South African sailors have had a fascination with the Fastnet Race going back many years, and this year is no exception.
Reference in the official Rolex Fastnet press release caught my eye as it mentioned ‘Tokoloshe’ – which is owned and skippered by Mike Bartholomew of Cape Town. Mike is a regular campaigner on the British circuit, and is regularly on the podium.
This is what caught my eye:
Maxi 72 Momo’s position as overall leader was known to be under threat as the building breezy conditions experienced at the Fastnet rock yesterday spread across the course. Smaller yachts started to benefit from the freshening wind in their hunt to move up the standings. First to topple Momo was the GP42 Tokoloshe, which finished just before midnight. Then, this morning the smaller GOA, skippered by Samuel Prietz moved into pole position. Their glory was short-lived as 40 minutes later, the JPK 10.80 Courrier du Léon led by Géry Trentesaux crossed the line under spinnaker in serene style, calmly and emphatically topping the leaderboard.
So, of the South Africans one can safely say that Bartholomew and ‘Tokoloshe’ are the best placed – on overall handicap anyway.
Tokoloshe is currently 2nd overall in IRC 1. She is also 1st overall in IRC 1A.
Marc Lagesse, Mark Sadler, Mike Giles and David Rae were on Black Pearl which finished 3rd in IRC Z.
Adrian Kuttel was on the Class 40 Silvi Bell which was 3rd overall in class.
Phillippa Hutton-Squire skippered Concise 2 into 11th spot overall in the Class 40s – with an all-girl crew too. Well done Phillippa.
Paul Willcox was on Leopard which was 3rd overall in the line honours states.
Not a bad result for a bunch of ‘japies’?
All yachts have now rounded the Fastnet rock, an unlikely situation two days ago when the racecourse lacked any real wind.
German sailor Mathias Müller von Blumencron from the crew of Red captured the magic of the Rolex Fastnet shortly after stepping ashore: ”It’s such a wonderful race. It is not just a tactical race, it is a technical race, a speed race, and it has human factors too. Basically it has everything that makes sailing what it is. Every time it is an experience, it is an adventure. You can arrive at the rock and the lighthouse is in the dark, so you don’t see it but you hear the birds and the crashing of the waves. It is unbelievable.”