Chilly departure

13 doublehanded Minis set sail from Plymouth on the UK Fastnet 6.50

Sunday May 18th 2008, Author: Robin Price, Location: United Kingdom
In stark contrast to last weekend's start of the Artemis Transat, when sunshine and a mini heat wave engulfed Plymouth. This Saturday, for the start of the UK Fastnet 6.50, grey cloud and drizzle was the order of the day, the only similarity was the noticeable absence of wind.

Hosted by The Royal Western Yacht Club and sponsored by Barratt Homes, the third running of UK Fastnet 6.50 is open to all Mini Class boats, both Production and Prototype, the event is a double-handed race from Plymouth around the Fastnet Rock and back.

The light wind though, didn’t deter the 13 competitors who made the start, from putting on a fighting display crossing the line on the western side of Plymouth Sound. Heading into the light six to seven knots of wind, they beat to a windward mark set up a mile to the east, before hoisting genakers and heading for the western approach and open water.
Despite the vast majority of the boats being French entries, the first boat to round the light on the end of Plymouth’s breakwater was Britain’s Hugh MacGregor on Autograph. By the time he did so, just 30 minutes after the start, the fleet was already strung out across nearly a mile. 
The boats will now be heading for towards the Isles of Scilly 90 miles away, where they must also leave the Bishop Rock Lighthouse to starboard, after which the course runs 160 miles to the Fastnet Rock. The return course is via the exact same route, and the competitors are expected to take four days to complete the 500 miles.
Race Director and Commodore of the Royal Western Yacht Club, Chris Arscott, said: “Given the light conditions it was a good start - as regards the event as a whole, all the competitors are over the moon with the organisation here. And, as well as continuing with this race, they are very supportive of us holding one of the Classes flagship races to the Azores in the near future.”
Last year the club introduced trackers for all the boats as, not only are the devices extremely useful to manage a race of this type, their up to date and accurate information makes following the competitors progress on the race web site very exciting. This year the models being used are much improved and are in fact the same models used in last years RORC organised Fastnet Race.


Hull no Boat Crew 1 Crew 2
158 AUTOGRAPH Hugh McGregor Neil McGregor
219 GROUPE SETEC Matthieu Galland Philippe Prat
348 REGION NORD PAS DE CALAIS Pierre Brasseur Timothy Serraz
440 RATTLE & HUM Keith Willis Steve Homewood
433 NETCARRIER Brian Caldwell Linda Pasquariello
446 KOATI Emmanuel Renaud Armelle Gegaden
463 BLUE GIN Fabien Baetz Eva Strasser
498 RACKAM LE ROUGE Olivier Lardeur Michel Sastre
517 WWW.DEFERLES.COM Sebastien Marssett Thibault Reinhart
529 BLACK MAMBA Clement Baetz Guillaume Le Masson
590 MINISKIRT Joe Radmore Andy Freemantle
618 CAP MONDE Olivier Auram Loic Auram
685 TOUD SUITE Cecile Hoffart Andre Wood
711 MARE.DE Jorg Riechers Andraz Mihelin

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