The dream of many sailors is to participate in the largest offshore regatta in the world, the Rolex Fastnet Race. Getting a starting position already is a real challenge, considering that they are already taken after only a few minutes.
The Atlantix Express team has made it and reports from the 2021 race:
More than 450 yachts from over 24 nations entered this year’s Rolex Fastnet Race. But due to the predicted very demanding weather conditions, there were only 337 boats at the start willing to take on the upcoming hardships.
Due to delivery problems caused by Corona, the shipyard commissioned for the extensive yacht refit was unable to complete our “Atlantix” on schedule. So, until shortly before the departure to Cowes/Isle of Wight no test stroke, let alone training with the crew was possible.
Nevertheless, the journey from Cherbourg to Cowes went smoothly with very good wind, the crew in an excellent mood, and a fast top speed of up to 17.4 knots.
Damages to the boat bring the race to an abrupt end
The start on Sunday, August 08, 2021, turned out to be more than challenging, with extreme gusts of up to 62kn, so that the starting field was already subject to first damages and collisions.
Especially the wave conditions at the exit of the Solent were very chaotic and not without danger, with strong wind against the current.
These brutal conditions unfortunately also took their toll on us. With damage to our sails and other technical problems, the only sensible decision in terms of good seamanship was to abandon the regatta.
Unfortunately, many other ships suffered the same fate as we did, some of which had to deal with considerably worse damages, such as broken masts. The well-known professional sailor Samantha Davies stated in an interview that she was very happy to have survived the first hour after the start in one piece.
After the abandonment of the regatta, we unfortunately had no choice but to return to Cherbourg with just a few sails. Despite our initial disappointment, the mood brightened very quickly, and we planned the next regattas and trainings with great euphoria.
In the meantime, all damage to the “Atlantix” has been repaired and we have already been able to carry out some very successful training sessions with some new crew members. We are already looking forward to next year’s regatta season because our start at the “Myth of Malhem” is already decided.
Our thanks go to the generous support of the Simpert Reiter company, whose travellunch dishes make such operations possible in the first place. On a regatta boat, conventional cooking is simply not possible. After a variety of attempts with not very tasty food we came to the conclusion that travellunch is simply the best.
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