The Round the Island Race

Its always the highlight of the year - a spectacular weekend of racing, socialising and amazing sights. This year we offer a 3 day package including preparing the boat, refreshing the basics, learning some race techniques, taking part in the race itself, post race celebrations and a relaxing day on the Sunday. For more details and booking, click below.


130530 - Round the Island race 2013 - 30 May to 02 Jun

The Fastnet race

The biennial Rolex Fastnet Race is considered one of the world's classic ocean races. The 608-mile course is a test for skippers and crews with its tricky tidal currents and changeable weather conditions. The race is organised by the Royal Ocean Racing Club, with the Royal Yacht Squadron and the Royal Western Yacht Club, Plymouth. In 2007 it started on Sunday 12th August, off Cowes, Isle of Wight.

The Royal Ocean Racing Club's classic event has attracted 300+ yachts (the maximum) in the 2011 and will be staged again in 2013. The course takes the large fleet South West down the Solent, past the Needles and out into the English Channel. The headlands along the South Coast of England - Anvil Point, Portland Bill, Start Point, The Lizard, Lands End - must each be weathered on the way to the open ocean and the leg North West to the Fastnet Rock with it's mythical lighthouse. The return leg to Plymouth, via the Bishop Rock Lighthouse on the South side of the Scilly Isles, is just as demanding, as fatigue and competition take their toll.

Like no other race the Rolex Fastnet Race attracts every type of sailor and boat from just about every sailing country in the world. Sailing schools, corporate institutions, family owned and crewed cruiser-racers, dedicated amateurs, club sailors along with the hardened champions from the Grand Prix circuits, are all attracted to compete in the best known offshore race in the world. All come to enjoy the challenge of one of the trickiest and most demanding sporting events that an individual or a team can aspire to today.

Solent Sail runs a comprehensive campaign with crews attending a training weekend, four qualifying race weekends, the Rolex Fastnet race itself, return cruise from Plymouth, re union sailing weekend for an all-in price of 2,600 (payable in installments).

The majority of each crew must race over 300 miles with the intended Fastnet yacht, during the 12 months prior to the race. The Rolex Fastnet is an endurance yacht race and is not easy. Commitment and enthusiasm are essential to do well. During the course of the training and the race itself, crews develop and use all their sailing and communication skills. The campaign is a personal challenge, but also immensely satisfying when completed. Our aim is to make sure that everyone has fun and enjoys the challenge.

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Training Requirements

No qualifications or experience is required, although some sailing knowledge is clearly an advantage.

The skipper is responsible to ensure that the following criteria are met and that copies of Certificates or Letters of Attendance are submitted to RORC. At least 2 crew must have passed a first aid course and 50% of the crew must have had training or instruction in the use of life rafts including a session spent in a pool. We hope everyone has completed both courses, but we leave it to you to arrange something local to yourself and at a time to suit. Training must have taken place in the 5 years preceding the race start.

To obtain the pre-qualifying 300Nm in RORC races, we offer 4 races to choose from and would expect you to attend at least 2. Of course you would be welcome to attend all four races at small extra cost.

Included in our basic package is the following:

  • Charter of a boat throughout

  • training weekend

  • 4 qualifying races

  • optional races

  • Professional skipper

  • 1st mate

  • Race entry fees

  • Mooring fees

  • Food and drink whilst on board

  • Diesel and gas

  • Return cruise from Plymouth to the Solent after the race

  • Re union sailing weekend, later in the year

The complete 2013 schedule is shown below

19-21 AprilTraining weekendSolent & Channel2 days40
3-6 MayCervantes TrophyTo Le Havre3/4 days95 - 140
24-27 MayMyth of Malham RaceSolent to Eddystone Rock & back3/4 days230
13-17 JuneDe Guingand BowlTo Guernsey3/4 days120
11-15 JulyCowes Dinard St MaloTo St Malo4 days175
10 AugustRORC Rolex Fastnet RaceCowes to Plymouth via The Fastnet RockUp to 9 days600+
17/20 AugReturn from PlymouthPlymouth back to Gosport2 days180
AutumnRe union weekendSolent2 days40

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