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Maxi-monohull match races play out

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Rolex Fastnet Race 2013 - Esimit Europa 2 crew celebrating line honours victory in style. Photo:Rolex/Kurt ArrigoLike the animals in Noah's Ark, the biggest monohulls have spent the last days travelling two by two around the Rolex Fastnet Race course.

Between the pair of 100ft long Maxis - Esimit Europa 2 and Mike Slade's ICAP Leopard - it was the more nimble European maxi that led around the course to claim monohull line honours, finishing at 02:17:49 BST, with an elapsed time of 2 days 12 hours 27 minutes and 49 seconds.

Weighing in at a svelte 27 tonnes, compared to ICAP Leopard's 50, Esimit Europa 2 was the pre-race favourite for monohull line honours win and, after being forced to retire from the 2007 Rolex Fastnet Race in her previous incarnation as Neville Crichton's Alfa Romeo, this time she didn't disappoint. According to her skipper, multiple Olympic medallist Jochen Schümann, the Esimit Europa 2 crew was concerned sailing down the Channel, because the moderate to strong upwind conditions favoured ICAP Leopard. In fact the closest ICAP Leopard got to them was around a mile.

Then, Schümann recounted: "At the Scillies we made a big gain and at the restricted area next to the Fastnet, we split - we went to the west, and then reached around the Rock, while they went east and there they lost quite a bit. We were 15 miles ahead at the Fastnet Rock. From then, it was like a bungie - we stopped, they stopped, etc."

Read more... [Maxi-monohull match races play out]
 

Video: Multihulls Finish

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Newsflash: Imoca 60 - Line Honours for Macif in the 2013 Rolex Fastnet Race

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François Gabart, Skipper of MACIF (FRA), crossed the finish line of the 2013 Rolex Fastnet Race at the Plymouth Breakwater at 07:32:19 on Wednesday, 14th August after an elapsed time of 2 - 19:22:19.

More Race information will follow in our Morning Update.

The Fastnet Rock Rounding times and finishers in the Rolex Fastnet Race will be posted on the official race website here.


 

Class IRC Zero Line Honours go to Bella Mente in 2013 Rolex Fastnet Race

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Hap Fauth, Skipper of Bella Mente (USA), crossed the finish line of the 2013 Rolex Fastnet Race at the Plymouth Breakwater at 07:33:53 on Wednesday, 14th August after an elapsed time of 2 days, 17:43:53.

However, Rán 2 (GBR), skippered by Niklas Zennström, is leading the Class IRC Zero fleet on corrected time by 1m 26s.

More information will follow in our Morning Update.

The rock rounding times and finishers in the Rolex Fastnet Race will be posted on the official race website here.


More information will follow in our Morning Update.

 

Newsflash: Esimit Europa 2 takes Monohull Line Honours in 2013 Rolex Fastnet Race

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2013-rfr-esimit-europa-rolex-df-lowresThe European team, skippered by Jochen Schumann, of Esimit Europa 2, one of the two 100ft monohulls racing in IRC, crossed the finish line of the 2013 Rolex Fastnet Race at the Plymouth Breakwater at 02:17:49BST on Wednesday 14th August with an elapsed time of 60hr 27m 49s.

More information will follow in our Morning Update.
 

Girl power rules as Team SCA moves into the lead in the Rolex Fastnet Race

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Rolex Fastnet Race: The mainly female crew on Team SCA powers onwards. Photo: Rolex/Kurt ArrigoNow downwind, homeward bound back from the Fastnet Rock, the overall IRC leadership has shifted in favour of the bigger boats. With this, there is some excitement sparking up around the Rolex Fastnet Race Village at Plymouth Yacht Haven with the women's Volvo Ocean Race team, Team SCA, moving into first position. This morning the pink VO70 had edged ahead in the IRC Canting Keel class, and this afternoon they have taken the overall lead.

However they are being seriously threatened by the all-male crew led by Ian Walker on Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, currently just over a mile astern of Team SCA. While there are three male coaches sailing on board Team SCA, including Kiwi veteran and multiple Volvo Ocean Race winner Brad Jackson, the rest of the crew is female.

Former Olympian, multiple Laser Radial and Europe World Champion and Volvo Ocean Race sailor, Carolijn Brouwer, is on board, along with British Vendée Globe sailor Sam Davies and Olympic match racer Annie Lush. "We are currently ahead - it is very close, very exciting!" said Brouwer. "We have them [Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing] in sight for the whole night and they are just to windward behind us a little bit. It has been very competitive racing so far."

Brouwer, originally from the Netherlands, who was helming Team SCA at the start, said that although the Rolex Fastnet Race was the team's first official race, for the crew it represented another step in their training for next year's round the world race.

"We are in 9-10 knots of breeze and conditions are very, very tricky," Brouwer continued. "We have been doing a lot of manoeuvres and a fair few changes - we are just focusing on keeping them clean and tidy." They have used being in contact with the Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing VO70 to compare their performance. "Conditions are extremely tricky and it will only get trickier the closer we get to Plymouth. We just need to keep focused and keep chugging along, like we have over the last couple of days and hopefully it will all turn out okay."

At 1600 BST, Team SCA had 120 miles to go and was 27 miles from Bishop Rock to the west of the Scilly Isles.

Read more... [Girl power rules as Team SCA moves into the lead in the Rolex Fastnet Race]
 

Who will win the Fastnet Challenge Cup?

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Rolex Fastnet Race fleet leaving Lands End on the way to the Rock. Photo:Rolex/Kurt ArrigoWith nearly the entire 293 strong IRC fleet stretched across the Celtic Sea, calculating who may win the Fastnet Challenge Cup, after time correction, is a complex conundrum. However with VOR70, Team SCA, rounding the Fastnet Rock in an elapsed time of 37hrs 29min 37sec, we now have a reference point to gauge how the entire IRC fleet is faring.

The two 100 foot Maxis, Esimit Europa 2 and ICAP Leopard, have an estimated finish of Midnight tonight, the two goliaths are wrestling for Monohull Line Honours but an overall win on time correction is also a possibility. Esimit Europa 2 is over 12 miles ahead of ICAP Leopard on the water and is expected to pull away downwind in light airs. It is highly likely that given the present conditions, Esimit Europa 2 will take the gun and in doing so will be leading the race after time correction. Currently the two VO70s, Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing and Team SCA are locked in a private duel but neither is likely to eclipse Esimit Europa 2 after time correction.

Read more... [Who will win the Fastnet Challenge Cup?]
 

A case of quick quick slow for fastest boat in the world

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Night Owls, Winning Crew on Spindrift 2 at finish line of Rolex Fastnet Race. Photo:Rolex/Kurt ArrigoA case of quick quick slow for fastest boat in the world

The world's two fastest offshore racing trimarans had to endure the world's slowest finish in the early hours of this morning in the Rolex Fastnet Race.

Having jockeyed for the lead since leaving the Solent on Sunday, the Dona Bertarelli and Yann Guichard co-skippered Spindrift 2 was ahead past the Lizard in the early hours of this morning, only for the wind to switch off within two miles of the finish. Even the world's largest racing trimaran, with her 47m tall wingmast, was unable to find any wind when it counted.

As she parked, with Plymouth tantalisingly near, Armel le Cleac'h and the crew of the 31.5m trimaran Banque Populaire were able to ghost in. As the navigation lights on the French Vendée Globe hero's maxi-trimaran grew ever bigger, at one point closing to within half a mile, it looked like she might sail around Spindrift 2. However, at the last moment, the frontrunner found the lightest zephyr to ghost across the finish line at 02.53.58 BST.

Due to the upwind and light conditions this year, Spindrift 2's elapsed time of 38 hours 53 minutes and 58 seconds was more than six hours slower than the course record that this same boat managed in the race two years ago.

Despite being so close, it was another 22 minutes 41 seconds before Banque Populaire crossed the line.

Read more... [A case of quick quick slow for fastest boat in the world]
 

Newsflash: Spindrift 2 takes Multihull Division Line Honours in the 2013 Rolex Fastnet Race

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Dona Bertarelli and Yann Guichard, co-skippers of Spindrift 2, a VPLP 131 Trimaran racing in the Multihull Division, crossed the finish line of the 2013 Rolex Fastnet Race at the Plymouth Breakwater at 02.53.58 BST on Tuesday 13th August after an elapsed time of 38hr 53m 58s.

The order of finishers & results from the Rolex Fastnet Race will be posted on the official race website here.

More information will follow in our Morning Update.

 

A close knit Rock rounding led by Spindrift 2

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Spindrift 2 rounding the Fastnet Rock. Photo: Rolex/Kurt ArrigoAn intriguing dust-up is taking place between the world's fastest racing yachts competing in the Rolex Fastnet Race.

After an excellent start, the 40m trimaran, Spindrift 2, led the Multihull division along the south coast of England last night, but earlier this morning off Land's End it was the Sidney Gavignet-skippered MOD70, Oman Air-Musandam, that had moved into the first place, despite being half Spindrift's length. Crossing the Celtic Sea, it was then the turn of the 31.5m trimaran, Banque Populaire, to edge ahead. But at the Fastnet Rock, Spindrift 2, just managed to get her nose in front, rounding at 14.03:08 BST with the Armel le Cleac'h skippered Banque Populaire right on her transom.

"It is a great match," enthused Spindrift 2's co-skipper, Yann Guichard, this afternoon. "Right now, Banque Populaire is just 300m to windward and we are doing the same speed and the same angle."

In theory the bigger boat should be faster, but Guichard says that in the 18-19 knot winds they have, the smaller Banque Populaire benefits from being lighter. "We are too heavy, so it is really close. We gybed first and she gybed just to windward, so it is like a match race - it is definitely not over yet."

Read more... [A close knit Rock rounding led by Spindrift 2]
 
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