The leading yachts at the 2015 Rolex Fastnet Race have reached the halfway point of the 603nm race and the front-running multihulls have rounded the race’s emblematic turning point – the Fastnet rock.
At 17:00 CEST the Dona Bertarelli and Yann Guichard-skippered **Spindrift 2 led the fleet having opened up a 17nm advantage over her nearest rival on the water, Phaedo 3. Spindrift 2, travelling at around 24 knots, rounded the Fastnet rock with gusto at 16:49 BST.
Following a slow start from Cowes, the leading monohulls are also making good progress. The tussle between American Maxis Rambler and Comanche is proving intriguing. As Spindrift rounded the Fastnet rock, 88′ Rambler was some 3nm ahead of the 100′ Comanche and 100nm from rounding the rock.
The heavier Leopard – two-time line honours winner – is some 25nm further behind. Performing impressively is the newly-launched Maxi 72 MOMO keeping up pace with Mike Slade’s British Maxi having passed the Isles of Scilly and begun their charge to the Fastnet.
Although the leading boats have gathered speed, the monohull race record set in 2011 by Abu Dhabi of 1 day, 18 hours and 39 minutes will not be threatened.
The bulk of the record-breaking 356-strong international fleet are currently passing Plymouth having negotiated just over 130nm of the race. Since the start the vast majority of boats have endured a frustrating first 24 hours of moving slowly or gently parking and floating, conditions are expected to improve in the coming days allowing them to stay in contention for overall victory on IRC handicap.