Rolex to sponsor Fastnet Race

127 entries to date include Catherine Chabaud's Open 60 Whirlpool

Wednesday June 27th 2001, Author: James Boyd, Location: United Kingdom
Montres Rolex SA, already one of the major players in yacht racing sponsorship has announced that it will be extending its portfolio to include the Royal Ocean Racing Club's prestigious Fastnet Race. The agreement with the RORC extends to the next three runnings of this bi-annual classic.
Peter Rutter, Commodore of the RORC, commented: "We are very pleased to have Rolex partnering us in this event. It is the first time in the history of the Fastnet that it has been sponsored. Rolex shares our aim for keeping the profile of this famous race as high as possible and to maintain its status among the elite of international offshore races."

The timing of the Fastnet will dovetail perfectly with Rolex's other international yachting event in UK waters, the Rolex Commodores' Cup, which takes place biennially in even years (the Fastnet is in odd years) and is also organised by the RORC. This year's Rolex Fastnet Race starts off from the Royal Yacht Squadron, Cowes on 12 August at 1600.

The histories of the RORC and Fastnet Race are inextricably linked, both having had their roots planted in August 1925, when the first race (won by Jolie Brise, the 56 ft Pilot Cutter owned by George Martin, a founder member of the RORC) was held. Since that time the Fastnet has been the flagship race for the Club, encapsulating its ideals of promoting deep water, offshore racing not only in and around Britain, but also internationally. Originally it formed the backbone of the Admiral's Cup until it was decided that many of the boats taking part were inappropriate for this offshore event.

The course remains the same as ever: approximately 608 miles long, from the Royal Yacht Squadron start line at Cowes on the Isle of Wight, westward down the English Channel, across open sea to the south-west corner of Ireland and the Fastnet Rock. From there after rounding the Scilly Isles to port, the fleet returns to the English mainland, finishing at Plymouth.

230-250 yachts are expected to take part and to date 127 have entered. Among them are Catherine Chabaud's Open 60 Whirlpool, Gianni Agnelli's black maxi Stealth and Hasso Plattner's maxi Morning Glory. Also expected are a few Volvo Ocean 60s.

Entry List on page 2....

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