Plymouth, 8 August 2017. Arriving in Plymouth at 05:55 BST and a little over ten hours outside of the current multihull line honours, the MOD70 Concise 10 became the first yacht to complete the 2017 Rolex Fastnet Race. Having led the record-breaking fleet throughout the entire race, Concise 10’s quest to arrive first over the finish line was never in jeopardy.
“It was one of the easier Rolex Fastnets I’ve done,” revealed British skipper Ned Collier Wakefield on arrival in Plymouth. “The record wasn’t on with the forecast, it was upwind all the way to Land’s End. We had a nice rounding of the Fastnet Rock and gybed straight afterwards heading back along the Irish coast to find a bit more pressure and then had a great night bombing along at 35 knots in pretty flat water.”
Despite not setting a new multihull record, Collier Wakefield thoroughly enjoyed the experience. “The Rolex Fastnet Race is such an iconic race. It’s something we’ve grown up around and between us we’ve done multiple editions. The start in the Solent was the best I’ve ever seen. We’ll all come back for many more.”
The next arrival in Plymouth is not expected until the early hours of Wednesday morning with George David’s American yacht Rambler 88 set to be confirmed as the fastest monohull. David is chasing his first line honours crown having twice finished a close second in 2007 and 2015. Rambler 88 is currently 40-nm ahead of her nearest rival, Ludde Ingvall’s CQS and approximately 133-nm from the finish. Despite making good progress back across the Celtic Sea, Rambler 88 is expected to hit lighter conditions as she negotiates the approach to the Scilly Isles before the final leg to Plymouth.
Rambler 88 rounded the Rock at 03:51 on Tuesday morning with the 100-ft Australian Maxi CQSfollowing at 06:10 and Nikata, at 115-ft the largest ever monohull to compete in the race, some 30 minutes later. Shortly afterwards, SMA was the first of the nine IMOCA 60s and Dongfeng Racing Team the fastest of the seven Volvo 65s to round.
On the reaching to the Rock this morning, CQS’s Chris Dickson reported: “We had a great night onboard. We’ve got Nikata tucked away safely behind us, we have the Fastnet rock directly ahead, the sun is about to come up and we’re ready to put the spinnaker up and go for home.”
Some 362 yachts started the 2017 Rolex Fastnet Race, and the majority are currently making steady progress across the Celtic Sea towards the Fastnet Rock. At 13:00 today there had been 19 retirements.
Follow the Rolex Fastnet Race fleet at www.rolexfastnetrace.com
A NATURAL AND SUPPORTIVE PARTNER
Rolex has always sought to associate with activities that, like itself, are motivated by passion, excellence, precision and team spirit. Naturally, Rolex gravitated toward the elite world of sailing, forming an alliance that dates back to the late 1950s. Today, Rolex is Title Sponsor of some 15 major international events. From leading offshore races, such as the Rolex Sydney Hobart and the biennial Rolex Fastnet Race, through to the highest-level grand-prix competition at the Rolex TP52 World Championship, spectacular gatherings at the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup and the Rolex Swan Cup, as well as its close relationships with the most prestigious yacht clubs around the world such as the New York Yacht Club (US), the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda (Italy) and the two clubs at the very heart of the Rolex Fastnet Race, Rolex has established an enduring relationship with pinnacle of yachting.
Race organizer the Royal Ocean Racing Club (London/Cowes, UK), was founded in 1925 immediately after the conclusion of the first Fastnet Race. The club has long been a pioneer and innovator, not only organizing and promoting offshore racing activities, but also in developing standards of excellence, particularly in issues of safety. The Royal Yacht Squadron (Cowes, UK), an exclusive and active club, celebrated its bicentenary in 2015 and has enjoyed a close partnership with Rolex since 1983. In recognition of its privileged relationship, and to mark the 200-year anniversary, Rolex presented the Squadron with a unique clock that does more than simply tell the time – it gives details about the state of the tide and barometric pressure: essential information for race officers and sailors alike.
Rolex, the Swiss watch brand headquartered in Geneva, enjoys an unrivalled reputation for quality and expertise the world over. Its Oyster and Cellini watches, all certified as Superlative Chronometers for their precision, performance and reliability, are symbols of excellence, elegance and prestige. Founded by Hans Wilsdorf in 1905, the brand pioneered the development of the wristwatch and is at the origin of numerous major watchmaking innovations, such as the Oyster, the first waterproof wristwatch, launched in 1926, and the Perpetual rotor self-winding mechanism invented in 1931. Rolex has registered over 400 patents in the course of its history. A truly integrated and independent manufacturing company, Rolex designs, develops and produces in-house all the essential components of its watches, from the casting of the gold alloys to the machining, crafting, assembly and finishing of the movement, case, dial and bracelet. Rolex is also actively involved in supporting the arts, sports, exploration, the spirit of enterprise, and the environment through a broad palette of sponsoring activities, as well as philanthropic programmes.
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