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One of sailing’s most classic and prestigious events, Fastnet is known as one of the most demanding off shore races to be held in British waters and this time it’s the 50th Anniversary. Taking place every two years, it pits the best racing sailors against each other in some of the trickiest sailing conditions imaginable.
First conceived way back in 1925 as a 608 nm challenge ending in Plymouth, 2021 will see the end point of the race move to Cherbourg, France, bringing this testing course up to nearly 700 nautical miles and the first major change to the course for nearly 100 years.
Seen by many veterans as a number of smaller races encompassed by one big race it has played a large role in the growth of offshore racing and it certainly will put all of your skills to the test.
Starting from Cowes on the Isle of Wight, around 300 boats pass the Needles, heading along the southern coast of England towards the Lizard then around the tip of Land’s End. From there it’s north through Celtic Sea waters towards the Fastnet Rock on the southern tip of Ireland. Once around the Rock, it’s back south wards, round the Scilly Isles then south east across the English Channel towards Cherbourg. During this time, sailors can face strong tidal flows, Traffic Separation Schemes and changeable weather, from gales to light winds, in their bid to win the race. Be prepared for anything, as this race will generally throw it all at you!
*** Please take into consideration when planning your trip that the official dates for this race have yet to be announced. The dates currently listed are based on previous years dates and are, therefore, subject to change. We will update our website with the official dates as soon as they are announced.
Crew will join the boat in Hamble, UK for last minute training and prepping the boat before the race.
There are two options for disembarking: either crew can leave in Cherbourg after the race and celebrations, or they can sail the boat back to Hamble and alight there.
Rolex Fastnet Race
We’ve been racing Escapado since 2018, over the years we’ve optimised her to be safer and more competitive, she has a great sail wardrobe and is competitive. She won ARC racing division in 2022.
Sao Jorge joined our fleet in 2021, she is coded to Cat 0 (Can legally sail anywhere in the world) she meets the highest British yachting safety standards and carries the highest level of safety equipment, she’s not as competitive as Escapado having a smaller sail wardrobe and shallower keel, however, she is an excellent boat to learn on being incredibly stable, spacious and comfortable.
Please take into consideration when planning your trip that the official dates for this race have yet to be announced. The dates currently listed below are based on previous years dates and are, therefore, subject to change. We will update our website with the official dates as soon as they are announced.
One of sailing’s most classic and prestigious events, Fastnet is known as one of the most demanding off shore races to be held in British waters. Taking place every two years, it pits the best racing sailors against each other in some of the trickiest sailing conditions imaginable.
Please check out of FAQ page and find specific answers to common questions for this race program below.
The racing rules specify that 50% of the team have sailed together for 300 miles of racing within the previous 12 months, therefore, we do not require every participant to attend every event in order to meet this requirement, we do strongly recommend that you attend what you can in order to bond with the rest of the team.
30% of the team require this qualification (2 day course), Our skipper is included in these numbers so we require 2-3 other people per boat. This is an incredibly useful qualification to have, not just for racing but for anybody who sails long distance.
Fastnet 21 was a special event for me, for many reasons. Germaine and the team at SRA, completely understood the importance to me, and made the experience one I will always remember.
A well equipped boat, great safety kit, training and support, first class.
If you want to do some serious offshore sailing, I can recommend the Sail Racing Academy wholeheartedly.