HomeFastnet RaceThe IMOCA Class in the Rolex Fastnet

The IMOCA Class in the Rolex Fastnet

The IMOCA Class is taking on this year’s Rolex Fastnet Race in force, with up to 14 boats expected on the startline. The 49th edition of this historic biennial race which starts from the Solent on Sunday, is not just a great opportunity for two-handed IMOCA crews to battle against each other, it has also been designated an official qualifier for this autumn’s Transat Jacques Vabre.

The IMOCA fleet includes some of the latest foilers – among them HUGO BOSS (Alex Thomson and Ollie Heer) and ARKÉA PAPREC (Sébastien Simon and Yann Elies)- and a good selection of older models including 11th Hour Racing (Simon Fisher and Justine Mettraux), FORTINET – Best Western (Romain Attanasio and Sébastien Marsset), and Groupe APICIL (Damien Seguin and Benjamin Dutreux).

Also on the startline will be the 2021 Vendée Globe winner Yannick Bestaven on board MaÎtre CoQ IV who is tackling the race alongside the 57-year-old legend Roland “Bilou” Jourdain.

This year’s Fastnet is unique in that, for the first time in it’s history, the Royal Ocean Racing Club, has changed the course of its most famous race. Instead of finishing at Plymouth after rounding the iconic Fastnet Rock off the southwest corner or Ireland, the fleet will head this time to Cherbourg.

This lengthens the traditional 601-nautical mile course by 15%, to 695 miles and introduces new challenges in the final stretch. Among them are crossing the Channel and the shipping lanes, dealing with the Casquets Traffic Separation Scheme and the Alderney Race and, finally, tackling the approach to the finish off Cherbourg that just might see the fleet battling light airs and heavy current.


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