Yacht Charter Marbella
Waterproof bluetooth speakers have improved massively in sound quality and can now offer decent levels of quality, some even matching bigger speaker systems Although an early adopter of them, I used to think waterproof Bluetooth speakers were a bit of fun, a bit of a niche, something to take to the beach now and then. But after seeing such portable speakers used to telling effect while testing some high end new yachts over the last couple of years, I’ve changed my tune (sorry, no more puns). When you think about it, placing your sound source exactly where you want it makes so much more sense than hard wiring in speakers all over a yacht. No holes needed in your bulkheads or cockpit benches, no long wiring runs, no danger of upsetting the compass. Quite apart from taking the wiring complexity and maintenance out of the equation, crew can choose their own music in different cabins – allowing others peace and quiet. The technology of these compact speakers has improved so rapidly over recent years, as has the style of the overall package. Many portable bluetooth speakers can look a bit gimmicky, as they are colourful and quirky and designed for beach/outdoors. But if you want something to have an air of quality that your yacht deserves, here is a good option plus some alternatives. Best waterproof Bluetooth speakers Marshall Middleton portable bluetooth speaker Best for sound quality Reasons to buy: Iconic look | Great sound at a good price Reasons to avoid: Basic functionality Legendary rock amplifier manufacturer Marshall had a renaissance in 2010 and unveiled the first of its lifestyle range – I know because I was soon drawn into buying its headphones. Yes, the branding appeals, but as does the renowned quality of its speakers and construction. I have cranked the Marshall Middleton waterproof speaker up and played with the tone in comparison to other bluetooth speakers and to our wired-in Sonos One and the sound is better than any of the former and as good if not better than the Sonos. It’s earthy, powerful and punchy, like it should be. Think favourite music playlists rather than calming podcasts.
We ask top sailors and marine industry gurus to choose the coolest and most innovative yachts of our times. Terry Hutchinson nominates Quantum Racing Terry Hutchinson is tactician for the Quantum Racing TP52 and nominates the team’s Botin-designed USA 52018. “The most recent Quantum Racing and this entire generation of TP52s have been a good step beyond the 2015 fleet,” he says. The TP52 is a box rule class, with rules tweaked in agreement with the owners to maintain close racing. In 2017 the class voted that the latest updates, which included increased stiffness and rig refinements, would remain in place for three years. That guarantee contributed to an impressive nine new boats being launched in 2018 (post-Covid the class has since agreed no further changes until 2025). Quantum Racing won the 2022 Super Series overall title, their fifth series win. Photo: Nico Martinez/Martinez Studio “The class makes these boats incredible to race. It is the perfect balance of design, cutting edge technology, performance and teamwork that allows one to succeed on the water,” he says.“Top speed I have experienced is 30.9 knots – simply awesome!” Make sure you check out our full list of Coolest Yachts. Quantum Racing stats rating Top speed: 30.9 knots LOA: 15.85m/52ft Launched: 2018 Berths: 2 Price: approx. £2.6m Adrenalin factor: 80% Terry Hutchinson Terry Hutchinson (USA) is an 11-time world champion, tactician to the multiple series and World Championship-winning Quantum Racing TP52 team, and has been part of five America’s Cup campaigns. He is currently president of sailing operations and skipper for the New York Yacht Club’s American Magic Challenge for the 37th Cup. If you enjoyed this…. Yachting World is the world’s leading magazine for bluewater cruisers and offshore sailors. Every month we have inspirational adventures and practical features to help you realise your sailing dreams. Build your knowledge with a subscription delivered to your door. See our latest offers and save at least 30% off the cover price. The post Coolest yachts: Quantum Racing appeared first on Yachting World.
Over 250 transatlantic skippers from the most recent ARC fleet report back on the efficacy and reliability of their self-steering and self-sufficiency equipment Few cruising skippers would argue with ocean sailing guru and founder of the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers (ARC) Jimmy Cornell when he says some form of self-steering is ‘essential for any boat that is going to be sailing offshore for any length of time’. Yet there is no requirement from World Cruising Club (WCC) for yachts participating in any of their ocean rallies to have any system at all installed. Either way – essential or not – anyone who has endured a long enforced watch at the wheel of a yacht will testify that while steering a course can be a pleasure, being unable to leave the helm can also be a nightmare at sea. More than 250 vessels took part in the most recent series of WCC rallies across the Atlantic – 142 entered the 2,700-mile ARC from Gran Canaria to St Lucia; 92 entered ARC Plus from to Grenada via the Cape Verdes Islands, and 30 entered ARC January, which is the same route as the November ARC. The questions we asked each of these crews focussed on self-steering and we also asked for each skipper’s three top self-sufficiency tips. We wanted to know which was the most popular self-steering method, how the equipment performed, what went wrong and what the top tips are for successful self-steering at sea. If a self-steering system needs to pilot your yacht for thousands of miles do you choose electronic, windvane or both? Photo: Oyster Yachts Autopilot vs windvane Of the 230 complete responses to the questionnaire (out of a total of 251 yachts that finished one of the three separate events) there were five yachts that sailed without any form of self-steering. Other than them, every yacht had an electronic autopilot fitted – no-one that we know of sailed with windvane only, although 33 yachts had windvane systems fitted as well as autopilots, and some windvanes were in fact used as the primary system. Monohulls make up the majority of yachts fitted with windvane self-steering, but there were
The Infiniti 52 is a DSS foil-enabled offshore racer capable of 30 knot speeds the first boat Tulikettu was lost at sea, presumed sunk until… When it comes to displacement, racing yachts today cover the widest spectrum – from fully flying AC75s to the heavyweight J Class. In between lie light displacement and planing boats, and now, filling their own unique sector, are yachts fitted with a lateral foil, or retractable Dynamic Stability Systems (DSS) foil, the latest of which is the Infiniti 52. The Infiniti 52 follows on from the company’s Infiniti 36 and Infiniti 46. The first example of this Hugh Welbourn-designed offshore racer, Helsinki lawyer Arto Linnervuo’s Tulikettu, was launched in early 2022. She was sea trialled on the Solent in the spring of 2022 where she managed 28 knots, while her creators anticipate the design is capable of regularly achieving 30-plus knots. Sadly Tulikettu suffered a severe collision during a delivery trip off north-west Spain at the end of April 2022. Her crew abandoned ship and after an unsuccessful search she was presumed sunk. However, in an incredible turn of events, Tulikettu was spotted by a passing yacht. That yacht’s crew reached out to the team via their social media channels and the search operation was immediately restarted. Tulikettu was found on Saturday, June 4, approximately 100 nautical miles west of Cape Saint Vincent, the southern tip between Lisbon and Gibraltar. The yacht was towed to the port of Portimão where she underwent a thorough inspection and assessment of damage sustained. In another incredible turn of events, the damage was not as significant as was originally thought and the boat was able to be repaired and relaunched. She recently completed the very heavy weather 2023 Rolex Fastnet Race, so any fears of another failure will have been very much allayed. Tulikettu taking part on the 2023 Rolex Fastnet Race. Photo: Paul Wyeth/pwpictures.com DSS myths The basics of the DSS foil are generally understood – deployed to leeward, it provides lift that is ‘dynamic’, ie the faster the boat goes, the more lift and righting moment the foil automatically generates. It’s like having extra crew miraculously appear
Gybing a powerful offshore boat like a VO70 in big breeze is a fraught manoeuvre; team boss and former Olympian Konrad Lipski shares tips on how to gybe in strong winds and reducing the risk with Andy Rice Gybing any boat in strong wind can be loaded with jeopardy but it’s particularly risky on a powerful boat like a VO70. The boat that was originally constructed for US skipper Ken Read’s Puma campaign in the Volvo Ocean Race, Mar Mostro is now enjoying a fulfilling second life as I Love Poland, a low-budget but well-run campaign on the offshore racing circuit. Lipski says they’re keen to avoid a second mast breakage (Mar Mostro dismasted 2,000 miles from Cape Town in 2011), which is why the team runs such tight procedures on high risk manoeuvres like a heavy-air gybe. The rig set up on the VO70 demands slick crew routines. “I spoke to the guys on the Figaro circuit about how they’re gybing single-handed in the middle of the night, and they don’t care about the runners because the spreaders are angled backwards enough to support the mast through the whole manoeuvre,” explains Lipski. “But on the VO70 we have zero degrees of spreader deflection so zero support from the back of the boat. We’re purely reliant on the runners and mainsheet tension.” The other challenge for this campaign is the team is constantly bringing in new, young sailors, typically from a strong dinghy racing background but with next-to-no big boat experience. So having a clear procedure for vital manoeuvres is key to keeping the boat in one piece and the mast upright. Here are Konrad’s five best tips on how to safely execute a strong-wind gybe. Chain of command Make sure there’s a clear chain of command on the boat. Of course that’s not just for heavy air gybes, although it’s hard to think of a manoeuvre that tests that chain of command more than this one. As the navigator on board I Love Poland I also do the strategy and tactics. So I’m in constant conversation with the skipper and the helmsman. The helmsman then calls for the rest
When a yacht is advertised as ‘work needed’ how do you distinguish a good prospect from bad? Will Bruton looks at buying a yacht to upgrade Among brokerage listings it’s rare to see a yacht openly advertised as ‘work needed’. After an initial conversation, the potential buyer can be easily put off by not knowing how much everything will cost to bring the yacht into service. Experienced broker Alex Grabau suggests many good prospects are missed for just this reason. “It’s common for a solid yacht to get to the 12-15 year mark and need things doing that any surveyor would expect at that point in the yacht’s life. “They’re things that a seller might not want to spend the money on for themselves, but often are not huge sums of money in proportion to the yacht’s value. New rigging, or perhaps a re-power. Things that, with a little effort, can be accurately estimated with a good boatyard and fixed relatively quickly after purchase. “The trouble is that many buyers don’t get this far as they’re put off by the unknown cost of the work, despite it being something easy to find out. “In other cases, particularly where the yacht is rare – perhaps something built for high latitudes – the market can be narrow, and the buyer might have no option but to consider yachts that need work to meet their demands. In both cases, making a well-informed plan with realistic estimates can change something you wouldn’t even consider into a great prospect, with the chance to make it your own at the same time.” Some builders, such as Oyster, offer refit services which utilise extensive in-house expertise on each boat’s construction and systems. Photo: Oyster Yachts Made right for the job Martin Holmgren and his partner, both experienced racing sailors, had an unusual list of requirements for a cruising yacht. “We wanted something with a fast, slim hull, a pilot or doghouse, suitable for high latitudes, ideally relatively low displacement,” he recalls. With the Holmgren’s plan to cruise for extended periods in retirement, but wanting few restrictions on where they could go, the right boat would almost certainly
Max Klink’s Botin 52, Caro has been declared winner of the 2023 Rolex Fastnet Race, the 50th edition of the event after a big breeze start on Saturday Max Klink’s Botin 52, Caro, has officially been declared the winner of the Rolex Fastnet Race 2023, with the announcement coming early afternoon on Wednesday 26th July. “This is a legendary group of sailors who I have been fortunate to sail with for a few years now,” said Swiss owner, Klink, “but when we set out on this race I never expected that we could win. It’s a dream come true, and all the more special that this is the 50th edition of such an iconic race. “The first 12 hours we were just in survival mode, trying not to break anything, trying to keep the boat at 100 per cent. I wasn’t thinking about any title or trophy, it was just about getting through the conditions.” Tactician aboard Caro for the race, Adrian Stead – himself a two-time winner previously with Niklas Zennström’s Rán – added: “Conditions were pretty extreme and to the west of Portland we found ourselves all sitting in the cockpit and sailing at 5-6 knots just to get through, just to make sure we didn’t break the boat.” The team lost their wind instruments in those early moments and so had to complete the majority of the course without a significant amount of their instrumentation. But having weathered the early conditions well otherwise, they proved very quick, particularly after rounding the Fastnet Rock. Stead admits they had the dream run back from the Isles of Scilly. “We pretty much straightlined it all the way and we realised we had a very good shot at winning IRC Zero so pulled out all the stops, got out some extra chocolate bars and had everyone hiking hard on the rail for the last few hours into the finish. “We were fortunate how the weather worked out for us, but I think we did a great job of preparation and keeping ourselves in the game for as long as possible and we are so pleased how it all paid off.” The
A young couple survives a seemingly hopeless situation when their 21ft clinker yacht is rolled mid-Pacific. Tom Cunliffe introduces this extract from The Voyage of the Aegre Back in July 1973, Nicholas Grainger and his wife, Julie, sailed from north-west Scotland bound for the oceans of the world. Their boat was a 21ft clinker-built traditional Shetland Islander, originally open, but now decked for their voyage. As she should be, she was innocent of any sort of auxiliary power. Nick was 23. Julie was 19. Nick’s book, just now published, is called The Voyage of The Aegre. It’s a story of courage and adventure we don’t often see equalled. Every page takes us deeply into the nitty gritty of the whole venture, including the self-doubt and interpersonal challenges. As I devoured the work I remembered my own youth and the hope, strength and sheer energy that kept me going in hard times. Yet all my experience pales when compared with this extract: 150 miles out from Tahiti, she is capsized, swept clean and could easily have been left derelict. With no radio and no liferaft, survival depends on resource, initiative and the refusal to give in. Off across the Atlantic under the square sail. Extract from The Voyage of the Aegre It was Thursday 5 September 1974. I was woken by a sudden roaring. The next moment I was turning head over heels. My eyes were clenched shut. I managed to open them, but it made no difference to the blackness. I’d been asleep in the oil-lamp-lit cabin. Where was I now? I was lying in water, but breathing air. What the hell was going on? Were we sinking? Where was Julie? “Julie! Julie!” I shouted, but there was no reply. Threshing around with my hands and arms, I felt for the cabin sides around me, but everything was in the wrong place. Then I felt the deck beams beneath me. My mind raced. We must be upside down. It was eerily quiet. Were we below the surface, sinking into oblivion? I had to get out, but how? Where was the hatch? Could I get to it? My way seemed blocked
The Botin 52, Caro has won the class in IRC Zero in the Rolex Fastnet Race – while their corrected time also puts them top of the leaderboard for the IRC prize, though the race win is still too close to call. Caro closes in on the finish of the Rolex Fastnet Race in Cherbourg. Photo: Psul Wyeth / RORC Max Klink’s Botin 52, Caro, crossed the Rolex Fastnet Race finish line at 06:25:02 on Tuesday 25th July to earn the class win IRC Zero – while their corrected time also makes them current leader on the IRC leaderboard, though the overall race win is still too close to call with so many fleets still racing. Caro completed the the course in 2 days, 16 hours, 40 minutes, 2 seconds. With a two and a half hour advantage over nearest rivals Warrior Won on corrected time, Caro is now unbeatable in IRC Zero. Launched in 2021, Caro came into the Rolex Fastnet Race on strong form. The team finished top of a strong contingent of 52-footers in the Rolex Sydney Hobart Race in 2022, finishing 3rd in class and overall. For this year’s Fastnet the Caro team saw tactician Adrian Stead step onboard, who has won the Fastnet Race twice before with Rán. “It’s my first time racing Caro,’ Stead explained. “Max is a great owner, he’s got a fantastic team with a really well prepared boat and those are all the boxes you need to tick for a race like the Fastnet.” It was a rough start for the whole fleet leaving Cowes upwind in 25 knots heading into 40 knots overnight. But Caro showed their intention to race hard from the start and while many set off heavily reefed – some even choosing storm jibs for the race start – Caro crossed the startline under full mainsail and J4, sailing with confidence after a thorough training session earlier in the week. “We had a really good start” Stead reflects. “We’d actually practised the start and all the way out to the Fairway Buoy on the Wednesday before, with similar current and luckily we had 25 knots for that
The brand new IMOCA Macif, skippered by Charlie Dalin, was first monohull home to take line honours in the 50th Rolex Fastnet Race and set a new monohull course record of 2 days 07 hours 16 minutes and 26 seconds. Macif,FRA 79 In the battle of the big boats it was the brand new IMOCA Macif, skippered by Charlie Dalin with Pascal Bidégorry which was first monohull home to take line honours in the 50th Rolex Fastnet Race and set a new course record in the process. Dalin crossed the finish line after 2 day 07 hours 16 minutes and 26 seconds. This shaves over an hour off the time set by the giant ClubSwan 125 Skorpios in 2021 when the race first sailed the new course to finish in Cherbourg. It’s also a back to back win for Dalin who also took IMOCA class victory in the 2021 edition – though on that occasion it was Skorpios that took line honours. It was Yoann Richomme’s IMOCA Paprec Arkea that led the fleet in the early stages, before being overhauled by Dalin in the final approach to the finish. In the end Dalin squeaked to victory by just 4 minutes to claim the win from Richomme. British skipper Sam Goodchild rounded out the podium, with an impressive performance on his second race in For the Planet. IMOCAs in Rolex Fastnet Race This year’s Fastnet was long heralded as a mouth-watering proposition for IMOCA 60 fans to follow, with a clutch of brand new designs, as well as skippers who’ve newly joined in the fleet lining up in their biggest race to date. And it didn’t disappoint. Twenty-nine IMOCAs lined up for the start in Cowes, making one of the most spectacular starts of the whole race as a series of strong gusts came through shortly after they crossed the line. Many of the foil-assisted designs took flight with streaming white water rooster tails as they blasted away along the Isle of Wight shoreline. IMOCA skippers were exercising caution at the start of the Rolex Fastnet Race 2023 in breezy conditions. Photo: Paul Wyeth/RORC Charal was one of the first away, with the enviable
A 7,000-mile passage from Australia to the Seychelles via Bali aboard a classic Swan 65 was a tropical adventure for Meg Niblett It was time to go. Sailing up the east coast of Australia at the end of a cyclone season can be challenging and dangerous for even the most experienced sailors. The north-east coast of Australia is known for its unpredictable weather patterns and the danger of encountering strong winds and rough seas is real. Cyclones can bring winds of up to 100+ knots, huge waves and changeable currents. And with our departure date barely hanging off the end of cyclone season in April (the season typically runs from November to April), we had these extreme weather events firmly in the forefront of our minds. Boat captain Ben Roulant and I religiously studied the forecasts leading up to our departure, as well as monitoring sea and air temperatures in the surrounding area. We triple-checked our short and long term predictions, comparing multiple systems on Predictwind to make sure we had a clear window to get through the Great Barrier Reef. In the end, we found ourselves chasing southerly winds for 1,500 miles up the east coast, each day getting slightly warmer and more tropical as we steadily headed to a lower latitude. The 20-25 knots of south-easterly tradewinds provided fantastic sailing conditions, leaving us to play with poled-out headsails and spinnakers day in and day out. Once tucked inside the reef the swell disappeared, but the sailing became a bit more challenging. The Great Barrier Reef is considered one of the natural wonders of the world. Made up of thousands of individual reefs and hundreds of islands it covers an area of approximately 344,400km2. It gave us cover from the vast Pacific Ocean swell, acting as a natural breakwater to create an extremely calm sea state, allowing our classic 42-year-old Swan 65 Eve to glide gracefully over the short chop between the exposed reef. However, being surrounded by so much reef and rock creates hazards and seemingly endless ways to run aground or even sink a boat. Eve was running fast, making at least 9-10 knots of boat speed
Francois Gabart’s Ultime SVR-Lazartigue wins Rolex Fastnet Race multihull line honours and sets a new course record of 1 day 8 hours Francois Gabart’s Ultime SVR-Lazartigue has claimed Rolex Fastnet Race line honours and set a new course record of 1d 8h 38m 27s over the 695-mile offshore. With two foiling Ultimes lining up in this year’s Fastnet Race it was always going to be a straight head to head battle for line honours between SVR-Lazartigue and Armel le Cléac’h’s team on Banque Populaire. After the two giant multihulls opened the Rolex Fastnet Race start sequence yesterday, Saturday 22 July, they went into a tricky tacking duel out of the Solent and through Hurst Narrows. Tricky conditions for the giant 100ft Ultimes exiting the Solent at the start of the 2023 Rolex Fastnet Race. Photo Rick Tomlinson/RORC Skipper François Gabart told Yachting World after finishing: “These boats, they’re amazing, but it’s not an easy boat to do coastal racing and to be close to the shore like we were in the Solent. There was not a good angle to go out of the Solent. It was just tack, tack, tack. And it was strong winds and gusty, so clearly not easy and not safe to sail out of the Solent in these condition and with other boats around. “So, yeah, I was a little bit nervous about the start, I was hoping it was not too much winds because more than 30 knots – if you’re out[ of the Solent], it’s okay, but if you’re close to the coast, it can be tricky. But then after, when we were out, it was strong winds.” Shortly after exiting the Solent the ability of these 100ft goliaths to eat up the miles became evident when the two boats split tactics. Armel le Cleac’h on Banque Populaire headed directly to Cherbourg, crossing the Channel in less than three hours and tacking off the French coast before most of the fleet had even got into Poole Bay. Meanwhile SVR Lazartigue headed some 30 miles offshore before tacking and reaching to the Lizard. The two boats remained split as they passed the Casquets TSS, SVR-Lazartigue
Incident-packed first 24 hours for Rolex Fastnet Race fleet led to multiple rescues, retirements and one yacht sunk in early stages of the race Quailo 3, After yesterday’s strong wind start for the Rolex Fastnet Fleet, the number of boats that have retired from racing has continued to multiply. At 0700 this morning over 80 of the 445 entries had officially retired from racing, and by this afternoon that had increased to 112. It was an incident-packed first day and night for many competitors in the fleet, and for rescue services along the south coast of England and Isle of Wight. Wind speeds in the western Solent were particularly high, with data from Hurst Castle last night recording 38 knots, gusting 43 shortly after 2000 hours. HM Coastguard reported that they responded to 28 incidents involving yachts participating in the Fastnet Race. Lifeboats and coastal rescue teams from Yarmouth, Poole, Weymouth, Swanage, Portland and Wyke were all deployed to multiple incidents, with Yarmouth RNLI in the western Solent being called out six times alone. The Coastguard helicopter was also deployed to assist injured crew members. Fastnet sinking and dismastings The most dramatic incident was the sinking of a French double-handed yacht in the western Solent. A search and rescue helicopter and two RNLI lifeboats were deployed after reports that the Sunfast 3600 Vari was taking on water. The two crew members were found in their liferaft – both were safely recovered safely and taken ashore to Yarmouth. The Rolex Fastnet Race race committee issued a statement saying: “At approximately 16:30 yesterday afternoon the Sun Fast 3600 Vari began to take on water southwest of the Needles. “The boat is believed to have sunk although the exact reasons are not yet confirmed.” With near back-to-back callouts for many rescue crews, the Coastguard and RNLI were tasked to assist included yacht Azora with steering failure, and another vessel with medical assistance for a head injury. In other incidents, one yacht ran aground off Beaulieu (after the anchor dragged), and Richard Matthews’ CF520 Oystercatcher XXXV suffered deck failure. Though there was at least one MOB/EPIRB alarm, it turned out to be a false alarm and
It was a wet and wild start to the 2023 Fastnet Race with early retirements pouring in and the worst is yet to come with 40 knot winds set to hit the fleets overnight The 50th Rolex Fastnet Race got underway today, Saturday 22 July, with the largest offshore racing fleet ever setting off from Cowes in rain and 20-25 knot headwinds . With strong headwinds and a significant seaway forecast overnight on the first night of the race, the near-3,000 sailors taking part knew they would be in for a hard fought opening of the race. However, there were a significant number of retirements just hours into the race, with 50 boats no longer racing. Going into the first night at sea the trackers shows yachts seeking safe refuge in Yarmouth, Lymington, Poole, and small harbours along the south coast. Given the predicted windy conditions for the start of the race, the race management team had wisely chosen to change the start order to ensure the biggest and fastest boats were the first to set off – as was the case in 2021 when similar conditions delivered another challenging start. With the wind coming from the south-west most of the boats in most fleets elected to start on port, giving them a long first tack out to the middle of the Solent before they took a hitch back to the Island side. Banque Populaire leads SVR Lazartigue out of the Solent This was particularly true for many of biggest and least manoeuvrable boats. Although expected to be the fastest boats around the course by quite some distance, short tacking out of the Solent is not the ideal start for the 100ft Ultim foiling trimarans. Both Armel Le Cléac’h’s Banque Populaire XI and Francois Gabart’s SVR-Lazartigue were very tentative getting off the line, with their clear priority being to try to avoid traffic around the start before they would be able to stretch their legs once beyond Hurst Point. The sheer distance the Ultims can cover was driven home shortly after – just two hours after the race start, with most of the fleet still working hard to exit the
Strong 25-knot headwinds are forecast for the start of the 50th Rolex Fastnet Race, which sets off tomorrow, with a wet and windy first day of racing, and potentially record-breaking conditions for the largest monohulls Darkwood starting in strong wind conditions in the 2021 Rolex Fastnet Race – similar conditions are forecast for the start of 2023 race. Paul Wyeth/Rolex Strong headwinds are forecast for the start of the 50th Rolex Fastnet Race, which sets off tomorrow from Cowes, Isle of Wight to Cherbourg, France, via the iconic course around the Fastnet Rock. Wind speeds of 20-25 knots from the south-west are expected at the start. This will build to 30-35 knots, potentially gusting 40, as the fleet exits the Solent, although conditions are forecast to moderate rapidly on Sunday. “At the moment all the information says it will be a gnarly night, but safe to go,” explained Steve Cole, RORC Race Director, at today’s Skippers’ Briefing when asked if organisers RORC had considered postponing. This year’s race has a record entry, expected to be the largest ever offshore race with over 440 boats taking part and more than 3,000 crew competing. Record-breaking forecast for Fastnet 2023? However, the strong winds could potentially also see the course record broken. The current monohull record, set on the race’s first running over its longer 695-mile course in 2021, stands at 2d 8h 33m 55s, set by the ClubSwan 125 Skorpios. The canting-keeled 88-footer Rambler 88 here competing in the 2021 Rolex Fastnet Race, and will be returning for a tilt at the race record in 2023 under its new ownership as Lucky. Photo: Carlo Borlenghi/Rolex However, the team onboard Bryon Ehrhart’s Lucky, the 88ft canting keel design that was formerly Rambler 88, believe they are in with a good chance of smashing that. Andrew Cape, navigator on Lucky, explained: ‘It’s a big possibility, like a 75% chance. The routings have us [finishing] at 2 days and 2 hours, so we’re looking pretty good. “Like anything with weather, no plan lasts past first contact but we’ll see. Five out of six weather models have us breaking the record.” America’s Cup legendary sailor Brad
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