First sailed in 1925, the race has lost none of its appeal and the maximum entry of 300 boats was reached several weeks ago.
However, with fresher winds forecast only from Land’s End on, the fleet was last night dealing with the prospect of anchoring off the Dorset coast as the tide flooded eastwards and threatened to halt progress in a breeze of less than 10 knots.
The conditions have already put paid to a record, and Mike Slade’s ICAP Leopard, holder of the course time of one day, 20 hours, 18 minutes from the 2007 event, was the best of a slow bunch last night.
Fastnet race starts slowly
Thirty years ago this week, fifteen sailors died in a storm on Irish Sea while competing in the Fastnet Race. Today, this year’s running of that race got underway again in light conditions, which, coupled with the strong tidal currents off the English coast, reinforce the race’s reputation as one of the most challenging in the world.
From the Irish Times: