Published: Friday, 21 August 2015

2015 Rolex Fastnet Race has now entered the final phase of the 603 nautical mile race from Cowes to Plymouth, England. This last stage of the race is gripped with speculation of who will win the Fastnet Challenge trophy and Rolex timepiece for overall victory.

2015 Rolex Fastnet Race Enters Final Phase 1

(Photo: Kurt Arrigo/Rolex/Arrival of JPK 10.80 Courrier du Léon)

The weather conditions have marginally improved since the start of the race. The wind has been blowing steadily, unlike at the start of the race. Plymouth is now enveloped in a thick mist making visibility difficult. 

Finishing yachts are appearing at the finish line seemingly from nowhere. However, the GPS Tracker on each boat and the requirement to radio in five miles from the finish makes it not a complete surprise.

Maxi 72 Momo’s position as overall leader was under threat as the building breezy conditions experienced at the Fastnet rock spread across the course. Smaller yachts started to benefit from the freshening wind in their hunt to move up the standings.

First to topple Momo was the GP42 Tokoloshe, which finished just before midnight. The smaller GOA, skippered by Samuel Prietz then moved into pole position. Their glory was short-lived as 40 minutes later, the JPK 10.80 Courrier du Léon led by Géry Trentesaux crossed the line under and topped the leaderboard.

2015 Rolex Fastnet Race Enters Final Phase

(Photo: Kurt Arrigo/Rolex/Courrier du Léon)

It remains to be seen whether Courrier du Léon can be dislodged from the top spot. With around 230 of the 312 yachts competing for the overall prize still on the water it is too early to say for certain.

“The race is not over yet,” says Trentesaux. “Since it is a handicap race, much can happen. We are going to clean up the boat, have a beer and then good breakfast. We know we are probably on the podium which is good, we’ll find out if we have won later on.”

All yachts have now rounded the Fastnet rock, an unlikely situation two days ago when the racecourse lacked any real wind.

2015 Rolex Fastnet Race Enters Final Phase 2

(Photo: Kurt Arrigo/Rolex/Maxi 72 Momo)

The last yacht on the water is David Anderson’s Floating Point with 230 nm left to run. At her current pace she is unlikely to arrive before the final prize giving scheduled for Friday evening.