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Plymouth, 11 August 2017. Success in sport requires considerable determination and perseverance; they in turn require a goal to fuel them. In the case of French yachtsman, Didier Gaudoux, his dream was to win the Rolex Fastnet Race. It was an ambition conceived in the late 1970s, when he made his first forays as an offshore sailor, and nurtured during the subsequent four decades. It was one which eventually inspired him to ask the design studio Joubert-Nivelt to build a yacht to ‘win the Rolex Fastnet Race’. Ambition became reality earlier today when Gaudoux’s JND 39 Lann Ael 2 was confirmed as the overall winner of the 47th Rolex Fastnet. Reward for this momentous success came in the form of the Fastnet Challenge Cup and a Rolex timepiece awarded during today’s final prize giving in Plymouth.

Lann Ael 2 becomes the third French yacht in as many editions of the biennial race, organised by the Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) and partnered by Rolex since 2001, to claim outright victory on IRC handicap. Not since the 1950s has a single country enjoyed such an impressive run of success at this legendary, punishing offshore challenge. Ahead of this year’s edition – one which welcomed a record-breaking 362 yachts from 29 countries – Gaudoux left no stone unturned in his pursuit of success; from commissioning important modifications to his yacht to seeking the advice of a certain Géry Trentesaux, a friend and the triumphant skipper of the 2015 race.

成功への願い

“Winning this race is the fulfilment of a dream since I was a child. The Rolex Fastnet is the offshore race par excellence. To win overall is incredible,” explains Gaudoux. “Before the race we were positive but not confident. We have been lucky. The conditions suited the boat. We were well-prepared, rigorous in our organisation, attentive and, as a team that sails together a lot, have great solidarity.” Tactical intelligence, excellent teamwork and making the most of the prevailing meteorological conditions are all factors which unite Rolex Fastnet winners.

Gaudoux began to afford himself a few fleeting thoughts about winning the race when his yacht approached the Isles of Scilly following an excellent downwind leg from the Fastnet Rock, the race’s emblematic landmark and psychological halfway mark, recalling: “We were surprised to have big boats around us, a good sign.”

Gaudoux’s crew is comprised of amateur sailors including his son Thomas and daughter Coralie as well as experienced offshore yachtsmen like navigator Frederic Duthil and tactician Christian Ponthieu. “I was very demanding of the crew and they responded perfectly. It was an intense race.” Having won the Rolex Fastnet, Gaudoux, 59, has already set his sights on one day sailing another legendary 600-nm offshore race, the Rolex Sydney Hobart.

Fantastic fleet
When the international fleet at the Rolex Fastnet Race set off from Cowes on Sunday 6 August, a new record was set. 362 yachts represented a record number of entrants for the 92-year old race. Impressive in size, stunning in diversity.

Concise 10, a MOD70, skippered by emerging British sailor Ned Collier Wakefield and including Olympian Giles Scott as crew, was the race’s fastest yacht claiming multihull line honours in 42 hours, 55 minutes. The start in Cowes and passage along the Solent made a lasting impression on Collier Wakefield, sailing in his home waters. “It was the best start I’ve ever seen. We’ll definitely be back for more editions of the race.”

成功への願い

Monohull line honours was a contest between three yachts of very contrasting designs. Leading from the start, George David’s potent, all-out racer, Rambler 88 prevailed in an elapsed time of 57 hours, 34 minutes but over 15 hours outside the race record set in the blustery 2011 edition. That same race witnessed David’s previous yacht, Rambler 100, lead the monohull fleet until she capsized in the Celtic Sea. Thanks to the presence of a photo boat and the efforts of the Irish coastal services all 21-crew were rescued safely. His other two attempts at the race were defined by gallant second place finishes. Like Gaudoux, David has fulfilled a long-held ambition. “We have wanted line honours since 2007 and have been bridesmaids three times. I thought we had a good chance at the start of the race and this time we did it.”

成功への願い

Finishing nearly five hours behind Rambler was Ludde Ingvall’s cutting-edge and hugely experimental 100-ft Australian Maxi CQS. The imperious 88-tonne Supermaxi Nikata, third fastest monohull, set a record of her own. At 115-ft she became the largest yacht of her kind to feature in the race. Her crew included Peter Burling, winning skipper at the recent America’s Cup and curious to experience this legendary race for the first time. “It was cool going around the Fastnet Rock in the dawn,” a personal highlight for the New Zealander.

成功への願い

The Rolex Fastnet Race is also defined by ‘races within the race’. A fleet of seven Volvo 65s engaged in Leg Zero of their upcoming round the world race. These one-design boats shadowed each other throughout with Dongfeng Racing Team from China eventually defeating Mapfre of Spain by a mere 54 seconds. SMA was the best performing of the nine double-handed IMOCA 60s and amongst the various IRC division winners was the father and son duo of Pascal and Alexis Loison on Night and Day who took their class, ahead of many fully-crewed yachts, along with the double-handed trophy. Historic yet unexpected overall race winners in 2013, the Loisons returned this year with a score to settle, particularly, in the double-handed division. “Two years ago (in 2015) we lost by 14 seconds. This year we were determined to win,” explains Alexis Loison.

成功への願い

Crews competing in the event for the first time included those from as far a field as Chile and China as well as several teenagers from the Greig City Academy, an inner-city London school. Sailing onboard Scaramouche, they have been given the chance to make their first steps in sailing as part of their educational curriculum. Reflecting on the experience, 17-year old Camilo Orobio reveals: “During school time, they tend to teach you things you need in further life. But with sailing, we've learnt that those things you actually learn can come into practice in real life.”

成功への願い

Coming from further afield were an experienced crew who lovingly reintroduced the Sparkman & Stephens designed Kialoa II, a thoroughbred yacht in its time, back to offshore racing after a four-decade absence. “We’ve sailed halfway round the world since we’ve had the boat,” explained Patrick Broughton, co-owner. “All that time I have been looking forward to the Rolex Fastnet Race and rounding the rock and coming back into Plymouth.” The crew of Kialoa IIcounts sailors with vast offshore racing experience including some 162 Rolex Sydney Hobarts between them. “As far as rounding the rock was concerned we were both lucky and unlucky,” added Broughton. “We were lucky because we ended up sailing around the rock in daylight, but unlucky as we were hoping to be there a bit earlier, in the dark. The scene was spectacular with the moon still up.”

成功への願い

By the final prizegiving at 18:30 BST, 299 of the 362-strong fleet had finished the race, 27 had retired and 36 were still attempting to finish. 

Participating in the Rolex Fastnet is a significant undertaking, requiring considerable organisation, preparation and commitment together with profound personal sacrifices. This, even before the race starts. The Rolex Fastnet itself is an unpredictable challenge, each edition unique and defined by its own complex weather patterns, fleet make-up and evolution of the contest. As Gaudoux, the winning skipper of the 2017 race, explains: “Before the race I told my crew: ‘Who wins is not the best, but who has the most desire to win’. We had a great desire to win.” Whether aiming to win the race or simply to cross the finish line in Plymouth, this unrelenting and single-minded desire to confront one of the world’s most renowned and compelling offshore races was shared by the 2,700 sailors, Corinthian and professional, who started the 47th edition.

成功への願い

PROVISIONAL RESULTS 2017 ROLEX FASTNET RACE

 

Overall Winner on IRC handicap

  1. Lann Ael 2 (FRA), Didier Gaudoux 
    Fastnet Challenge Cup and Rolex timepiece
  2. Privateer (USA), Ron O'Hanley
  3. Lady Mariposa (GBR), Daniel Hardy

 

Monohull line honours

Rambler (USA), George David
57 hours, 34 minutes

 

Multihull line honours

Concise 
(GBR), Tony Lawson
42 hours, 55 minutes 

All class results from the Rolex Fastnet Race can be found 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.

ABOUT ROLEX 
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.

 

MEDIA CONTACTS
Virginie Chevailler
Rolex SA
virginie.chevailler@rolex.com
+41 22 302 26 19


Giles Pearman
Quinag
giles@quinagcommunication.com
+41 79 763 37 34

 

ROLEX YACHTING PRESS ROOM
Click Here

ROLEX YACHTING PRESS KIT
Click Here

OFFICIAL WEBSITE
www.rolex.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.

ABOUT ROLEX 
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.

 

MEDIA CONTACTS
Virginie Chevailler
Rolex SA
virginie.chevailler@rolex.com
+41 22 302 26 19


Giles Pearman
Quinag
giles@quinagcommunication.com
+41 79 763 37 34

 

ROLEX YACHTING PRESS ROOM
Click Here

ROLEX YACHTING PRESS KIT
Click Here

OFFICIAL WEBSITE
www.rolex.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.

ABOUT ROLEX 
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.

 

MEDIA CONTACTS
Virginie Chevailler
Rolex SA
virginie.chevailler@rolex.com
+41 22 302 26 19


Giles Pearman
Quinag
giles@quinagcommunication.com
+41 79 763 37 34

 

ROLEX YACHTING PRESS ROOM
Click Here

ROLEX YACHTING PRESS KIT
Click Here

OFFICIAL WEBSITE
www.rolex.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.

ABOUT ROLEX 
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.

 

MEDIA CONTACTS
Virginie Chevailler
Rolex SA
virginie.chevailler@rolex.com
+41 22 302 26 19


Giles Pearman
Quinag
giles@quinagcommunication.com
+41 79 763 37 34

 

ROLEX YACHTING PRESS ROOM
Click Here

ROLEX YACHTING PRESS KIT
Click Here

OFFICIAL WEBSITE
www.rolex.com