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  • Writer's pictureDavid Connolly


The Rolex Fastnet Race returns on Sunday 8 August. In 2021, Rolex celebrates twenty years as partner of this legendary race and its organizers Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC). The Rolex Fastnet, first held in 1925, is a cornerstone of the Swiss watchmaker’s longstanding support for offshore sailing and, in particular, historic 600-nautical mile races. An international fleet of over 300 yachts from 30 countries are expected to participate in the 49th edition, and the event’s impressive standing and reputation was demonstrated by the entry list filling in less than an hour in January. The race will start from Cowes on the Isle of Wight with the Royal Yacht Squadron (RYS), another longstanding partner of Rolex, providing the backdrop. A gruelling and momentous 695-nautical mile (1287-km) challenge lies ahead. Crews will often be exposed to an unforgiving Atlantic weather system as they negotiate the open waters of the Celtic Sea. The highlight of the course remains the rounding of the mythical Fastnet rock located off the southern tip of Ireland. This year, for the first time, there is a change to the traditional finish port of Plymouth, with the race finishing in France, with Cherbourg-en-Cotentin the final destination. Discover more

Rolex has always associated with activities driven by passion, excellence, precision and team spirit. The Swiss watchmaker naturally gravitated towards the elite world of yachting six decades ago and the brand’s enduring partnership now encompasses the most prestigious clubs, races and regattas, as well as towering figures in the sport, including ground-breaking round-the-world yachtsman Sir Francis Chichester and the most successful Olympic sailor of all time, Sir Ben Ainslie. Today, Rolex is Title Sponsor of 15 major international events – from leading offshore races such as the annual Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race and the biennial Rolex Fastnet Race, to grand prix competition at the Rolex TP52 World Championship and spectacular gatherings at the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup and the Rolex Swan Cup. It also supports the exciting SailGP global championship in which national teams race identical supercharged F50 catamarans on some of the world’s most famous harbours. Rolex’s partnerships with the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, Royal Ocean Racing Club, Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, Yacht Club Italiano, New York Yacht Club and Royal Yacht Squadron, among others, are the foundation of its enduring relationship with this dynamic sport.

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