2021 Rolex Fastnet Race

The second day of the 49thRolex Fastnet Race served to emphasize the difference in speed potential between monohulls and mulitihulls, as the French trimaran Maxi Edmond de Rothschild finished the 695nm race in remarkable time of 1 day, 9 hours, 14 minutes and 54 seconds. Meanwhile, the leading monohull, Skorpios, was rounding the Fastnet Rock, after 1 day 6 hours 38 minutes 43 seconds of racing.

Overnight, the strong winds experienced at the start had eased, but the south-westerly was still gusting 15 – 20 knots in the early morning off Start Point and The Lizard. It has taken the bulk of the fleet much of today to make progress towards Land’s End and the scape into the Celtic Sea.

The hard first 12 hours or so of the 2021 Rolex Fastnet Race really took a toll on the fleet with 79 of the original 330 starters having so far retired.

First held in 1925, the Rolex Fastnet Race is organized by the Royal Ocean Racing Club. Rolex has partnered the event since 2001 and the biennial offshore race is one of the foundations of the Swiss Watchmaker’s six-decade-long association with the sport of yachting. 2021 marks a significant chapter in the race history, with the finish in Cherbourg, France rather than Plymouth, England.

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