The Royal Ocean Racing Club's blue riband event, the biennial 608-nautical mile 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."
A Sporting Institution Since 1925
The 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, VO 70's and 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. Satellite tracking of the entire fleet allows shore-based followers to stay informed at every stage of the race.
"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.
For more information about the Royal Ocean Racing Club and the Rolex Fastnet Race, please visit http://www.rorc.org
NOTES TO EDITORS
RORC Event Press Officer:
T: +44 (0) 01983 292 576
M: +44 (0)7880 518 689
RORC Race Enquiries:
Royal Ocean Racing Club
T: +44 (0) 207 518 3131
Royal Ocean Racing Club
T+44 (0)207 493 2248
Rolex Fastnet Race
The biennial Rolex Fastnet Race is open to both monohull and multihull sailing yachts. It has been an established fixture on the ocean racing circuit since 1925. The 608-nautical mile race is a test of strategy and skill with crews encountering challenging tidal currents and changeable weather. The fleet starts from the renowned Royal Yacht Squadron off Cowes in the United Kingdom, races out of The Solent and westward down the English Channel before crossing the often tempestuous Celtic Sea to the Fastnet Rock, and then returning on a reciprocal course to the finish off Plymouth.
Further information on the Rolex Fastnet Race may be found at: http://fastnet.rorc.org/
Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC)
The RORC was formed immediately following the completion of the first Fastnet Race in 1925. Its brief was 'to encourage long-distance yacht racing and the design, building and navigation in which speed and seaworthiness are combined.' The RORC has been a pioneer in the sport, not only organizing offshore racing, but also in developing standards of excellence, particularly in regard to safety issues. It is at the forefront of race management and in the development and administration of rating rules for racing yachts around the world.The principal clubhouse is in St James's Place, London. With over 85 years of proud history, the RORC is a truly international yacht club comprising approximately 3,300 members from 54 different countries. http://www.rorc.org
As "the crown in sailing" for over 50 years, Rolex is proud to be a major force at play behind the sport's finest events, participants and organizations. Today, the Swiss watchmaker is Title Sponsor of some 20 major international sailing events in distinct categories. Its primary associations are with the classic offshore races, select championships and the Maxi class of yachts. Off the water, Rolex participates in the development of yachting through its support of the International Sailing Federation (ISAF), the sport's governing body, and the annual ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards. In patronage of sailing's exceptional individuals, Rolex counts among its Testimonees Danish legend Paul Elvstrom, a four-time Olympic gold medallist, American yachtsman Paul Cayard, a seven-time sailing world champion, six-time America's Cup veteran and two-time Olympian, and Brazilian sailor Robert Scheidt, a two-time Olympic gold medallist who was twice named the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year.
More information about Rolex may be found at www.rolex.com