Rolex extends Fastnet Race backing
The Royal Ocean Racing Club's biennial Fastnet Race, will be supported by Swiss watchmaker Rolex for a further five editions - until 2021. The highly successful partnership stretches back to 2001.
"We are delighted with the continuation of our association with Rolex," said RORC Commodore Mike Greville. "Our relationship with Rolex is a true partnership and in the past 11 years, we have seen the Rolex Fastnet grow in international stature, strength and popularity. Together with Rolex, we look forward to further developing one of the toughest challenges in offshore yacht-racing for the benefit of the participants and spectators alike."
The Rolex Fastnet Race has been a sporting institution since it was first held in 1925 and the title sponsorship of Rolex over the past six editions has raised the race's profile even higher. In the previous two editions, the limit of 300 boats was reached within a few weeks of the entry process opening. Coping with burgeoning demand and ensuring the interests of all competitors are properly catered for have been priorities for both the Royal Ocean Racing Club and Rolex.
RORC has introduced a fully automated online entry and crew management system to simplify and speed up the formal registration in procedure. Classes such as the IMOCA 60s, VO70s and maxi-multihulls are treated separately from the main fleet to maximise room within the 300-place entry limit. At the finish in Plymouth, a purpose-built race village in the historic Barbican area, offers crews all the facilities required on completing a race of this nature, while helping expose the Rolex Fastnet Race to a wider public audience.
"Our ambition for future editions of the Rolex Fastnet is to continue to improve the experience in every way possible for competitors before and after the race, while leaving it to the weather and to chance to enhance the thrill of the competition itself," said Commodore Greville. "We also aim to enhance reporting of the action so friends, family and the public have access to all the information they need and want, in the manner deserving of this great sporting occasion."
The next Rolex Fastnet Race will start on Sunday, 11 August 2013 from the Royal Yacht Squadron in Cowes. Entries for the race open in January 2013.