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  • Writer's pictureDavid Connolly


With a record fleet of 430 yachts starting from Cowes, England, on 22 July, the 50th edition of the Rolex Fastnet Race confirmed the offshore classic’s position as the largest race of its kind. First held in 1925, the biennial contest has a deserved and legendary status in sport. Organized by the Royal Ocean Racing Club and founded in 1925, the race has been partnered by Rolex since 2001. Skill, determination and courage are required to complete the course, particularly with the prevailing weather threatening high winds and big seas from the very beginning. Divided into eight groups, the fleet set off from the Royal Yacht Squadron line and headed west along The Solent, before entering the English Channel at Hurst Point. Ahead lie 695 nautical miles before the finish in Cherbourg, France. 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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