by Pete Green
2017 will see the 47th Edition of the Rolex Fastnet Race. This race is one of the pinnacles of World Offshore Racing and there are only 340 entries available. The Rolex Fastnet Race is a biennial event and gets increasingly more popular after each edition. In 2015, all 300 entries were subscribed in the first 24 minutes. In 2017, an increased 340 places were subscribed in 4 minutes and 24 seconds, just incredible! Successful registration doesn’t mean you have a successful entry however – you must wait to be contacted by the race organisers, the Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) so for the last few days the school has been on tenterhooks waiting to hear if they are in, and they are!!
The Rolex Fastnet Race is 603 nm long, and starts off Cowes in the Solent, and finishes in Plymouth via the Fastnet Rock beneath the south coast of Ireland. It will take approximately 5 days. Entries have come from 28 different countries and include the fastest, the largest, the most technically advanced and also old Classic yachts built over 100 years ago. Greig City Academy will be racing their 1981 ex-Admirals Cup racing yacht ‘Scaramouche’ which they have lovingly restored over the last 2 years. 15 and 16-year-old pupils from the school have been learning to sail and race on this yacht and have just completed their RYA Day Skipper practical course, obviously wearing a lot of thermals in the process!
Jon Holt, Head of 6th form and the leader of the Scaramouche Sailing project has worked hard to devise a programme of training and racing for the pupils and has used the services of Halcyon Yachts to provide experienced Skippers and ongoing technical support. The pupils must race in some qualifying offshore races totalling at least 300 nautical miles preceding the Fastnet Race, to make sure they and their yacht are up to the challenge. Even though they have had their entry confirmed, without the qualifying Mileage the team won’t be able to cross the start line. Qualifiers start in May so they still have a few months to get themselves fit, and race ready!
Halcyon Yachts Ltd is a dedicated international yacht delivery specialist with highly experienced and qualified crew. For more information or to see details of their recent deliveries please visit http://halcyonyachts.com/