WORLD’S LEADING OFFSHORE RACING CLASS HEADS FOR THE ROLEX FASTNET RACE
An extraordinary phenomenon of modern day yacht racing, especially considering their cost and complexity: 40 IMOCAs are due to compete in the next Vendée Globe in 2024.
The majority of these 60 footers, many of them foil-born flying machines, will also be on the July start line of the Rolex Fastnet Race, now part of the IMOCA calendar and counting as qualifying miles for next year’s singlehanded non-stop round the world race. In this year’s historic 50th edition of the Royal Ocean Racing Club’s flagship event, the IMOCAs will race doublehanded (with an extra media crewman).
The IMOCA line-up in the Rolex Fastnet Race will be formidable. At present it includes eight brand new boats (for some the race will be their first ever) and 12 of the 33 competitors from the last Vendée Globe, including all the podium finishers.
Following a start line collision that put him out of the 2021 Rolex Fastnet Race, Vendée Globe winner Yannick Bestaven returns with his new Maître CoQ V, a Verdier design built from 11th Hour Racing’s moulds. Since finishing third in the last Vendée Globe, Louis Burton has acquired the Manuard-designed former L’Occitane en Provence, the most scow-bowed of the last generation IMOCAs. This he has rechristened Bureau Vallée, as all his boats have been since he was youngest skipper in the 2012-13 Vendée Globe.