The starting signal for the 2017 Rolex Fastnet Race will sound in front of the Royal Yacht Squadron’s magnificent clubhouse in Cowes (UK) on Sunday 6 August.
The Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC), race founder and organizer of the Rolex Fastnet Race, has said that the fleet that will contest the 2017 edition looks set to be the largest and most diverse in offshore racing history. The facts unanimously back up the statement.
The near 400 yachts registered for the 47th running of the legendary 605-nm race represent a record number of participants. Crews will hail from 29 nations, another landmark figure. From multihull to monohulls, cutting-edge design to classic, professional racers to Corinthian-crewed, 115-feet to 30-feet, the fleet of competing yachts reflects the full scope of the sport.
Offshore racing is currently enjoying a wave of popularity. On its opening in January, the Rolex Fastnet entry list was filled within an incredible 4 minutes, 24 seconds. This popularity extends beyond northern Europe; the biennial Rolex Fastnet forms part of a triumvirate of 600-nm offshore races partnered by the Swiss watchmaker, which includes October’s 606-nm resurgent Rolex Middle Sea Race and the irrepressible, iconic 628-nm Rolex Sydney Hobart starting on 26 December.
‘A Portrait of the Rolex Fastnet Race’
It takes courage, determination and endeavour to finish these fabled challenges; prevailing as overall race winner is considered confirmation of true sailing achievement. The democratic nature of offshore racing ensures that whoever is crowned winner of the 2017 Rolex Fastnet Race in Plymouth on Friday 11 August will be determined not by whomever has the most resources, but by how skilfully and effectively those resources are employed in the prevailing weather conditions.