311 competitors in the 2009 Rolex Fastnet race have all now safely arrived in Plymouth. The classic race has come to a successful close as the remaining crews swapped stories on the dockside a Sutton Harbour before heading back to their home ports. Whether they returned clutching a piece of silverware or not, all competitors in the 608nm race took with them a sense of pride and achievement at completing the course, which this year was tactically challenging and long.
Many competitors were already talking about the next Rolex Fastnet Race and their intention to come back again in two years time. The race is such that it attracts professional sailors as well as first timers and Corinthian teams.
While the previous Rolex Fastnet race is remembered for the course record time being demolished, the only record broken in this year’s running of the Royal Ocean Club’s biennial 608 nautical-mile classic was one relating to competitor patience, as light winds at the start end, combined with powerful spring tides, made for a ‘tactically challenging’ race and one of the longest in recent years. Running from Cowes to Plymouth via the Fastnet Rock, the race again proved it remains one of the world’s most prestigious offshore and highly competitive yacht races. The 300-boat entry limit was reached quickly, attracting boats from a wide spread of nations. The bulk came from the UK and France, but there potent entries from the USA, Hong Kong, Ireland, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands and others coming from as far afield as Chile and Australia.
Irish results as follows: Whisper 5th, Cavatina 100th, Legally Brunette 104th, Black 126th, Galileo 151st and Persistance 194th.
The 2011 Rolex Fastnet Race will commence on August 14th