fastnet race

The Rolex Fastnet Race

What is the Fastnet Race?

fastnet race

The Rolex Fastnet Race will be starting from Cowes on Sunday 8th August 2021.  Here’s what you need to know about the race.

The Fastnet Race is a biennial UK offshore yachting race which was founded in 1925 by  keen Yachtman, writer and broadcaster, Weston Martyr.  He had competed in yachting races in Bermuda and wanted a set up a similar race in Britain.

It is called the Fastnet Race because of the original route taken by the yachts.  They would leave from Cowes, Isle of Wight, pass Lands End and head for Fastnet Rock (off the southwest coast of Ireland.  They round the rock then return passing Bishop’s Rock lighthouse on the Isles of Scilly to end the race in Plymouth.  This year will see the route divert to and finish in Cherbourg, France.  Unfortunately Plymouth could not host the event this year, the first time in over 100 years. it’s facilities couldn’t cope with the increase number of boats.  The new route will add an additional 90 nautical miles onto the route, 695 nautical miles in total, with 450 boats competing.   The current course record is 1 day, 20 hours and 18 minutes but with the additional distance it will be interesting to see what the winning time will be.

The winners receive the Fastnet Challenge Cup and this is awarded to the yacht with the fastest race time.  This is calculated using the IRC handicap.  This is a rating rule to handicap different designs of keelboats allowing them to race together. Each boat’s rating (her ‘handicap’) is calculated using measurements of the boat; her length, weight, draft, sail area, etc. The resulting time corrector, the boat’s ‘TCC’, is her handicap. After a race, each boat’s elapsed time (the time she has taken to complete the course) is multiplied by her TCC to calculate her corrected time (her race time making allowance for the characteristics of the boat). The boat with the shortest corrected time is the winner of the race.

For more details on the race, how to follow the race and a virtual Fastnet game visit Rolex Fastnet Race

Fastnet Race

Main image courtesy of  JustPlymouth

Fastnet Rock Image courtesy of mozzercork


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