50th Rolex Fastnet Race – Notice of race

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Rolex Fastnet Race


With one week to go until the all-important registration date for the 50th Rolex Fastnet Race, its organiser, the Royal Ocean Racing Club, has published the event Notice of Race.

In addition to the broad details of the event, the NoR includes its full schedule from registration opening at 1200 UTC (1300 French time) on Wednesday, 11 January, to the start date of Saturday 22 July when the first warning signal will be at 1200 BST.

The start will be preceded by a skippers briefing and press conference on Friday 21 July, with a crew presentation and show taking place for French competitors in the Cherbourg race village on Thursday 20 July at the same time as a crew party will be taking place in Cowes.

At the finish in Cherbourg there will be a presentation for the faster ‘pro’ classes, followed by a crew party and ‘Happy Hour’ on Tuesday 25 July, while the main prize-giving will take place on Friday 28 July.

The RORC advises that since this year’s race will take place prior to Cowes Week, there is far greater opportunity to book a berth or a mooring and arrive early to enjoy the pre-start ambience and festivities. Overseas entries, and especially those from France, are advised that there is free berthing in Cherbourg for a week prior to the start.

Prior to registration opening on 11 January, competitors are advised that the RORC has a new race entry system called SailRaceHQ (www.sailracehq.com) and they should set up their accounts afresh on this as data held currently in the existing Sailgate system will not be migrated across.

Based on recent experience, places in the race are expected to be filled within minutes of registration opening, with late comers going on to a waiting list. However, it should be noted that, as usual, RORC members will be given priority entry and a discounted entry fee, although this applies only to boat owners and skippers who are members.

The ‘pro’ classes (ie IMOCA; Class40; Figaro 3; Ultim and Ocean 50) as well as the multihull classes have until 14 April to sign up.

The Rolex Fastnet Race remains by far the world’s largest offshore yacht race. This is largely because of it being open to the complete cross section of the sailing community; from first timers, family, club and sailing school teams, to IRC racers, doublehanders and multihulls, to the ‘pro’ classes. It offers the unique experience of amateurs being on the same starting line as some of the sport’s most high profile teams and crews.