Like a trial run for Sunday’s start of the Rolex Fastnet Race, Saturday the Solent has been in blustery mood with an overcast sky, rain and perpetual gusty winds.
The forecast for the start of the 49th edition of the world’s largest offshore race remains for winds of 20-25 knots with gusts into the 30s, although the rain is set to subside.
Given the conditions, the Rolex Fastnet Race’s organisers, the Royal Ocean Racing Club, have decided to rearrange the order of Sunday’s start times.
They will now be:
Multihulls (MOCRA, Open) 1110 (BST)
IMOCA, Class40 11:25 hrs
IRC Zero 11:40 hrs
IRC 1 and Figaro 3 11:55 hrs
IRC 4 12:10 hrs
IRC 3 12:25 hrs
IRC 2 12:40 hrs
Previously IRC Zero, home of the largest monohulls entered in the Rolex Fastnet Race, was to have started last.
Usually this allows the small boats to enjoy seeing them stride past.
However, in the big conditions forecast, the RORC are steering a more prudent course.
“The wind angle now makes it fully upwind at the start so we’ve made this change principally to make it safer for the big boats to get through Hurst Narrows,” explained Chris Stone, Race Director of the Rolex Fastnet Race.