Concise 10 first home

Concise 10 took line honours in this year’s Fastnet Race.

Unchallenged, Concise 10 blazed into Plymouth Tuesday morning, first boat home in the 47th Rolex Fastnet Race. Tony Lawson’s MOD70 trimaran crossed the finish line off Plymouth breakwater at 05:55:00 BST with a race time of 42 hours and 55 minutes.

This time didn’t come close to the overall multihull record for the Rolex Fastnet Race but it was still respectable considering they sailed upwind all the way to the Fastnet Rock.

Skipper Ned Collier Wakefield said he had enjoyed the start, leaving the Solent amid the giant spectator fleet and the journey back from the Fastnet Rock: “Last night we gybed south and just sat there doing 30+ knots in flat water and brought that pressure all the way in. The moon was out so you could see what was going on.”

As to their exceptional performance to the Rock he added that the MOD70 was sailing upwind, typically making 21 knots at 50 degrees. “The MOD70 is an amazing machine. Every time we go out we still come back smiling.”

Among Concise 10‘s crew were Paul Larsen, the world’s fastest sailor (who sailed Vestas Sailrocket 2 at 65.45 knots average over 500m in 2012) and towering Rio 2016 Finn gold medallist and Land Rover BAR crew Giles Scott, sailing his first offshore race.

“It was really good,” said Scott. “Upwind, it felt like a long way out to the Fastnet, although I know a lot of the fleet have still got to go through all of that. On the turn round, when we started ripping downwind, Land’s End didn’t feel that far away at all. The fastest speed I saw was 36 knots.”

Rambler 88 claims monohull line honours
American George David’s Rambler 88 arrived in Plymouth to claim monohull line honours. The silver maxi crossed the finish line off Plymouth breakwater at 22:14:21 BST in a time of 2 days 9 hours 34 minutes and 21 seconds.

This was more than six hours faster than they had managed in 2015 when they ghosted in just four minutes astern of Jim Clark’s 100ft maxi, Comanche. But it was considerably outside of the monohull race record of 1 day 18 hours and 39 minutes, set in 2011 by the Ian Walker-skippered VO70, Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing.

For a lengthy period this morning Rambler 88 appeared set to achieve ‘the double’ ie win both line honours and overall on handicap. However she has since been displaced from the top spot overall under IRC by the 115ft giant, Nikata and Ron O’Hanley’s Cookson 50 Privateer.

In 2011, the Rolex Fastnet Race nearly claimed David’s life when the keel broke off his 100ft maxi, causing the boat to capsize shortly after rounding the Fastnet rock. David and four others were washed away from their boat and it was only thanks to a near miraculous set of circumstances that they were rescued shortly before dusk. Passing the same area this time David said they had touched base with the Irish rescue services who had saved them six years ago.

“We called the Valentia MSRC, the search and rescue unit for Ireland and had a talk to them on the radio and the Baltimore RNLI. They knew we were there by looking on the tracker. We know those people very well having met them in the dire-est of circumstances. They are wonderful people and it was nice to connect with them.”

As usual Rambler 88 was bristling with America’s Cup and Volvo Ocean Race winners, including many former Team New Zealand and Alinghi crew. A new recruit this time was former Emirates Team New Zealand helmsman Dean Barker, who sailed as watch leader.

Although best known for his inshore racing, this is Barker’s third Rolex Fastnet Race having previously competed on a Mumm 36 and aboard Hasso Plattner’s maxi Morning Glory in 2001.

The next arrival due is Ludde Ingvall’s maxi CQS.

Track the fleet in the Rolex Fastnet Race: cf.yb.tl/fastnet2017

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