Published: Monday, 16 January 2017

The 340-boat limit of the 47th Rolex Fastnet Race by Royal Ocean Racing Club surpassed expectation and was reached in 4 minutes and 24 seconds, setting a new record for the race history.

Rolex Fastnet Race Entry Limit Reached In 5 Mins 1

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

Within the first minute of the REMUS online entry system opening on Jan 9, the London and Cowes-based organising club received a massive 222 entries. The frenetic trend continued for the next hour and into the afternoon, with entries streaming in from all around the world. Within an hour, nearly 400 boats had signed up for the biennial 603-nautical miler, which has been an established fixture on the ocean racing circuit since 1925.

"The take-up of entries for the 2017 Rolex Fastnet Race has been incredible,” says RORC Racing Nick Eilliott. “We expected to better the time it took to reach the limit in the last race of 24 minutes, but this is amazing. It just exemplifies how sought after the places in the race are and confirms that it is a real sporting institution; one which every sailor wants to tick off their personal 'bucket list'.

Rolex Fastnet Race Entry Limit Reached In 5 Mins

"Seven boats raced in the first race in 1925 and the founding members of the RORC and its flagship event would have been in awe of their creation with 340 boats signing up so quickly today. With all this interest, we expect a record-sized fleet to start from the Royal Yacht Squadron line, making the Rolex Fastnet Race by far the largest of the world's classic 600-mile offshore races, in terms of participation. One not to be missed.”

The First 40, Lancelot II was the first boat to enter the race, signing up just 12 seconds after the online entry system opened. The next four boats entered shortly after: Arthur Logic, Pelgrim, Jolly Jack Tar and Moana. Entries from 28 different nations have signed up and include: Britain, France, the Netherlands, Germany and the US, with an entry from Korea as well as from Australia and New Zealand. The race has attracted the usual diverse fleet of yachts, from classics to some of the world's fastest racing machines - and everything in between, racing in IRC or selected offshore classes such as IMOCA60, VOR65, Class40 and MOCRA Multihull.

Rolex Fastnet Race Entry Limit Reached In 5 Mins 2

The race will start in the Solent from Cowes, Isle of Wight, on Sunday Aug 6 and finish in Plymouth via the Fastnet Rock, the symbol of the race located off the southern coast of Ireland.