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Rolex Fastnet Race Campaign 2011

The Rolex Fastnet Race offers a great sailing adventure to both the novice and seasoned sailor.  However, the experience can be greatly enhanced by competing in the type of vessel that won the first ever Fastnet Race. Morwenna is a Bristol Channel Pilot Cutter that is made of wood, gaff rigged and has no winches. She turns heads, makes people smile and will give you an adventure to remember.

You can join the fleet of 300 yachts and battle against them and the elements to compete in one of yachting's greatest offshore races. The Rolex Fastnet Race takes the flotilla of yachts from Cowes, on the Isle of Wight, down the English Channel, around Land's End and across the Irish Sea.  Once around the Fastnet Rock, off the south coast of Ireland, the final leg circles the Scilly Isles before the dash to Plymouth and a welcome celebration ashore.

The Rolex Fastnet Race covers just over 600 miles of challenging offshore conditions. It is a yachting challenge for the truly adventurous and, as with other offshore races, is not without an element of risk.

To fully prepare you for this race, The Traditional Sailing Company has constructed a full programme of training, which exceeds the minimum requirements of the Royal Ocean Racing Club. You will undertake RYA accredited Sea Survival and ISAF Offshore Safety Courses, a race training weekend, and 3 RORC qualifying races before entering the Rolex Fastnet Race itself. In total, this will amount to around 1100 miles of offshore racing.

Morwenna is a newly built wooden boat based on the designs of a traditional Bristol Channel Pilot Cutter. These boats needed to be robust in order to withstand the demands of their jobs – to carry the pilot safely into the Western Approaches to meet the incoming merchant ships and guide them to the safety of the ports along the Bristol Channel. Sailing Morwenna under the supervision and guidance of our experienced skipper, you can be assured of a safe but exciting passage.

We will race with a full crew of 10 plus the skipper. No previous experience is necessary, as that can be gained in the training schedule, but we do recommend a sense of adventure. Before competing in the Rolex Fastnet Race itself you must have completed a minimum of 300nm in RORC Offshore Racing as a crew, and everyone nees to have successfully completed the ISAF Offshore and RYA Sea Survival Courses.


Rolex Fastnet Race 2011 Package onboard Morwenna - £3599

Whole boat booking quotes available on request


• 1 Training Weekend – from Southampton

• 3 RORC Qualifying Offshore Races

• ISAF Offshore Safety Course

• RYA Sea Survival Course

• Rolex Fastnet Race – Sunday 14th August 2011

• Professional Skipper

• All race entry fees and event management

• Mooring Fees, Fuel and other boating expenses

• Accommodation onboard

• All food and drinks whilst at sea

• Waterproofs

• Morwenna Rolex Fastnet Racing shirt

For a full and in depth discussion on The Rolex Fastnet Campaign please call Stuart on 03333 440 738 or 07941 133 396

The Rolex Fastnet Campaign


Training Weekend: 8 ~ 10 April 2011

Join Morwenna on Friday evening; Saturday and Sunday will be devoted to sail training.   Accommodation and on board meals, as with all the schedule, will be  provided.

ISAF Shore-based Training Weekend: date to be confirmed

Life raft and sea survival training takes place in the pool on Saturday. Heavy weather and race tactics will be discussed on Sunday afternoon. 


RORC Cervantes Trophy Qualifying Race: 29 April ~ 1 May 2011

Trophee Guillaume Le Conquerant: 1 ~ 2 May 2011

Joining Morwenna on the Friday evening for a Saturday morning start, the first race of the campaign departs from Cowes and heads across the Channel to Le Havre. The course will be between 90 and 160 miles.

The return race is 95 miles back to Cowes. It is not a qualifying race but will present an excellent  opportunity to build racing experience as a team. There will be an opportunity to enjoy some French cuisine and get some rest between the two races.


RORC De Guingand Bowl Qualifying Race: 13 ~ 15 May 2011

Starting on the morning of Saturday 14th May from Cowes, this race will be around marks in the English Channel, finishing in or near the Solent. The race will last between 24 and 36 hours.

Morgan Cup Race: 17 ~ 19 June 2011

This is a race to Cherbourg, via marks and will be at least 24 hours.  The race starts on the Friday evening and, after a short run ashore, Morwenna is expected to return to Southampton late on Sunday.

RORC Channel Race: 29 – 31 July 2011

Having now completed four races this event is our final weekend together before the Fastnet Race. It starts in Cowes on Saturday morning and will finish back in the Solent. It usually lasts 24 to 36 hours. 

RORC Fastnet Race: starts 14th August 2011, finishes  when we return to Plymouth

Crew meets Friday evening for final preparations. Saturday takes Morwenna to Cowes ahead of the race start on Sunday morning. We finish at least 604 miles later in Plymouth, having rounded the Fastnet Rock off Ireland. The prize giving is held on Thursday. 

The Record for a Pilot Cutter to complete the Rolex Fastnet Race is over 6 days, so we can expect to be one of the last, and proudest, boats across the line. However we have a realistic handicap, so hard work and endurance can pay off.

Morwenna is a classic wooden boat racing against modern plastic vessels.  We will be slower in all our races and you should allow for her to return to Southampton after each race. In all you could be spending up to 30 days on Morwenna – it is worth allocating the time to enjoy the experience. 

The final return passage from Plymouth to Southampton will take be from 24 to 25 August.  If you wish to be on board for this passage you are more than welcome – after all, by then you will be part of the fittings by that stage.

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Classic Boat 2009
The Fastnet Race In a Pilot Cutter - Download

Classic Boat Article - Download