The start gun will fire on what will be the most significant, historic edition of the world’s largest offshore yacht race. Setting sail from Cowes on Saturday 22nd July 2023 will be the 50th edition of the Royal Ocean Racing Club’s Rolex Fastnet Race.
For a second consecutive occasion, this will finish in Cherbourg-en-Cotentin via a 695 nautical mile course via the Fastnet Rock. Because this is a special edition, complete with celebrations taking place on both sides of the Channel prior to the start and at the finish, it is expected to attract a record-sized fleet. Charter from the U.K. Beneteau First 40 race specialists . Since it began in 1925, the Rolex Fastnet Race has grown to become one of ocean racing’s greatest events and along with the Rolex Sydney to Hobart and the Rolex Middle Sea Race is one of the top three offshore races in the world. The Rolex Fastnet Race takes competitors across 600+ Miles and up to five days battling the wind and tricky tidal conditions to round the Fastnet Rock on the Southern tip of Ireland. Three hundred yachts take part in the bi-annual Fastnet Yacht Race. Fastnet competitors head west down the Solent and out through the Needles, past the major south coast headlands, Anvil Point, Portland Bill, Start Point, and Lands End before rounding the famous Fastnet rock and returning via the Scilly Isles before finishing, at Cherbourg, France. Our yachts have finished top charter yachts in class 2nd First 40 2019 in class and 1st charter yacht by a substantial margin. Our matched full race Beneteau First 40s are berthed at MERCURY MARINA . SFIDA is winner Round the Island Race I.o.W. U.K. 2021 and 2022
The first race, then simply known as the ‘Ocean Race’ and held on a course from Ryde to Plymouth via the Fastnet Rock, took place in 1925 with seven starters. A dinner immediately after the finish resulted in the Ocean Racing Club being established with Lt Cmdr EG Martin, owner of the first race’s winner, Jolie Brise, appointed Commodore.
Since then, top sailors from all over the world have competed in this most famous of the world's 'classic 600 mile offshore races'. The Rolex Fastnet Race was inspired by the Newport-Bermuda offshore race (first held in 1906) and US entries have remained strong. Notable US winners include yacht designer Rod Stephens Snr with Dorade (1931 and 1933); Dick Nye with Carina II (1955 and 1957); innovative designer Dick Carter with Rabbit (1965) and Red Rooster (1969); CNN founder Ted Turner's Tenacious which won the infamous 1979 race; and, most recently, David and Peter Askew on Wizard (2019).
The race has always attracted a powerful entry from the continent and especially France, with the great Eric Tabarly winning on board Pen Duick III in 1967. As France has come to dominate all walks of offshore racing, so four of the last 10 races have been won by their yachts.