Entry into the RORC's flagship event, the Rolex Fastnet Race surpassed expectations. The 340-boat limit was reached in just 4 minutes and 24 seconds setting a new record.
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Within the first minute of the REMUS online entry system opening at midday Monday 9 January, the London and Cowes-based organising club had received a massive 222 entries.
The frenetic trend continued for the next hour and into the afternoon, with entries streaming in from all around the world.
Within an hour, nearly 400 boats had signed up for the biennial 603-nautical miler, which has been an established fixture on the ocean racing circuit since 1925.
The First 40, Lancelot II was the first boat to enter the race, signing up just 12 seconds after the online entry system opened.
The next four boats entered shortly after: Arthur Logic, Pelgrim, Jolly Jack Tar and Moana.
Entries from 28 different nations have signed up and include: Great Britain, France (who have dominated the event in the recent years), Netherlands, Germany and USA, with an entry from Korea as well as from Australia and New Zealand.
The race has attracted the usual diverse fleet of yachts, from beautiful classics to some of the world's fastest racing machines - and everything in between, racing in IRC or selected offshore classes such as IMOCA60, VOR65, Class40 and MOCRA Multihull.
The 47th edition of the Rolex Fastnet Race organised by the Royal Ocean Racing Club will start in the Solent from Cowes, Isle of Wight, on Sunday 6 August, finishing in Plymouth via the Fastnet Rock, the symbol of the race located off the southern coast of Ireland.
Nick Elliott, RORC Racing explains his reaction to the phenomenal demand to enter this historic race:
"Seven boats raced in the first race in 1925 and the founding members of the RORC and its flagship event would have been in awe of their creation with 340 boats signing up so quickly today."
"With all this interest, we expect a record-sized fleet to start from the Royal Yacht Squadron line, making the Rolex Fastnet Race by far the largest of the world's classic 600-mile offshore races, in terms of participation. One not to be missed,"
For more information on the 2017 Rolex Fastnet Race please go to: fastnet.rorc.org
9 January 2017 17:44 GMT