Rolex Fastnet Race Facts and Stats

Rolex Fastnet Race Facts and Stats

The Rolex Fastnet Race is a 608 nautical mile biennial race which attracts competitors from all over the world.  The first race took place in 1925 with only 7 competitors – since then the race has gained in popularity and has become one of the most popular offshore races in the world with 380 boats entered in 2013.

Some Facts and Statistics

Are we nearly there yet?

The rhumb line course for the Rolex Fastnet Race is 608 nautical miles

Cowes – 0 nm
Needles – 16 nm
Portland Bill  – 50 nm
Start Point – 104 nm
Lizard – 164 nm
Lands End – 186 nm
Fastnet Rock – 356 nm
Scillies – 510 nm
Lizard – 561 nm
Plymouth – 608 nm

Entry is limited

In 2013 the entry list was filled in less than 24 hours prompting RORC to raise the limit and allow an additional 40 boats and increasing the entry limit from 300 to 340 IRC boats and 40 non IRC (professional) boats.

That’s a lot of boats

If all the boats from the 2011 ROLEX Fastnet race were laid end to end they would stretch over 13,000 ft (4000m) the equivalent height of the Matterhorn mountains.  The total sail area is around 200,000 sq.ft (18580m2), enough to fill Wembley stadium twice over or 2631 Laser dinghies.

Both big and small

The largest yacht to compete was Spindrift 2 : VPLP 140 Trimaran : 131ft long.
The smallest yacht to compete was Astelle and Makani : Corsair 31 – 01D : 30.10ft long.

Who is the Fastest?

In 2011 the Volvo 70 Abu Dhabi skippered by Ian Walker set a new monohull record of 42 hours and 39 minutes.  Most boats would have just made it around Lands End and be on their way to the Fastnet.

Most popular boats

Alongside the one-off race boats there are a number of production boats that are very popular.
In 2013 the largest number of one design boats were:

First 40.7 – 16 boats
Sigma 38 – 15 boats
J/109 – 15 boats

Is it something I could do?

The race attracts both professional and amateur sailors, drawn by the Corinthian competitiveness and legendary status of the event. For some it’s their first offshore race and a personal adventure while for seasoned RORC and Fastnet campaigners it is a chance to do it all over again as a must do event in the sailing calendar.

It has its own radio station – Fastnet Radio 87.9FM

The Rolex Fastnet Race has become so popular that there is now a radio station offering live coverage of the start with interviews and keeping you up to date with the action.

Modern Media

Don’t forget to use #fastnet when you tweet!

Further Information

Equinox Sailing have put together a comprehensive package with includes 4 qualifying offshore races and 3 training weekends. This will give each crew member over 1500 nautical miles of offshore racing and training.

Please visit our Fastnet Race page for more details.

All facts courtesy of the RORC website.