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RORC Fastnet race to finish in France

Nov 8, 2010
10,904
Beneteau First 36.7 & 260 Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
In a somewhat related story to the S-H race, the Rolex Fastnet Race will now finish in Cherbourg France. Moved after almost 100 years of finishes in Plymouth.

It has nothing to do with issues finishing in Plymouth water, as the bay is only two miles deep. The issue is berthing spots for finishing boats; the small(ish) size of the harbor is what limits the number of entries. This number has been fixed at around 380 boats for years, and last year the race was over-subscribed by 150 boats.

Many traditionalists are bitter, but more entries is a good thing. And Cherbourg is an awesome port, and will put on quite a show for the finishers, many who are French!

And yes the 'record time' results will now be broken, but nobody ever cared about that, except maybe George David of Rambler 100. He's really the only super-maxi that does that race anymore.

 
Oct 22, 2014
12,430
CAL 35 Cruiser Portland OR, moored EVERETT WA
It is the nature of things. Change happens in all things. Even the Americas Cup had change. No more classics racing. You practically need to be an aeronautical engineer just to step on to one of the new AC boats.
 

PaulK

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Dec 1, 2009
474
Tillotson Pearson J/36 Southport, CT
Cherbourg and the Cotentin region are preparing to spend more than a million euros to help get ready for the event. Some concern about the boats having to cross English Channel commercial traffic lanes has been brought up.
 
Nov 8, 2010
10,904
Beneteau First 36.7 & 260 Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
Cherbourg and the Cotentin region are preparing to spend more than a million euros to help get ready for the event. Some concern about the boats having to cross English Channel commercial traffic lanes has been brought up.
Indeed and good point. The Fastnet race currently considers TSS lanes as OBSTRUCTIONS, and you cannot sail in them. I'm assuming that they will do the same for the one they will have to cross to get to Cherbourg. Race rhumbline in red.

TSS.png
 

PaulK

.
Dec 1, 2009
474
Tillotson Pearson J/36 Southport, CT
General belief (hope?) is that they’ll put in a turning mark and make the fleet cross the lanes at close to 90º, somewhere near Cherboug. Would hate to be the cargo captains with 450 some boats crossing all the lanes in front of us, especially if there isn’t much wind.
 
Nov 8, 2010
10,904
Beneteau First 36.7 & 260 Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
General belief (hope?) is that they’ll put in a turning mark and make the fleet cross the lanes at close to 90º, somewhere near Cherboug. Would hate to be the cargo captains with 450 some boats crossing all the lanes in front of us, especially if there isn’t much wind.
It could happen. But I suspect that they will make the Casquets TTS an obstruction, like they do the others on the course rhumb line. This is done mostly as a practical consideration and not for safety per se; it is VERY hard to enforce the need to correctly cross a TSS (as close to 90 degrees as possible from traffic) while racing.

Screenshot 2020-01-02 08.47.54.png

Which side they have to leave it on might be a question, however, as the Channel Maritime Board calls the area west of the TSS a 'danger zone'.

Screenshot 2020-01-02 08.58.58.png


But the reality is that most of these boats are from the Solent, and are very used to be sailing in the vicinity of large ships.
 
Nov 8, 2010
10,904
Beneteau First 36.7 & 260 Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
One other often overlooked fact... the vast majority of the boats in the race are from the Solent... so the return delivery from Cherbourg will be much shorter than returning from Plymouth!
 

Apex

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Jun 19, 2013
920
Oday 28 Traverse City
deliveries.....the most non-glamorous part of racing. but I always volunteer when I can. my thought: As crew I should be contributing my part. The owner putsA LOT of time in prepping the boat, organizing crew etc.