Volvo Ocean Race Fleet in the Rolex Fastnet 2017: The Competition So Far
A record-breaking 368 yachts are currently competing in the 605mile 2017 Rolex Fastnet Race. This RORC race is featured for the first time as part of the upcoming Volvo Ocean Race.
The newly formatted Leg Zero has 2 stages, teams taking these points into the VOR 17-18 starting in Alicante in October.
MAPFRE won the first stage of Leg Zero, entering the Lendy Round the Island Race. The Spanish team rounded the Isle of Wight in a record time for a monohull (subject to ratification of 3h:13m:11s). Her time was six minutes 58 seconds ahead of that set by Mike Slade’s 100ft ICAP Leopard in 2013, however ICAP Leopard’s powered winches mean that Mapfre also beat the previous world record for a monohull without power assistance by an impressive margin of more than 36 minutes.
With Sunday marking the start of the race, part two of the Leg Zero qualifying series is well underway. Although yesterday Team AkzoNobel were striding ahead, the Chinese Dongfeng Race Team pulled through a night of tacking difficulties and were the first to round Fastnet Rock, surging into the lead.
Fastnet’s reputation as one of the toughest races ensures that only experienced race teams will compete, and VHR will be following closely.
The summer of sailing may be officially nearing the finish line, but with many new but experienced teams joining this iteration of Volvo Ocean Race it should be one the most hotly-contested yet.
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