The Rolex Fastnet Race

The Rolex Fastnet Race 2023 - 50th edition 

Riding the Wild Waves: Rolex Fastnet Race 2023

Let’s start with the adrenaline-packed highlight of our year—the legendary Rolex Fastnet Race. When we hit the Fastnet Rock, it was like we’d conquered a part of offshore racing history. But it didn’t come to us easy. We had spent a month prior to the race training up our 2023 race crew. We started our training program in La Trinite sur mer, and jumped straight into a 360 NM offshore race to Cowes, UK . With a great team spirit on the boat we managed to place 2nd in the Cowes Classic regatta, and win the RORC Swan Cup for the Cowes to St Malo race across the channel. 

The solent was a challenging place to sail let alone race as there was copious amounts of boats alongside huge cargos and ferries coming across the race course every few minutes. There wasn’t too much room to run and with massive tides you could very quickly get put on the reef or stuck on another boat. But it was the perfect training ground keeping everyone on high alert and focused. This put us in high spirits for the start of the Fastnet as we felt like we had trained hard as a crew and were reading to tackle gale force winds on the nose and any other conditions the race would through a us..

From 40 knots of headwind to 1 knot of wind close to Ireland we used every sail that we had on board in every configuration and performed every manoeuvre you could possibly think of. For the 50th edition, the race couldn’t have been more challenging and perfect. We managed to reach a maximum boat speed of 17knots coming in towards Cherbourg, and held the storm kite until the very end over taking many smaller and lighter boats.

We finished the race in 4 days and 16 hours, with a happy and healthy crew and a unscratched boat.  It was a great milestone for the boat and the crew to have completed this fantastic and historical race . That first 24 hours of punching into 35knots was a challenge,  but it really showed us what Eve was built for and just how much her power and beauty shines in those conditions. 

Meg Niblett, Sep 2023