Published: Tuesday, 11 October 2016

The Royal Ocean Racing Club, organisers of the Rolex Fastnet Race starting on Sunday Aug 6 2017 in Cowes, Britain, has relaxed the limit of a maximum monohull length of 100ft (30.48m).

100ft Limit Relaxed For 2017 Rolex Fastnet Race 4

(Photos: Daniel Forster & Kurt Arrigo / Rolex - Rolex Fastnet Race 2015)

The biennial event is one of the world's biggest offshore races and the last edition attracted a record-sized fleet of 356 starters. The 47th race is expected to be no different, with a diverse fleet of yachts from around the world eager to secure a spot, when the online entry system opens at midday (UTC) Jan 9 2017. 

100ft Limit Relaxed For 2017 Rolex Fastnet Race 2

Following interest from a number of superyacht Owners and Skippers wishing to take part in this classic offshore race, the RORC Race Committee has elected to lift the 100ft (30.48m) monohull limit opening the race up to the new breed of fast and agile cruiser/racer designs such as Peter Harrison's beautiful Farr designed ketch Sojana, the new Swan 115's and Baltic 115's, to name a few. These yachts are regularly seen on the superyacht race circuit and have always been eligible to race in another RORC classic 600-miler, the annual RORC Caribbean 600 from Antigua.

100ft Limit Relaxed For 2017 Rolex Fastnet Race 3

In the last Rolex Fastnet Race, there were two monohulls at this upper limit of 100ft: Mike Slade's British Farr 100 Leopard who was competing in his fifth consecutive race and from the United States, Jim and Kristy Hinze Clark's Maxi Comanche. The 100ft Comanche was the fastest monohull finisher in 2015, but narrowly missed the chance to break Ian Walker's VO70's 2011 monohull race record of 42 hours 39 minutes.

100ft Limit Relaxed For 2017 Rolex Fastnet Race