The Ultime Maxi Edmond de Rothschild has finished the Rolex Fastnet Race 2021 in Cherbourg, completing the 695nm course in 1d 9h 15m 54s.
The 32m long boat separated from the rest of the fleet in the 49th Rolex Fastnet Race, arriving on Monday at 20:24:54 BST and setting a new record for the race’s new longer course to Cherbourg. As the trimaran arrived at Port Chantereyne, the marina was packed with cheering fans of the team led by co-skippers Franck Cammas and Charles Caudrelier.
After the exciting start in the Solent, the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild led the Rolex Fastnet Race fleet south towards the Channel Islands. Then they tacked further south than their rivals. They did not hit super-high speeds but were faster than their rivals.
“For us it was important to get south to get the shift, it was obvious and we wanted to stay on the left of the fleet. Then we were worried about getting too close to the south of England approaching the Sevenstones [lightship], so we were very happy with what we did. We didn’t make too many mistakes.” -Charles Caudrelier.
As wind has dropped overnight, there are forecasts for under 10 knots of wind. This has left Rolex Fastnet Race fleet competitors struggling in light winds, especially around the Traffic Separation Scheme between Land’s End and the Scilly Isles.
At present nine IMOCAs have rounded the Fastnet Rock. Sam Davies on Initiative Coeur lies behind 11th Hour Racing and ahead of Romain Attanasio. Halfway to Bishop Rock, the boat was in 10-14 knots of unstable wind.
Since the arrival of Maxi Edmind de Rothschild, this morning two more Ultime maxi-trimarans have finished. Yves le Blevec’s Actual arrived in an elapsed time of 1d 18h 41m 22s followed by Thomas Coville’s Sodebo Ultim 3 in 1d 20h 16m 36s.
The next boats due to arrive at Cherbourg later today are the final Ultime, Ultim emotion 2. She was ahead of the leading monohull, the ClubSwan 125 Skorpios who had managed to shake off the lead IMOCA, Apivia, sailed by Charlie Dalin and Paul Meilhat.
At the moment IRC Zero boats are dominating in the IRC leaderboard. The winner of this will ultimately claim the Fastnet Challenge Cup. Despite ClubSwan 125 Skorpios is the run-away leader on the water, the Polish VO70 I Love Poland and the VO65 Sailing Poland who prevail under correct time. I Love Poland rounded the Fastnet Rock at around 2:30 BST this morning followed by Sailing Poland two hours later.
Top British boat in IRC Zero, David Collins’ Botin 52 Tala was approaching the Fastnet Rock holding fifth place in the class.
The two frontrunners of the IRC One have less than 50 miles to go to the Fastnet Rock. Both are making 6.5-7.5 knots. Elliot 44CR Matador sets sail ahead but RORC Commodore James Neville’s HH42 Ino XXX is in a better tactical position to weather.
During the Rolex Fastnet Race, a race that takes place every two years, sailors compete around the Fastnet Lighthouse before heading to the finish in Cherbourg. The race starts in Cowes. This year the Royal Ocean Racing Club has decided to change the finish line, meaning instead of the usual 608nm athletes raced 695 miles.
On Nautical Channel we broadcast the highlights of the Rolex Fastnet Race. Find out here when it will air next in your country.