Monday, 27 July 2009

About the Fastnet race

The Rolex Fastnet Race, organized by the Royal Ocean Racing Club is one of the world’s classic events. It takes place every two years and was first held in 1925. Every race is a challenge, but the this year is particularly poignant, as it is the 30th anniversary of tragic race of 1979, when a severe storm hit the fleet and many yachts foundered and 15 sailors lost their lives.
The 2009 event takes place on August 9th with our start at 1200 hrs. Each yacht will carry a tracking beacon, primarily for safety reasons, but it also means that you can track progress of the fleet on the internet. Links to the tracking, the RORC Fastnet mini-site and general info on the race can all be found on the right hand side panel.
The course, shown in the picture (click to enlarge), will take us down the western Solent, past the Needles and out into the English Channel. The fleet will pass the many headlands along the south coast of England, providing many tidal challenges, before entering the open ocean and the long leg north west to the Fastnet Rock 6 miles off the South West tip of Ireland. After rounding the famous lighthouse, the return leg to Plymouth is another 260 miles, via Bishop Rock Lighthouse on the South side of the Scilly Isles and the Lizard.
We anticipate it will take us about five days, provided we have reasonable wind – direction is NOT important – we’re not fussy! But this will be a very demanding race and fatigue will be bound to take its toll. We want to do well, but my primary objective it to get everyone around the course safely, and to enjoy ourselves.
As I type, various crew are busy getting things prepared. I’m sorting out the nav (and the blog!), Tracey’s organizing the victualling, Brian’s ordering the pasties and everyone is on strict instructions to stay away from anyone with H1N1 (NOT SWINE!) flu.

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