So we have now completed the #rolexfastnetrace 2017, considered one of the most arduous classic offshore races on the international sailing calendar – completing the 600-nautical-mile challenge in an impressive 4 days and 13 hours.
We encountered demanding and treacherous weather and sea conditions that saw 34 yachts fail to finish the race and three lose their mast/rigs - one in the Irish Sea. This ensured the crew were challenged and at times people were lifted out of their bunks as what felt like half the Yacht was raised up in the air before crashing down into the trough of the next wave. needless to say this was certainly Type 2 fun!
After rounding the rock and on the way to the Scillies, Impulse had it's largest spinnaker deployed, the wind peaked at 23 knots which, in conjunction with difficult sea conditions, resulted in the yacht broaching. The calmness of the skipper and alacrity of Chris on the helm righted the situation, we subsequently replaced the kite for a smaller and tougher one!
The successfully completed safety training and the three offshore races in the run up to the Fastnet helped to ensure the crew were at the top of their game in such challenging circumstances. This preparation definitely helped Chris and his crew safely cross the finish line, arriving at 1:45am Friday the 11th of August in Plymouth, greeted by the cheers of family and friends (as well as a number of well-earned magnums of Champagne).
The question is “would I do it again?” I would reply: “if just for the sunsets, sunrises, racing dolphins and a wealth of stars I would answer maybe… but once you throw in the camaraderie, experience gained and the joy of helming at night a 46ft yacht under a spinnaker down two metre waves, I would have to change that answer to an absolute YES!!”
Thanks for all your support and if you are yet to donate its not too late :)
For the 4 minute video of our race click on this link:-
For the 60 second clip of the Channel Race, click on the link https://youtu.be/GuGYN6G7OgA
For the latest 60 second clip of the Cowes - Eddystone Lighthouse (Plymouth) - Cowes race click on this link https://youtu.be/lrEG_9B6N1c
This year Rolton Group are sponsoring me to undertake the famous Rolex Fastnet Race on behalf of the Central England Rehabilitation Unit (CERU) in Leamington Spa. http://www.ceru.co.uk
This highly specialised facility provides post intensive care rehabilitation for patients who have suffered a serious head trauma.
Head injury trauma is something that has touched both my own family and that of my Chairman, Peter Rolton.
My son Adam suffered a footballing accident resulting in a bleed on his brain in 2013, whilst Peter's son Jack was critically injured in a car crash last June and is currently in CERU undergoing rehabilitation, where he is making good progress under their expert care.
The 605nm Rolex Fastnet Race starts in Cowes on the 6th of August and rounds the Fastnet rock off the SW coast of Ireland and the Scilly Isles before finishing in Plymouth. The race takes place biannually in August and is not for novices, every crew member is required to have experience of sailing a boat for a minimum of 300 Nm in RORC offshore races. The crew also needs to have successfully completed various safety training courses, these precautions and the training was significantly improved after the 1979 race which lost 18 souls in a Force 11 storm.
In the run up to the Rolex Fastnet race, I will also be entering three other RORC races including the Cervantes Trophy from Cowes to Le Havre, The Myth of Malham which races to the Eddystone Lighthouse from Cowes and return and the Channel Race.
I will be racing an X 46 which will be led by Martin and Ifan at Pure Latitude - https://www.purelatitude.com/home/fastnet2017.html
I will endeavour to provide a blog of the run up to the race and hopefully the race itself which I will post here https://www.facebook.com/chrisfastnet2017 if you are interested.
Thanks for taking the time to visit my JustGiving page and I hope you will donate and support this worthy cause.
Donating through JustGiving is simple, fast and totally secure. Your details are safe with JustGiving - they'll never sell them on or send unwanted emails. Once you donate, they'll send your money directly to the charity. So it's the most efficient way to donate - saving time and cutting costs for the charity.