Victors emerge from 336 starters in Fastnet Race

 

Plymouth

In miserable rain there were celebrations developing in Plymouth as places were settled in the 45th Rolex Fastnet Race, the biennial battle on the briny around a desolate rock off the south-west corner of Ireland.

On Tuesday, the rich got richer and the slow got slower as the record 336 starters in the biennial Rolex Fastnet Race were either home and dry as frontrunners, or the rest cursed their luck at what the wind gods decided to hand out.

First home was the 131-foot trimaran Spindrift in an elapsed 38 hours 53min 58sec with co-skippers Dona Bertarelli, sister of America's cup winner Ernesto, and Yann Guichard only half happy. The record is six hours faster and the boat, when in Banque Populaire colours, set the fastest time for sailing round the world.

Now in the Banque Pop livery and in second-place by 22min 41sec was the former world record holder when it was Groupama but, perhaps more impressive than both was the 70-foot trimaran Oman Air-Musandam which was crossed the breakwater finish line of the nominal 611-mile race just one hour behind Banque Pop.

"We did well out of the Solent, putting in 29 tacks, but it was at Land's End that we took the decision to go north round the shipping lane exclusion zone while most of the others went west," said Oman Air tactician Neal McDonald.

The wind then conveniently switched clockwise in direction, which made the tactical call the winning option for a crew skippered by Sidney Gavignet and including British coach Dee Caffari and one of her charges, Raiya al Habsi. Caffari is schooling the Omani women ahead of next year's Sailing Arabia - The Tour.

Behind them three fierce battles were continuing through Tuesday night. The 100-foot Esimit Europa, skippered by German Olympian Jochen Schuemann, three golds and a silver, was ahead of Britain's Mike Slade's rival 100-footer Leopard by over five hours over the line.

And in the 72-foot mini-maxis Hap Fauth's Bella Mente, winner last week in AAM Cowes Week of the New York Yacht Club Challenge Cup, held off rival Niklas Zennstrôm's Rán, already with two Fastnet wins to its name, to the finish but the British-based team beat the American-led challenge, with Kiwi Mike Sanderson as crewboss, on handicap.

In the Volvo class, Team SCA, Sweden's all-woman entry in next year's round the world race, and Abu Dhabi's Azzam, skippered by Ian Walker, are both last generation Open 70s, both teams waiting to take delivery of their new Volvo 65s.

While there are three male coaches in the SCA crew, the Abu Dhabi crew, including some under-30s fighting for two 2014-15 places and a couple of gnarly old campaigners, came from behind to cross the line first. But it was not enough.

SCA has solo round the world sailor Sam Davies as navigator. As a former captain of (rowing) boats at St. John's College, Cambridge she has Cambridge rowing, sailing and rugby blue and sailing Olympian Annie Lush alongside her. The full team has yet to be announced but Davies and Lush are already selected and on handicap they beat Azzam's corrected time.

This year's Vendée Globe winner François Gabart won the Open 60 class partnered by twice Vendée winner Michel Desjoyeaux in Maçif by less than a minute from Jérémie Beyou and Christopher Pratt in Mâitre Coq. Britain's Alex Thomson, partnered by the man who will join him in next year's double handed round the world Barcelona Race, Guillermo Altadill, was third.

But there is only one trophy that truly matters, the Fastnet Challenge Cup for the handicap winner and that may not be decided until much later. "With the weather forecast as it is, and the small boats need strong winds for their finish, the overall winner may not be decided until just before the prize giving on Friday," said Eddie Warden Owen, chief executive of the organising Royal Ocean Racing Club.

News
people

Actress sees off speculation about her appearance in an amazing way

Arts and Entertainment
Serge Pizzorno of Kasabian and Noel Fielding backstage at the Teenage Cancer Trust concerts
musicKasabian and Noel Fielding attack 'boring' musicians
News
videoWatch Lynda Bellingham's tragic final Loose Women appearance
Sport
A view of today's Spanish papers
football
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
The last great picture - Winner 'Black and White' and overall 'Wildlife Photographer of the Year'
art
News
people

Sport
sportAtlanta Falcons can't count and don't know what the UK looks like
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
High notes, flat performance: Jake Bugg
music

Review: Despite an uphill climb to see Jake Bugg in action, his performance is notably flat

News
The Putin automaton will go on sale next month in Germany
videoMusical Putin toy showing him annexing Crimea could sell for millions
News
news

Powerful images of strays taken moments before being put down

News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
S Club 7 pose for Children in Need 2001
music
Arts and Entertainment
'Right Here' singer Jess Glynne is nominated for Best Newcomer at the MOBO Awards 2014
musicExclusive: Jess Glynne hits out at 'ridiculous' criticism of white artists nominated for Mobo Awards
Voices
'Irritatingly Disneyfied': fashion vlogger Zoella
voices

Arts and Entertainment
Russell Brand has written a book of political analysis called Revolution
books

Review: Witty banalities aside, the comedian has an authentic voice

Arts and Entertainment
Separated at birth? Frank Sivero (left) claims The Simpsons based Mafia character Louie on his Goodfellas character
arts + entsFrank Sivero sues Simpsons studio over allegedly basing mobster character on Frank Carbone
News
Carl Bernstein (left) and Bob Woodward (right) with former 'Washington Post' executive editor Ben Bradlee
people

The Washington Post editor helped Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein bring down President Nixon

Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

'You need me, I don’t need you'

Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

How to Get Away with Murder

Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
A cup of tea is every worker's right

Hard to swallow

Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
Which animals are nearly extinct?

Which animals are nearly extinct?

Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
12 best children's shoes

Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
Anderlecht vs Arsenal: Gunners' ray of light Aaron Ramsey shines again

Arsenal’s ray of light ready to shine again

Aaron Ramsey’s injury record has prompted a club investigation. For now, the midfielder is just happy to be fit to face Anderlecht in the Champions League
Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015

UK city beats Vienna, Paris and New York to be ranked seventh in world’s best tourist destinations - but it's not London