Generally considered one of the classic offshore races, ‘Fastnet’ is a difficult contest testing both inshore and offshore skills, boat & crew preparation and speed potential. From its inception, the Fastnet Race has proven highly influential in the growth of offshore racing, and remains closely linked to advances in yacht design, sailing technique and safety equipment.
The Fastnet Race takes place every two years over a course of 695 nautical miles. The race starts off Cowes, on the Isle of Wight on the South coast of England. Leaving ‘The Solent’ through ‘The Needles Channel’, the race follows the Southern coastline of England Westward, before rounding Land’s End. After crossing the Celtic Sea, the race rounds the Fastnet Rock off the Southwest coast of Ireland. Returning on a largely reciprocal course, the race rounds the Isles of Scilly before finishing in Plymouth and from 2021 in Cherbourg, France.
The Fastnet is a challenging race; as it takes place in August, the race is often dominated with a Westerly airstream that are often strong to gale force in strength.
For our Volvo 60’s this race is a perfect match between their strong offshore potential performance and the safety margin offered by the close proximity of land throughout much of this race. For new sailors and those with many years under their belt, the Fastnet offers a high degree of challenge and the excitement of being involved in a major offshore event.