Lonely Rock Race

Lonely Rock Race – 16th August 2020


The Royal Western Yacht Club of England based in Plymouth in association with the Royal Victoria Yacht Club in Ryde on the Isle of Wight has announced a new race for the offshore racing calendar.  This new biennial race, the Lonely Rock Race, will run on alternate years to the RORC Fastnet Race and is in no way meant to compete with the Fastnet Race.

The course is the original Fastnet course from 1925 when two members of the RWYC famously made a bet on who could win a race around this notorious landmark, starting from Ryde and Finishing in Plymouth Sound.  It was announced last year that RORC had chosen Cherbourg to host the finish of the race instead of Plymouth who had been hosting the finish for nearly 100 years.  This has meant extending the racecourse to over 700 nautical miles instead of the usual 608 nautical miles.  The reason given for moving the finish was so that more boats could be accommodated for the race.  This decision has caused much disappointment amongst supporters, little wonder then that this new race has come into being.

Entries will be open to mono and multihull yachts between 30 and 60 feet.  The course will start in the eastern Solent near Ryde on the Isle of Wight.  The boats will race down the Solent through the Needle’s Channel and along the southern coast of England towards Lands End.  Keeping the Isles of Scilly on their port side the boats will then head out across the Irish Sea to Fastnet Rock.  With the lonely rock on their port side, they will round the iconic rock and head back toward the Scillies again keeping them on their port side to finish the race in Plymouth Sound.  Lonely rock refers to the Gaelic word for the rock – An Charraig Aonair – which roughly translate to ‘the lone rock’.

The RWYC hope the race will appeal to club sailors that want to experience the thrill of participating on this famous course and also to sailors and boats that may not be able to commit to the new longer course the RORC has planned for the Fastnet Race in 2021 and 2023.

The Lonely Rock Race will start on Sunday 16th August 2020 the day after Cowes Week finishes, so those sailors already on the island can extend their sailing time, what’s not to like.  For more details about the race bookmark RWYC.  Notice of Race will be issued soon.

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