SOME OF THE WORLD’S GREAT FAST YACHTS COMING TO COWES IN 2021 AND 2022 – Island Echo

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In 2021, more than 450 yachts take part in the 49th edition of the Rolex Fastnet Race, the flagship biennial event of the Royal Ocean Racing Club. This number of entries confirms the race’s position as the largest offshore yacht race in the world.

This race leaves Cowes on August 8, to regain its initial position on the Sunday following Cowes Week, but with a new port of arrival in France. From Cowes, boats descend the south coast, between the Isles of Scilly and Land’s End, then cross the Celtic Sea to Fastnet Rock in southwest Ireland. The fleet returned bypassing Bishop Rock, west of the Isles of Scilly before taking a new course via Alderney, then towards the French arrival.

This change of destination of the Rolex Fastnet Race was carried out by the RORC as the Port Chantereyne de Cherbourg is better able to accommodate the huge race fleet and finishing the race in France is also very appropriate given that France is the first nation in the world for this kind of race. .

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However, since the restrictions on crews entering a different country from the start of the race to the finish, the RORC and French agencies have ensured that French boats can register in Cherbourg, come to Cowes for the start, without disembarking, racing and returning to France without isolation. Likewise, GB competitors can start the race but not land in France. Plans however, as for so many affected by the pandemic, may change and organizers are hoping that by August 8, crews can land in another country without a problem as they have done in the past.

As always, the range of competing yachts is very diverse. Within the IRC fleet are some of the largest and fastest maxi yachts, such as the Rambler 88 of reigning line monohull champion George David, which is expected to benefit from stiff competition from the all-new Swan this year. 125 Skorpios with foils. They will be followed on the course by several former VO70, 65 and 60 Volvo Ocean Race alumni.

In addition, the Rolex Fastnet Race sets itself apart by hosting the impressive classes of the French Grand Prix, thanks to the race’s proximity to Brittany where many are based. These include the fastest offshore racing yachts in the world, the 30m long flying Ultimate trimarans. Among them, big names like the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild, skippered by the winners of the Volvo Ocean Race Franck Cammas and Charles Caudrelier and the Actual Ultim 3 of Yves le Blevec (ex MACIF of François Gabart, currently holder of the record for the round the world solo nonstop).

Well represented, the 60-foot IMOCA, reputed to have competed in the Vendée Globe. Among the entries are the “2” winner of this year’s Vendée Globe: Charlie Dalin’s Apivia, which first hosted Les Sables d’Olonne but was finally beaten when Yannick Bestaven on Maître CoQ received compensation in time earlier in the race. Two boats have been entered by 11th Hour Racing, including a newly launched example for Charlie Enright who skippered Wizard, the overall winner of the 2019 Rolex Fastnet Race and Briton Alex Thomson is back with a recently refitted Hugo Boss.

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Fast forward a year to August 2022 and once again the waters off Cowes will see more of these impressive boats in the Sevenstar Round Britain & Ireland Race 2022.

Confirming their continued support for the toughest event on the RORC racing calendar, longtime partner Sevenstar Yacht Transport is one of the leading Dutch yacht transport and logistics companies. The Sevenstar Round Britain & Ireland Race 2022 is their fifth consecutive title sponsor of the race; a partnership that dates back to 2006.

Chris Stone, RORC Race Director, says:

“As organizers, we are delighted to have this lasting partnership with Sevenstar Yacht Transport.

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“At 1,805 nautical miles, the course is two and a half times longer than the Rolex Fastnet Race and it takes competitors through a myriad of different conditions, with the crews facing a lot of elements.

The Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race 2022 will feature a wide variety of sailboats racing under the IRC scoring rule as well as one-design and open classes, such as IMOCA, Class40 and multihulls. Most of the fleet will race with a full crew, but with the popularity of the Two-Handed class in recent years, the race should set a record.

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