Plymouth City Council and the Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) have confirmed that Plymouth will host the finish of the 2019 Rolex Fastnet Race.
Plymouth has marked the end of the biennial yacht race since its inception in 1925. Starting in Cowes on the Isle of Wight, competitors cover a course of 608 nautical miles and round the Fastnet Rock off the southwest coast of Ireland before returning via the Isles of Scilly to finish in Plymouth. The race has a huge worldwide following and has seen continued growth over recent years, with the limit of 300 boats having to be increased to over 340 due to high demand.
Deputy Leader of the Council, Pete Smith said: “I'm delighted that the Rolex Fastnet is returning to its historic home once again in 2019. We are working closely with the organisers of the Rolex Fastnet Race, the Royal Ocean Racing Club, to enhance the experience of the thousands of sailors who arrive in Plymouth after competing in the race.”
Yachts come from all over the world to compete in the race which will start on Saturday 3 August 2019. The first yachts are expected to arrive in Plymouth in the early hours of Monday 5 August. The Plymouth race village will be located at Yacht Haven at Mount Batten and will be open to the public from Tuesday 6 to Thursday 8 August, with live music, family friendly activities and opportunities for local people to try their hand at on-water activities like sailing, kayaking and Stand Up Paddleboarding.
Councillor Smith continued: “The race is hugely significant for the city, helping to put Plymouth on the map and attracting visitors to see the finish of one of the world's most famous yacht races. We want to make sailing more accessible for people living here and encourage more participation in the sport. Hosting internationally renowned events like this is important to help motivate and inspire participation.”
RORC Racing Manger, Chris Stone said: “Plymouth's waterfront position is one of the most dramatic and beautiful in the UK and the city has amazing facilities for yachts and sailors. We are pleased to be working closely with Plymouth City Council to make the race bigger and better and provide a warm welcome for the 350+ boats descending on the city. It is also a great opportunity for local people to come and experience our sport and understand how much fun it is and easily available to all.”
The Rolex Fastnet will be followed by the Britain's Ocean City Blues n Jazz Festival from Friday 9 to Sunday 11 August, rounding off a week of celebration.
More details about the programme and timings will be released closer to the time.