Rolex Fastnet Race: Rambler 88 claims monohull Line HonoursPlymouth, 9 August 2017
American George David's Rambler 88 arrived in Plymouth to claim monohull line honours. The silver maxi crossed the finish line off Plymouth breakwater at 22:14:21 BST in a time of 2 days 9 hours 34 minutes and 21 seconds. This was more than six hours faster than they had managed in 2015 when they ghosted in just four minutes astern of Jim Clark's 100ft maxi, Comanche. But it was considerably outside of the monohull race record of 1 day 18 hours and 39 minutes, set in 2011 by the Ian Walker-skippered VO70, Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing.
"This was our fourth [Fastnet] race," said George David upon his arrival in Plymouth Yacht Haven. "We have had two that were fairly windy and one with no wind, two years ago, and this one with decent wind but a tough windward-leeward course. 360 miles upwind is a challenge and it is cold, but it is okay. We sailed well and we did a good race. We'll see what happens."
For a lengthy period this morning Rambler 88 appeared set to achieve 'the double' ie win both line honours and overall on handicap. However she has since been displaced from the top spot overall under IRC by the 115ft giant, Nikata and Ron O'Hanley's Cookson 50 Privateer. "You can always hope, but you can never tell, especially when you have boats out there for three or four more days and the weather may change and tomorrow it'll blow harder and they'll come up behind us," observed David.
In 2011, the Rolex Fastnet Race nearly claimed David's life when the keel broke off his 100ft maxi, causing the boat to capsize shortly after rounding the Fastnet rock. David and four others were washed away from their boat and it was only thanks to a near miraculous set of circumstances that they were rescued shortly before dusk. Passing the same area this time David said they had touched base with the Irish rescue services who had saved them six years ago.
"We called the Valentia MSRC, the search and rescue unit for Ireland and had a talk to them on the radio and the Baltimore RNLI. They knew we were there by looking on the tracker. We know those people very well having met them in the dire-est of circumstances. They are wonderful people and it was nice to connect with them."
Aside from the full upwind slog from the start to the Fastnet, there had been a few occasions when the race hadn't gone their way. As David said: "We sailed into a lull on the way up to Ireland. People behind us could see us do that and went the other way. Then coming up the Channel, we went through two squalls with low to no wind, just heavy rain and we didn't move very fast in those." However the park-ups were no way as severe as they had been in 2015.
For David the Rolex Fastnet Race remains a favourite. "We have done four since 2007, and that qualifies it as a favourite race [of ours] but next time would you please make it warmer!" As usual Rambler 88 was bristling with America's Cup and Volvo Ocean Race winners, including many former Team New Zealand and Alinghi crew. A new recruit this time was former Emirates Team New Zealand helmsman Dean Barker, who sailed as watch leader. Although best known for his inshore racing, this is Barker's third Rolex Fastnet Race having previously competed on a Mumm 36 and aboard Hasso Plattner's maxi Morning Glory in 2001.
Barker said that their hopes of securing 'the double' were quashed on the run back from the Scillies. "We felt it slipped away there. We hit a couple of rain squalls and the breeze completely shut down and we got parked up with lightning and all sorts. You know that the others are gobbling up that time." However he enjoyed racing on the powerful maxi. "It maintains really high speed and is really nice to sail. It definitely loads up and you can achieve some high average speeds. Downwind as long as there is some breeze it goes well, because you sail pressed up all the time. As soon as you get down to 8-9 knots it does suffer. And there's a great bunch of guys on board."
Rambler 88's navigator Andrew Cape felt this had been a 'classic' Fastnet Race with the largely westerly conditions. Aside from the hurdles mentioned they also lost out to the boats behind which benefitted from a major right shift allowing them to lay the Fastnet Rock as they crossed the Celtic Sea. "The shift wasn't there for us. We lost about 12 miles there."
The next arrival due is Ludde Ingvall's maxi CQS.
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NOTES TO EDITORS
RORC Race Enquiries:
Nick Elliott, Racing Manager
Royal Ocean Racing Club
T: +44 (0) 1983 295144
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Royal Ocean Racing Club:
Established in 1925, The Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) became famous for the biennial Fastnet Race and the international team event, the Admiral's Cup. It organises an annual series of domestic offshore races from its base in Cowes as well as inshore regattas including the RORC Easter Challenge and IRC National Championship in the Solent
The RORC works with other yacht clubs to promote their offshore races and provides marketing and organisational support. The RORC Caribbean 600, based in Antigua and the first offshore race in the Caribbean, has been an instant success. The 10th edition will take place in 2018. The RORC extended its organisational expertise by creating the RORC Transatlantic Race from Lanzarote to Grenada, the first of which was in November 2014. This year, the RORC Transatlantic Race will finish at Virgin Gorda, BVI as part of the Atlantic Anniversary Regatta
The club is based in St James' Place, London, but after a merger with The Royal Corinthian Yacht Club in Cowes, now boasts a superb clubhouse facility at the entrance to Cowes Harbour and a membership of over 4000
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The RORC has also been a leader in yacht handicap systems and in co-operation with the French offshore racing club, UNCL, created IRC - the principal yacht measurement system for the rating of racing yachts worldwide
The Spinlock IRC rating rule is administered jointly by the RORC Rating Office in Lymington, UK and UNCL Centre de Calcul in Paris, France
The RORC Rating Office is the technical hub of the Royal Ocean Racing Club and recognised globally as a centre of excellence for measurement. For Spinlock IRC rating information in the UK please see: www.rorcrating.com and for IRC rating globally www.ircrating.org
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The Rolex Fastnet Race:
The 605nm Rolex Fastnet Race is organised by the Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) and just 7 boats sailed in the first race in 1925. The race has been sponsored since 2001 by Rolex SA of Geneva and is legendary within the world of ocean racing. The 47th edition of the biennial race will start off the Royal Yacht Squadron line, Cowes, Isle of Wight on Sunday 6th August 2017. It is the largest offshore race in the world and attracts the most diverse fleet of yachts.
ne honours at the 2017 Rolex Fastnet Race. The American Maxi arrived in Plymouth at 22:14 BST on Tuesday 8 August and in an elapsed time of 2 days, 9 hours, 34 minutes and 26 seconds. At the fourth attempt, George David claims his first Rolex Fastnet Race line honours victory.
“We’ve had two windy races, one with no wind and this one was 360-nm upwind,” explained David on arrival in Plymouth. “We’ve wanted line honours since 2007 and have been the bridesmaids the first three times. In 2015 we came in right behind Comanche and thought they may stop. They didn’t and we finished four minutes behind them. This time we did it.”
As Rambler 88 arrived in Plymouth, the second monohull on the water - Ludde Ingvall’s 100-ft Australian Maxi CQS - lay 60-nm from the finish line with the 115-ft Supermaxi Nikata some 5-nm further behind. Meanwhile, the majority of the record-breaking 362-strong fleet had negotiated a little over half of the 605-nm course and were on the approach to the Fastnet Rock on the southern tip of Ireland.
Early on Tuesday morning, Tony Lawson’s British MOD70 Concise 10 sealed multihull line honours in a time of 1 day, 18 hours and 55 minutes.
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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.
For further information on Rolex and Yachting please contact:
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