Antigua - Glorious conditions prevail on final day
WWA Pro Card Qualifier - Pro Cards earned at Freedom Wake Park
Christmas Caribbean Rally - Top class sailors to compete
Earth Day boater tips
Anna Tunnicliffe - from CrossFit to Extreme 40's
Charleston Race Week - Photos by Chris Howell
Image Gallery: Stratis SL33 flies on the Waitemata
Audi Melges 20- Sperry Topsider Charleston Race Week - Light final day
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - PSP Logistics prepares for USA
ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyères - Crème of the crop to compete   
Congressional Cup: Luna Rossa makes podium in first event   
Int 14 World Championships 2015 launch new event website   
International Optimist Regatta Clinic and Team Race - Register now!   
Congressional Cup: World top rankers finish that way in Long Beach   
Sperry Top-Sider Charleston Race Week Day 3 finale   
America's Cup: Gino Morrelli outlines the new AC62 design   
Doyle Sails New Zealand signs Andrew Brown as One Design Manager   
America's Cup: Dean Barker's Blog - A sail with the Duke and Duchess *Feature   
29er World Youth Sailing Week Easter regatta - Day 1 and 2 overall   
C Thomas Clagett Jr Memorial Clinic/Regatta - Entries start to roll in   
50th Congressional Cup: See the delayed coverage and media conferences   
Clipper Race 10 Day 27: Closing stages - Qingdao to San Francisco   
Canfield, Williams, Bruni, Swinton in Congressional Cup final four   
Sperry Top-Sider Charleston Race Week - Day 2   
Audi Melges 20 Charleston Race Week - Perfect conditions in Charleston   
Oyster Regatta Antigua - Full on ocean conditions for day 3   
PWA World Tour - A taste of things to come at La Torche + Video   
Women's International Match Racing Series kicks off in June   
Melges 32 Audi Tron Sailing Series - Action shots by Max Ranchi   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
X6XL NEW US