Many thanks to Suzanne and Alan for this latest sailing news update. Ed
As we reported back in January the entry limit of 300 for this year’s Rolex Fastnet Race was filled within 24 hours. Over 100 boats were put on a waiting list and entries from multihulls, IMOCA 60s and Class 40s are still coming in.
To answer this unprecedented demand the Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) has decided to increase the number of places available for IRC rated boats by an extra 40 places to 340. With the addition of multihulls, IMOCAs, Class 40s and Mini Transats this could easily bring the total fleet to 380 boats.
Changed final destination
One of the barriers to increasing numbers was the lack of berths in Plymouth which sees the race finish after the boats have raced to the Fastnet Rock from Cowes. To cope with this the club has decided to move the event to Plymouth Yacht Haven which has the capacity to supply the extra berthing that is needed.
“With so much demand we had to find a solution and moving the event to Plymouth Yacht Haven and working with Queen Anne’s Battery, Sutton Harbour and Mayflower marinas should give us the capacity we need to berth a fleet of this size and provide the facilities expected by over 3000 sailors” says RORC CEO, Eddie Warden Owen.
New home for the Rolex Fastnet Race Village
Plymouth Yacht Haven has capacity for 450 berths, is accessible at all tides and has comprehensive facilities to satisfy the requirements of the competitors, organisers and sponsors. It will host the Rolex Fastnet Race Village where spectators can mingle with the race competitors as well as enjoying live music and a variety of activities.
Starting from Cowes on 11th August the yachts will arrive in Plymouth between 13th and 17th August at the end of what can be a very challenging offshore race.
RORC Caribbean 600
Several yachts expected to take part in this year’s Rolex Fastnet Race have recently been competing in another of the RORCs challenging races the Caribbean 600 which was sailed in the waters off Antigua.
One of these is Mike Slade’s ICAP Leopard which took line honours in the Caribbean 600 race and is often seen sailing off Cowes.
RORC Easter Challenge
One of the first big races of the season to take place in the Solent is the RORC Easter Challenge sailed over the Easter Bank Holiday (29th-31st March).
This early season challenge gives anyone wanting to have a go at IRC racing the chance to, whilst skippers and crews can also benefit from some personal and practical coaching.
In addition to offering a unique training ground for owners and crews, the RORC Easter Challenge is the first Solent regatta in 2013 where owners who only compete occasionally can race under IRC at a reduced cost.
It is a unique initiative with on-the-water coaching, comprising immediate and hands-on advice from coaches and sail makers who climb aboard during racing at the request of crews wanting some tuition.
Expert post-race video debriefs
Each day’s racing is followed by expert post-race video debriefs in the Events Centre in Cowes Yacht Haven by coaching legend Jim Saltonstall, supported by past Olympian Barry Dunning and RORC’s CEO Eddie Warden Owen.
From January 2013 IRC is sponsored by Cowes based Spinlock in Great Britain and France. Spinlock is an independent and innovative company, widely acknowledged as the world expert in ropeholding. Based in Cowes Spinlock has over thirty years’ experience of designing and manufacturing rope holding equipment for all sailing boats from the smallest to superyachts.