Please select your home edition
Official-Team-Gear-Navy 728x90 TOP

2019 Rolex Fastnet Race - Overall

by Quinag 9 Aug 2019 01:00 PDT 3-8 August 2019
Wizard, Sail no: USA70000, Class: IRC Zero, Owner: David and Peter Askew, Sailed by: Charlie Enright - Rolex Fastnet Race 2019 © Kurt Arrigo

The Rolex Fastnet Race is one of sailing's ultimate challenges: a racecourse that has achieved mythic status, a turning mark that is a true icon in sport and a near 100-years of history and tradition. By winning the 2019 race, co-owners David and Peter Askew with the crew of the American yacht, Wizard, have become part of the enduring legend. Thorough preparation and impeccable sailing were combined with determination and resilience, their pursuit of excellence unquestionable.

First held in 1925, and organized by the Royal Ocean Racing Cub ever since, the 605nm race has been supported by Rolex since 2001. Offshore racing has been at the heart of Swiss Watchmaker's six-decade-long partnership with sailing since the 1960s when pioneering sailors relied upon Rolex watches on their voyages around the globe.

Overall Winner

This year, the 48th edition attracted a record fleet of 388 yachts, of which 333 were competing for the overall win on handicap. Winning this race is a remarkable achievement, even for a team on a roll; Wizard has already achieved handicap victories in the 2019 Transatlantic Race and the RORC Caribbean 600. The boat has true pedigree: winning the 2011-12 Volvo Ocean Race as Groupama 4 and, subsequently, the 2016 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race as Giacomo.

David Askew had previously taken part in the Rolex Fastnet Race in 1985. Winning was a surprise, given the complexity of the course and the size of fleet, but not a complete surprise given the preparation and the expertise of Wizard's crew: "It's one of the premier ocean racing events in the world and has a magnificent history. I think it is one of the most difficult, if not the most difficult, to win. It has so many features to be mastered. You have to master all of them properly to get a good result. Our win is credit to our organisation and experience."

Record-Breaking Multihull

Eight years ago, Franck Cammas was the skipper of Groupama 4. He is now co-skipper of the technologically-advanced foiling trimaran, Maxi Edmond de Rothschild, along with Charles Caudrelier, another proven ocean race winner. Cammas and Caudrelier are a formidable partnership, demonstrating the talent and tenacity that sets apart top sailors. Maxi Edmond de Rothschild secured a famous double, overhauling her closest rival on the finish line and proving emphatically the maxim 'to never give up'. Winning by a mere 58 seconds, the French multihull also set a new race record of one day, four hours, two minutes and 16 seconds.

"The Rolex Fastnet is a legend. It is one of my favourite races," remarked Caudrelier. "There are not so many like this. The south coast of England is very tricky. Crossing the Celtic Sea is special and when you pass the rock, it is like passing Cape Horn, it is something else."

Monohull Line Honours

Also eight years ago, during the 2011 race, George David endured the terrifying ordeal of his then yacht Rambler 100 losing its keel and capsizing shortly after rounding the rock. Following his rescue, David went on to build a new yacht, the 27m (88ft) current Rambler. Over recent years, he and his highly-tuned crew have secured a series of monohull line honours victories at classic races around the world, including four in a row at the Rolex Middle Sea Race. Securing a second consecutive first to finish win at the Rolex Fastnet Race, David came within one hour, 16 minutes of setting a new monohull race record.

On his success, David commented: "It is a big deal and we're delighted to have this outcome. It was a contest and we were in heavy competition right from the start."

Conditions this year properly tested the international fleet. Professional and Corinthian crews alike experienced a broad range of weather and sea states; all had to overcome the notorious tidal and tactical challenges presented by the famous course. The 48th edition enters the history books having further polished an already gilded legend.

Related Articles

Walking the 2021 Rolex Fastnet Race course
The new course is 90 miles longer, making it 695 miles, based on the shortest route Moving to Cherbourg for the finish of the Royal Ocean Racing Club's premier event, the Rolex Fastnet Race next year will see navigators and crews facing a few significant new challenges. Posted on 16 Sep
One year to go to 49th Rolex Fastnet Race
A new era will begin as Cherbourg hosts the finish line Rolex Fastnet Race will set sail from Cowes bound for the Fastnet Rock as usual, but then, once the boats have rounded Bishop Rock, they will, for the first time in the history, point their bows towards Cherbourg, the new finish for RORC's premier event. Posted on 6 Aug
Rolex Fastnet Race to run with Virtual Regatta
The first part of the RORC's premier offshore event remains the same Potential competitors, armchair sailors and gamer enthusiasts from all over the world will have the opportunity to try their hand at competing on the new course for the Rolex Fastnet Race, in the online game created by Virtual Regatta. Posted on 27 Jul
Rolex Fastnet Race to finish in Cherbourg
We speak to Eddie Warden Owen Mark Jardine, Managing Editor of and, caught up with RORC Chief Executive Eddie Warden Owen to find out more about Cherbourg becoming the finish destination of the Rolex Fastnet Race in 2021 and 2023. Posted on 26 Nov 2019
Rolex Fastnet Race 2020 will finish in Cherbourg
Major change for preeminent offshore race The Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC), organisers of the Rolex Fastnet Race, announced at a press conference today that the City of Cherbourg will host the finish of the Rolex Fastnet Race for the 2021 and 2023 editions of the biennial race. Posted on 26 Nov 2019
2019 Rolex Fastnet Race finish by Nic Douglass
All of the Fastnet adventures For the first time in my life I am now in Cowes for Cowes Week after the finishes of the Rolex Fastnet Race in Plymouth, and according to those much more "experienced" than myself, this is definitely an anomaly. Posted on 10 Aug 2019
US Rolex Fastnet Race winner
Breaking the French winning streak An American VO70 has continued its phenomenal winning streak to claim the Fastnet Challenge Cup, the overall prize for the 2019 Rolex Fastnet Race. Posted on 7 Aug 2019
2019 Rolex Fastnet Race day 5
Léon surfs to victory in IRC Three One hundred and seventy one teams in the Rolex Fastnet Race were taking part in IRC Three and IRC Four, close to half of the record-breaking fleet. For these smaller/slower boats endurance is key as they spend four days or more days at sea. Posted on 7 Aug 2019
2019 Rolex Fastnet Race day 4
Tough, inspiring and recognizable As the 48th Rolex Fastnet Race moves through its fourth day, the flood of arrivals continues. The window of opportunity for those pursuing overall victory is narrowing and, after four days, crews still at sea are beginning to tire. Posted on 6 Aug 2019
2019 Rolex Fastnet Race day 3
Monohull fleet begins to arrive in Plymouth For the second consecutive race, George David and the crew of the 27-metre (88-foot) Maxi yacht Rambler have secured the Line Honours trophy in the Rolex Fastnet Race, missing out on the race record by one hour, 16 minutes. Posted on 6 Aug 2019
ETNZShop-SAILRACING-728X90 HR BottomOfficial-Collection-Red 728x90 BOTTOMCyclops Marine 2020 - FOOTER