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50th edition Rolex Fastnet Race, dates for 2023 announced

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Dates announced for the 50th Rolex Fastnet Race © Kurt Arrigio/Rolex
Dates announced for the 50th Rolex Fastnet Race © Kurt Arrigio/Rolex

RORC London: 2 December, 2021: Following the success of the 2021 Rolex Fastnet Race from Cowes to Cherbourg-en-Cotentin, the Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) and its French partners are delighted to announce the date for the next edition of its flagship event in 2023. The 50th edition of the world's largest offshore race will start from the Royal Yacht Squadron line on Saturday 22nd July, 2023, prior to the annual Cowes Week festivities.

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Jean-Louis Valentin, President of the Arrival Fastnet Cherbourg Association comments: "We are delighted to once again welcome the arrival of the mythical Rolex Fastnet Race in Cherbourg-en-Cotentin in 2023. The Association and Public Partners; the City of Cherbourg-en-Cotentin, the Agglomeration Community du Cotentin, the Department of Manche and the Normandy Region continue to work hand-in-hand to welcome this great international maritime race to our region. The new date of 22nd July 2023 will attract more people and we will again offer a warm welcome to sailors before the start of the race and a big party at the finish. Our teams are already working with the RORC to make the arrival of this 50th edition a great festival and friendly event for everyone."

The mighty Maxi Skorpios established a monohull record for the new course of 2 days 8 hrs 33 mins and 55 secs © Carlo Borlenghi/ROLEX
The mighty Maxi Skorpios established a monohull record for the new course of 2 days 8 hrs 33 mins and 55 secs © Carlo Borlenghi/ROLEX

"We will all be looking forward to taking part in what will be a very special anniversary year for the Rolex Fastnet Race. Following the resounding success of this year's edition, we will again be finishing in Cherbourg and expect to attract a record entry. We feel certain that our partners in France (City of Cherbourg-en-Cotentin, the Agglomeration Community du Cotentin, the Department of Manche and the Normandy Region) will ensure competitors and visitors receive the same warm welcome and will be able to celebrate the golden jubilee race in inimitable French style," comments RORC Commodore, James Neville.

"The 50th edition of the Rolex Fastnet Race will run before Cowes Week in 2023 in order to cope with the berthing needs of the large fleet prior to the start on 22nd July, and pre-event registration will again be offered to competitors in Cherbourg. We are excited to be working with our hosts once more for the finish of this great race and expect it to be even better than the 2021 event," says Race Director, Chris Stone.

The rounding of the Fastnet Rock is a memorable moment for every competitor © Kurt Arrigo/ROLEX
The rounding of the Fastnet Rock is a memorable moment for every competitor © Kurt Arrigo/ROLEX

The biennial 690 nautical mile race is a rite of passage for all those taking part and is one of the very few global events where Corinthian sailors can compete on the same race course as their sporting heroes. The ultimate goal is to take home the overall trophy; the historic Fastnet Challenge Cup - first presented back in 1925, but for most sailors, to complete the race and the tough personal challenge; to test their mettle against others in their class, or to compete against hundreds of passionate sailors from around the globe, is the main attraction of this renowned classic offshore race.

The arrival of the immense fleet will once again be eagerly anticipated, with spectators enjoying the atmosphere of the international yachting festival as boats complete the 690 nautical mile course from Cowes to Cherbourg-en-Cotentin, via the Fastnet Rock. Starting with the first arrivals from the 23rd of July, the daily influx of international competitors on a diverse range of boats culminates in a memorable prizegiving to mark the 50th Rolex Fastnet Race in Cherbourg on Friday 28th July 2023.

Alexis Loison on his JPK 1030 Léon, racing with Guillaume Pirouelle - victorious after their IRC Three and Two-Handed win © Paul Wyeth/pwpictures.com
Alexis Loison on his JPK 1030 Léon, racing with Guillaume Pirouelle - victorious after their IRC Three and Two-Handed win © Paul Wyeth/pwpictures.com

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