Everything you need to know about the 2021 Rolex Fastnet Race

The Fastnet Rock and its eponymous race is the stuff of legend: read our essential guide, plus some fascinating facts about the classic offshore challenge

The Rolex Fastnet Race is the world’s largest offshore yacht race. Photo: Rolex

The Rolex Fastnet Race is one of the world’s most iconic offshore racing challenges – here’s everything you need to know about the 2021 edition:

  • When does it start? 1230 Sunday, 8 August 2021 at the Royal Yacht Squadron in Cowes.
  • How long is the Fastnet Race? 695 miles, from Cowes to Cherbourg via the Fastnet Rock.
  • Who’s racing this year? A record fleet of more than 450 boats, including Rambler 88, Pen Duick VI and the brand new ClubSwan 125 Skorpios, which is believed to be the world’s fastest monohull.
  • How can I watch? There are several ways to follow the Fastnet Race, from online coverage and tracking services to shoreside spectator events.
  • Who won the 2019 Fastnet Race? Brothers David and Peter Askew and the crew of the Volvo 70 Wizard won on corrected time, finishing within two hours of line honours winner Rambler 88.

17 incredible Fastnet facts

1. Only 7 boats raced in the first edition of the Fastnet Race in 1925. The winner was a gaff-rigged pilot cutter named Jolie Brise.

Jolie Brise, Rick Tominson

The Jolie Brise rounding the Fastnet Rock as part of the Glandore Classic Regatta in Ireland in 2013. Photo: Rick Tomlinson

2. The Fastnet Rock is also known as the ‘teardrop of Ireland’.

3. In 1925, the winner completed the course in 147 hours. Today, yachts are competing to beat the monohull record of 42 hours 39 minutes, set by the Volvo 70 yacht Abu Dhabi in 2011.

Article continues below…


How to follow the 2021 Rolex Fastnet Race

The newly extended 695-mile Rolex Fastnet Race is a true blue riband event and offshore classic, finishing for the first…


Fastnet 2019: Why the course record could be smashed this year

With at least two Ultimes set to take on the Fastnet course this year, Loick Peyron’s 2011 course record could…