Tension mounts in the run up to the start of the Rolex Fastnet Race 2021 commencing from the Royal Yacht Squadron’s line at 11 am Sunday 8th August 2021.
This iconic race dominates yachting racing and fleet numbers have steadily grown since its inception nearly a century ago.
Yet this year’s race, the 49th, has a new twist by finishing in Cherbourg, Normandy after starting from Cowes, IOW as usual.
The 695 nautical mile course hugs the coast of the English Channel before leaving the Scilly Isles to port for the leg to the Fastnet Rock located some four miles south of Cape Clear on the Irish mainland, and turning south east towards the finishing line in France and the comforts of Chantereyne, Cherbourg’s 1,600 berth marina built in 1975, and which is also hosting the 2023 race.
The race starts begin with the multihulls at 11am and is followed by the class40s and by five IRC classes, the sequence for all 355 entrants scheduled to finish by 12.30pm.
Ones to watch out for include George David’s Rambler 88 which won monohull line honours in the past two races as well as Malta’s Middle Sea race. All 19 crew members made it to Britain despite all the Covid travel restrictions.
Frenchman Eric Tabarly’s maxi Pen Duick VI winner of the 1976 OSTAR epic is skippered by his daughter, Marie.
Tim Whittle’s T3 Trifoiler L’Albatros is the smallest at 9.33 metres, and Brits Stuart Childerley and Kelvin Rawlings in Aries, a Sun Fast 3300 are hot contenders for the IRC two handed race.
Largest entrant is Russian oligarch Dmitry Rybolovlev’s Clubswan 125 Skorpios, named after the Greek 74 acre island he bought in 2014, made famous by Greek shipping magnet Aristotle Onassis who married Jackie Kennedy there in 1968.