Schlagwortarchiv für: Fastnet-Race

Dong Feng 04.08.2017

Rolex Fastnet Race 04.08.2017


Dongfeng crew all set to rock and roll in the Fastnet classic

“We are not expecting much time in the bunk at all and when you are in the bunk you have to be ready to get up and manoeuvre,” said Daryl Wislang watch captain on board Dongfeng who won the last edition of the Volvo Ocean Race on Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing.

04.08.2017, Gosport UK – Along with their six rivals in the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race, Dongfeng Race Team will line up for the Rolex Fastnet Race on Sunday which promises to be a thrilling battle between crews preparing for the round-the-world marathon.

The 47th biennial Fastnet forms the second part of the Volvo Ocean Race Leg Zero series and follows a Round the Island (Isle of Wight) sprint on Wednesday. At 603 nautical miles, the Fastnet will be the first chance for the teams to test themselves against each other over several days at sea.

“Going into the Fastnet we are expecting a pretty tight battle between the Volvo Ocean Race fleet,” said Daryl Wislang who knows this will be a hard few days aboard the Chinese red and white Volvo Ocean 65 skippered by Charles Caudrelier and sponsored by Dongfeng Motor Corporation. “The last Volvo Ocean Race involved close racing for each leg and, after sailing 6,500 miles for example, boats were still finishing within 10 minutes of each other. I don’t see why the Fastnet is going to be any different.”

Setting sail from the Royal Yacht Squadron line off Cowes on Sunday at 12.40pm (local time), Dongfeng and her rivals will make their way along the English south coast to Land’s End and then head across the Celtic Sea to the famous Fastnet Rock off the southwest coast of Ireland, before returning to finish at Plymouth.

This year’s race looks likely to feature a long windward stretch for the Volvo Ocean Race boats almost all the way to the Fastnet and then a fast downwind return leg to the finish. Along the way navigators will have their work cut out as the crews make their way past the great headlands of the English south coast, taking care to make the best of the tide.

The Chinese sailor Chen Jinhao, also known as Horace, has no illusions about how hard the Fastnet will be. “It’s not an easy race,” said the 25-year-old from Schen Zhen in China who will sail as bowman on Dongfeng. “Everything will need to be quick and fast and we need to make sure we are making quick and strong decisions.”

He sailed in the last Volvo Ocean Race, when Dongfeng finished third overall, having had to learn the ropes almost from nothing. “This is the first time that I will race in the Fastnet and I am excited to see the famous rock,” he added. “Back then, I didn’t really know what to expect and had to wait for instructions before each move. Now I know exactly what’s coming next and I am more relaxed and I can concentrate solely on doing my best.”

Dongfeng will sail the Fastnet with two female crew in Carolijn Brouwer and Marie Riou. Riou is ready to go. “I am looking forward to getting back out there,” said the four-time Nacra 17 class world champion. “I am really excited to be on the startline on Sunday. It will be my first time on the course and I have heard lots about this race and it looks like the weather will be good,” she added.

Skipper Caudrelier believes the field is quite open and that the Spanish team which won the Round the Island Race, is a tough competitor. “It is completely different from before as even if teams start late, we have four or five teams with great sailors on board. MAPFRE is the big favourite; they have done four or five editions together and have a fantastic spirit which can be a key point. They proved in the Round the Island Race on Wednesday that they are strong.”

This year’s Fastnet, which was first sailed in 1925, features a huge fleet of some 375 yachts sailed by more than 3,000 people from 29 nations with 164 crews from outside Britain.

This is the first year that the race has formed part of the Volvo Ocean Race Leg Zero series – a four-part warm-up for the Volvo Ocean Race proper that starts from Alicante in Spain on October 22nd. Following the Fastnet (ETA August 9th), the Volvo Ocean Race crews will complete two passage races, from Plymouth to St Malo starting on August 10th, and then from St Malo to Lisbon, starting on August 13th.

The Dongfeng Race Team crew for the Rolex Fastnet Race
Charles Caudrelier (FRA, skipper/helm)
Pascal Bidégorry (FRA, tactics)
Daryl Wislang (NZL, watch)
Stuart Bannatyne (NZL, watch)
Jérémie Beyou (FRA, watch)
Carolijn Brouwer (NL, trim)
Marie Riou (FRA, trim)
Jack Bouttell (GBR/AUS, bow)
Chen Jinhao/Horace (CHN, bow)

Akzo Nobel (Netherlands), Simeon Tienpont
Dongfeng Race Team (China), Charles Caudrelier
MAPFRE (Spain), Xabi Fernández
Scallywag (Hong Kong), David Witt
Team Brunel (Netherlands), Bouwe Bekking
Turn the Tide of Plastic (International), Dee Caffari
Vestas-11th hour racing (USA/Denmark), Charlie Enright

Volvo Ocean Race Leg Zero timeline (local time)
2 August, 09:50, Lendy Cowes Week Round the Isle of Wight Race start, Royal Yacht Squadron
5 August, 14:00, Rolex Fastnet Race press conference, RORC
6 August, 12:40, VO65 fleet start for the Rolex Fastnet Race
9 August, ETA in Plymouth, the boats will dock at Mount Batten
10 August, 13:30 Plymouth-Saint Malo start
11 August, 9:00, ETA Saint Malo, fleet in the ‘Bassin Vauban’
12 August, 9:45, Pro-Am race start
13 August, 13:00, Saint Malo-Lisbon start
15 or 16 August: ETA in Lisbon

Each of the four races will be scored equally on a high points scoring system. 1st place/8 points; 2nd/7pts; 3rd/6pts; 4th/5pts; 5th/4pts; 6th/3pts; 7th/2pts



Fastnet-Race 01.08.2017


Can France make it a Rolex Fastnet Race hat trick?

In the last two editions of the RORC’s biennial flagship event from Cowes to Plymouth via southwest Ireland’s most famous rock, French boats have not just won, they have dominated.

For example in the last race in 2015, Géry Trentesaux’s JPK 10.80 Courrier Du Leon won by more than two and a half hours, and, despite racing in IRC Three, beat all of the IRC Two boats on the water. That year seven of the top ten boats overall were French.

It was similar in 2013 when the Rolex Fastnet Race had its first ever doublehanded winner in father and son team, Pascal and Alexis Loisin on their JPK 10.10 Night and Day, beating all the boats, even those sailed fully crewed. That year, 12 of the top 14 boats were French.

This year little has changed. Trentesaux is back, but is instead sailing in the Multihull class on the TS42 catamaran Guyader Gastronomie. This year’s race will be special, marking the 40th anniversary of his first Fastnet race.

The Loisins are returning on Night and Day. They still have their competitive edge, winning IRC Four and finishing third overall in the recent Channel Race. Pascal admits this was the only training they have done together this year. But they have sailed a lot individually: „Alexis did the Figaro and I did a three week holiday on my boat at the beginning of July!“ Alexis is one of France’s leading Figaro sailors. Although he hasn’t won the short-handed one design class‘ effective championship, he has finished in the top 10 in the last seven editions.

Night and Day remains much the same as 2013, although they have been experimenting with off the wind sail configurations. Their latest set-up comprises a short bowsprit from which they fly their masthead Code 0, a longer pole for their symmetric spinnaker and an A5 – one less sail than 2013. Thanks to this, their boat being four years older and having gained 20kg, Night and Day has shed six points of rating.

Battling hard with them will be sistership, Noel Racine’s fully crewed Foggy Dew. His JPK 10.10 finished seven minutes astern of Night and Day on corrected in the Channel Race, and was second to her again overall in the 2013 Rolex Fastnet Race. This year Racine is sailing with around half of the crew he sailed with in 2015 when he finished ninth overall. Ever modest, Racine feels that Night and Day is favourite again this year.

As to why JPK yachts have won the last two races and filled four of the top five places in 2015, Racine believes that it is due to the wide range of set-ups and ratings they have. „You can have an old and heavy boat and if we have light air at the beginning and wind at the end, they can be ahead of us.“

At the other end of the size/speed range, second fastest French boat in the IRC fleet is Bretagne Telecom, a canting keel Mach 45 skippered by Nicolas Groleau, who runs JPS Productions, builder of the Mach 45 and the highly successful Mach 40 of which six are competing in the Class40. This will be Bretagne Telecom’s fifth consecutive Rolex Fastnet Race and in the last two she won the Canting Keel class. However due to lack of numbers, this class has now been incorporated into IRC Zero. Groleau hopes they will see some reaching conditions, where Bretagne Telecom can excel.

As to why French boats do so well, Groleau believes it is due to the production boats the French manufacture: „In medium conditions, production boats with a low rating and a good crew are best. The JPKs are very efficient in these conditions. The English boats are more real racers.“ In this respect, his own boat is more racer-cruiser. „We don’t have cabins. There is no wood inside.“

All three skippers agree on one thing. The main reason for France’s dominance is having two top offshore racing ’schools‘: The Figaro class and the Tour de France à la Voile of old (before it became an inshore event for multihulls).

As Loison observes: „I noticed in 2013 that among the ten first boats, on eight you had one, or several people who had done the Figaro. I only had one – my son!“

Noel Racine agrees: „The Figaro is a very good school for shorthanded offshore racing and very good for offshore racing generally. The Tour de France à la Voile was too – I have several crew who have done that race.“

The Rolex Fastnet Race sets sail from Cowes on Sunday, 6th August with the first start at 1100 BST.

How to follow the race:
All the latest news, race updates, video, photos, blogs from the boats + Live streaming of the starts: Race minisite:
Twitter: @RORCracing – Hashtag #rolexfastnetrace
Coverage on Fastnet TV & Radio: Cowes – 87.7fm, Plymouth – 87.9fm and online
Virtual Regatta – check the race minisite closer to the start to sign up for the game
ENDS/…. James Boyd

Fastnetrace 2017

Fastnet Race 14.06.2017

Rolex Fastnet Race – not just about winning…

While everyone who enters the Rolex Fastnet Race dreams of winning or doing well, the event’s stature as the world’s largest offshore yacht race, means this is often not the only reason for taking part.

Around 400 boats will be on the Cowes start line on Sunday 6th August – the largest ever entry in the 92 year history of the Royal Ocean Racing Club’s biennial ‚classic 600 miler‘.

Among them will be the Swan 57 Equinoccio of Martin Westcott, the first Chilean to sail around the world via Cape Horn. Equinoccio’s participation marks the 10 year anniversary of the last Chilean entry in the Rolex Fastnet Race – the Class40 Desafío Cabo de Hornos. Skipper of that yacht, Felipe Cubillos, became a legend in Chile when he and José Munoz led around Cape Horn in the 2008-9 Portimão Global Ocean Race. Sadly Cubillos subsequently was killed in an airplane accident while attempting to help the people of Juan Fernandez Island following the tsunami of 2010. Racing on board Equinoccio will be Cubillos‘ son, now 24.

Russian Alexander Vodovatov has chartered Quokka 8, the Grand Soleil 43 of former RORC Commodore Peter Rutter. In addition to competing in his second Rolex Fastnet Race, Vodovatov has strong secondary ambitions: „I am doing the race to popularise and develop offshore yachting in Russia. Last year I organised a Russian team to compete in the Rolex China Sea Race.“

Ting Lee’s Shanghai-based team, Noahs Sailing Club, competed in the last two Rolex Sydney Hobarts on board their TP52 Ark 323. Their aim is similar to Vodovatov’s, only in China, explains the team’s Li Yun: „To participate in the Rolex Fastnet Race is on every sailor’s bucket list. Chinese people have never been to this race, because our big boat sailing history is less than 20 years old. Noahs Sailing Club was set up in 2013 as a professional sailing team to promote big boat sailing in China.“ For the race they have chartered EH01, Andy Middleton’s First 47.7.

Several youth teams are competing. Run by James Oxenham and co-skippered by Owen Kinsella and Harry Bradley, Code Zero Racing is a Cowes-based campaign, focussing on both inshore and offshore racing. Crew range in age from 17-22, making it the youngest crew in this year’s Rolex Fastnet Race.

Code Zero Racing will be racing Geoff West’s Reflex 38, Lightning Reflex, on which they are also entered in several other RORC offshores as qualifiers. With James Tomlinson (son of Rick) among the crew, expect some top images to be beamed back from on board.

Another youth team heralds from the Greig City Academy in Hornsey, east London, with the remit of getting inner city school kids afloat. Brainchild of Head of Sixth Form, Jon Holt, Greig City Academy’s sailing takes place on the Frers 45 Scaramouche, once part of the 1983 US Admiral’s Cup team. The campaign has attracted the attention of HRH The Duke of Edinburgh and notables such as Lawrie Smith, who has assisted with coaching.

Among the pupils on board for the Fastnet is Karim Ming, 17: „I have not found the actual sailing part too difficult. I enjoy being on the boat for a prolonged period of time and adapting to situations that spring up. I enjoy it when it’s not cold and night sailing is one of my favourite bits. I miss my sleep though, and I struggle with the watch system, so I would rather sail through the night and then get some sleep afterwards.“ Of the sport he adds: „Sailing concretes my belief in my ability that I can achieve something and that I am resilient.“

For others this year’s race marks a significant birthday or anniversary. For Derek Saunders, back once again on his Farr 60, Venomous, it will be both. „It’s my 13th race, 30 years since my first as skipper in 1987, but it also falls on a landmark birthday!“

Many teams are also taking the opportunity to raise money for charity. Bill Blain returns with his Comet 41S Batfish V fund raising for Sail 4 Cancer and Wessex Heartbeat, having recently had a triple heart bypass operation.

Meanwhile Dream or Two Sailing, owners of Fortissima, are using their Class40 to raise money for the Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation. Through a sister company, Chronyko, which runs immersive training and skills development events, they have also offered a scholarship to 18 year old Cat Hunt, a dinghy instructor from Lake Windermere, with aspirations to become a professional offshore sailor. She will be racing on board during the Rolex Fastnet Race.
„The race is great to get people excited,“ says Martyn Ruks, Director of Dream or Two Sailing of why the Rolex Fastnet Race is a good event for fund raising. „It is on the list of what people want to do and it helps to bring in a non-sailing audience.“

But for many, participating in the Rolex Fastnet Race is simply a chance to be part of this historical yacht race. Take Rickard Bergkvist who is bringing his IMX 40 Foxy Lady all the way from Sweden to compete. „This is my Everest! While I anticipate challenging conditions, I look forward to rounding the Fastnet Rock,“ he says.

The Rolex Fastnet Race will set off from the Solent on Sunday 6 August bound for Plymouth via the Fastnet Rock. For more information on the 2017 Rolex Fastnet Race please go to the race minisite:

ENDS/…. James Boyd