The Fastnet Race 2013 – Sunday 11th August
The Fastnet Race 2013 sees a record number of entries, 347. Last year saw 315 entries.
There is a strong female entry this year with many high profile women sailors leaving from Cowes on 11th August in the world’s largest offshore race, the Fastnet Race 2013.
First up is Dona Bertarelli, co-skipper of Spindrift 2, the 40ft trimaran “This race is a big challenge for me and for the Spindrift racing team as a whole, not only because of its historical importance but for several other reasons,” explains Bertarelli, who has spent the last years campaigning the D35 catamaran Ladycat in Switzerland. “The Rolex Fastnet Race will be my first offshore experience, but it will also be our first race with Spindrift 2. We are competitors and even though we will have had little time to train, to get to know the boat and build a strong sailing team, our objective remains to win”.
Second up is Team SCA, competing in the Fastnet Race 2013 as part of the Volvo Ocean Race’s best ever all-female campaign. For the Fastnet, this will comprise multiple Volvo Ocean Race winner Brad Jackson, Joca Signorini and Spanish bowman Pepe Ribes. Among the British crew is Vendee Globe skipper Sam Davies and Olympic match racer Annie Lush, two of the five women already selected for the team.
Third up is Vendee Globe competitor, Dee Caffari. This will be Caffari’s seventh Fastnet, and she joins Sidney Gavignet’s team on Oman Air-Musandam. As part of Oman Sail’s continued efforts to develop women’s sailing in the sultanate, Omani sailor Raya Al Habsi will also be competing on board. Raya is currently part of the all-female Oman Sail entry at the J/80 Worlds. “Raya has been with us from the beginning of the girls’ offshore sailing,” says Caffari. “She has been working the bow on the Farr 30 and has been cold, wet and beaten up and still continues to smile, which is a good characteristic to have for a tough environment, which the Fastnet is. This is a big deal for Oman Sail and for Arab women in sport.”
Lastly but not least, another all-female team led by Lucy Reynolds has entered the First 40, Southern Child. “One of our regular crew asked if I’d be interested in doing an all-female campaign and I went ‘why not?'” says Lucy of how this came about. The crew of Southern Child is mostly paying guests. “One of our crew has done the race before and another has done the ARC and various transatlantic and offshore passage, so it is a mixed level of experience, and we have a couple coming in from the States,” says Lucy.
The Fastnet Race 2013 will leave the Royal Yacht Squadron line off Cowes, Isle of Wight on Sunday 11th August. Scheduled to leave between 10 and 2, best viewing points in Cowes will be Cowes Green and Egypt Esplanade. Other good viewing points will be Yarmouth, Isle of Wight and Hurst Castle near Lymington, Hampshire.
Images courtesy of RORC