Rolex Fastnet Race


© ©Rolex/Kurt Arrigo
© RORC/Paul/Wyeth
© Maxime Horlaville / polaRYSE
© Paul Wyeth
© Maxime Horlaville / polaRYSE
© Maxime Horlaville / polaRYSE
© Guillaume Evrard / IMOCA
© Guillaume Evrard / IMOCA
© Guillaume Evrard / IMOCA
Start date


Distance605 milles (1 120 km)
Race trackCowes - Plymouth, UK via the Fastnet Rock
Race directorChris Stone
IMOCA reference timeVincent Riou & Jean Le Cam, PRB, 2011, 1j, 23 h, 21 m, 27 s


Classic, unmissable, popular, packed… there are countless ways to describe the Rolex Fastnet Race. Fast approaching its one hundredth anniversary edition, it has run from Cowes (on the Isle of Wight) to Plymouth since its creation in 1925, which equates to a 605-mile course via the very famous Fastnet Rock.

It was created by an Englishman by the name of Weston Martyr who, marvelling at the racing in Bermuda, sent a letter to an English magazine to convince them to form a committee so that England could fashion a similar race. From seven participants in its first edition in 1925, the Fastnet Race is now held in early August and will gather more than 400 boats in 2019.

A victim of its own success in some ways, once again this year’s places were all sold out in under 5 minutes... To cap it all, 2019 will herald a record IMOCA fleet with some 25 duos ready to do battle to succeed the tandem of Paul Meilhat - Gwénolé Gahinet, winners in 2017!

Now part of the Imoca Globe Series event schedule, the Rolex Fastnet Race will enable participants to rack up Championship points and continue amassing miles with a view to selection for the Vendée Globe 2020. And among the competing boats, the performance posted by the latest generation steeds like Hugo Boss (Alex Thomson), Apivia (Charlie Dalin) and Arkéa-Paprec (Sébastien Simon) will be eagerly awaited.

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