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  • Writer's pictureDavid Connolly

Rolex Fastnet Race 2023

First held in 1925, and staged biennially since the 1930s, the 695 nautical mile (1,287 km) Rolex Fastnet Race is one of the truest tests of offshore sailing skill. Celebrating its 50th edition this year, the race and its organizers, Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC), have been partnered by Rolex since 2001. A record international fleet of over 450 yachts is expected to cross the start line on Saturday, 22 July. The course runs from Cowes, on the Isle of Wight, England, to Cherbourg, France via the Fastnet Rock off the southern coast of Ireland. The diversity of the competing yachts and sailors demonstrates the multi-layered appeal of the Rolex Fastnet Race. Cutting-edge multihulls and professionally crewed grand prix monohulls share the course with much smaller boats crewed by passionate Corinthians. All drawn to one of the most revered and demanding challenges in sailing. 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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