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Fastnet 2021 finish in Cherbourg? Zoot alors! What must the RORC be thinking


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The last three Fastnet races i have done, we have bailed out of Plymouth as fast as possible,  if we have stopped at all. It is a shit place to finish a race that has 300 boats...and I grew up there.

So Fastnet is doing it's own Brexit 

As a boat based in Hamble, Cherbourg is closer to get back, ferry transport is far more reliable and probably cheaper than getting a train from Plymouth, the beer is probably better and who can’t resi

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5 hours ago, winchfodder said:

I don't see any reference in the press release from the RORC on how the record number of competitors will be able to enter France, let alone return to the UK during lockdown. 

Correct me if I'm wrong but the Fastnet isn't slated to start until August 8th... I'd be concerned if it started tomorrow, next month or in March but for now its an event to look forward to and far enough away that the global situation might be somewhat more positive. It is clear that the safety of those entered will remain of the upmost importance to RORC and the local/national authorities. 

It seems you've been knocking the move to Cherbourg for some time and while I agree it is a shame for Plymouth to have lost it, at some stage the traditionalists are going to have to realise that this is not only happening but has been confirmed as the right decision by a fleet of over 500 amateur and professional crews. 

Whats the saying? Don't cry over spilt milk... 

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8 minutes ago, furler49 said:

Correct me if I'm wrong but the Fastnet isn't slated to start until August 8th... I'd be concerned if it started tomorrow, next month or in March but for now its an event to look forward to and far enough away that the global situation might be somewhat more positive. It is clear that the safety of those entered will remain of the upmost importance to RORC and the local/national authorities. 

It seems you've been knocking the move to Cherbourg for some time and while I agree it is a shame for Plymouth to have lost it, at some stage the traditionalists are going to have to realise that this is not only happening but has been confirmed as the right decision by a fleet of over 500 amateur and professional crews. 

Whats the saying? Don't cry over spilt milk... 

I am sure that the RORC Cowes Cherbourg Race will be a great success as the entry list already shows and the course is a great challenge, particularly with the added bonus of the tidal gates around the Casquets and the Alderney Race. 

As for the potential problems in case of continued lockdowns in August in either the UK or France or both, that will have to be faced nearer the time. If France is not open, then there is always the option of talking to Plymouth. But do not expect Plymouth to be paying anything near the offer from Cherbourg. 

Yes, it is a sort of sour grapes/spilt milk scenario that the finish is not in Plymouth. I have no allegiance to Plymouth as the race port. My point is that it is not the Fasnet Race, never will be and so should not be called that as it is not the same course/distance.

Call it anything you like, but the name and the history (and the trophies) belong to a different race. I can just see the Rolex/ RORC PR machines going into overdrive around August this year about the "historic" offshore race, recounting the old stories about the rivalries, the winners and of course the tragedy of 1979. All tosh, because it is not the Fastnet, but the less than informed public and sponsors will believe the fudge and history will once again be rewritten.

 

 

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4 hours ago, winchfodder said:

 Call it anything you like, but the name and the history (and the trophies) belong to a different race. I can just see the Rolex/ RORC PR machines going into overdrive around August this year about the "historic" offshore race, recounting the old stories about the rivalries, the winners and of course the tragedy of 1979. All tosh, because it is not the Fastnet, but the less than informed public and sponsors will believe the fudge and history will once again be rewritten.

Personally I think the majority of informed people will understand that just because the finishing port is different, doesn't negate the link to all that history. Which after all, is about the challenge, spirit, endeavour and competitive spirt of the competitors and the rounding of the rock itself. Its "The Fastnet Race" not the "Cowes to Plymouth via Ireland" race.

If we adopt your interpretation then why limit it to the finish port? The "historic" fastnet didn't feature any boats with Carbon sails, autopilots, GPS, Weather GRIBS, Expedition, T-keels, or asymmetric kites. Are people on a boat with any of the features not competing in the "historic" race. Do we all need to build a replica of Jolie Brise and sail it using dead reckoning if we want to do so?

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57 minutes ago, Quagers said:

Personally I think the majority of informed people will understand that just because the finishing port is different, doesn't negate the link to all that history. Which after all, is about the challenge, spirit, endeavour and competitive spirt of the competitors and the rounding of the rock itself. Its "The Fastnet Race" not the "Cowes to Plymouth via Ireland" race.

If we adopt your interpretation then why limit it to the finish port? The "historic" fastnet didn't feature any boats with Carbon sails, autopilots, GPS, Weather GRIBS, Expedition, T-keels, or asymmetric kites. Are people on a boat with any of the features not competing in the "historic" race. Do we all need to build a replica of Jolie Brise and sail it using dead reckoning if we want to do so?

I have no problem with advances in yachting design and technology. Though I do find many of these changes have taken away much of the challenge of inshore and offshore racing like the Fastnet.

For example asymmetric offwind sails set on bowspits take away all the skill and crew work involved in symmetrical spinnakers set on poles that have to be gybed (with or without detaching from the mast depending on the size). Yes you can sail faster in the right design with less crew, but there is less for the crew to do and less skill required.

For example navigation without GPS added so much more to the race and required specialist knowledge. At the first light of dawn, approaching CH1 or the Fastnet Rock you were never quite sure if you were low of the mark or downtide and how many boats had made it inside you.

For example furling headsails cannot compare with changing headsails at night offshore with twin luff grooves (or even Hanks!). Should we do an inside or outside change? Which haliard should we choose? Decisions that often mean the difference between winning and losing.

Those sad old fucks still amongst us that remember those days will know exactly what I mean. There was more to do for more of the crew, I won't comment if more skill was required. 

Anyway you can't stop progress and I would love to be sailing a foiling AC75 (as long as I wasn't head down in the cockpit the whole race grinding on a pedestal).

My point is that the Cowes Cherbourg race is not the Fastnet. It uses 2/3rds of the original course, but that is all. 

 

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1 hour ago, winchfodder said:

 

Those sad old fucks still amongst us that remember those days will know exactly what I mean.  

 

I resemble that !!!!

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44 minutes ago, DtM said:
2 hours ago, winchfodder said:

 

Those sad old fucks still amongst us that remember those days will know exactly what I mean.  

 

I resemble that !!!!

So can I.

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Interesting comment from Marcus Hutchinson today on the Vendee programme that the Cowes Cherbourg in August will be ok for the French competitors including the multihull and IMOCA crews as they will be able to sail over, cross the start line and then finish in Cherbourg so no need to touch down in the UK and breach any covid rules that might be in place. 

The UK competitors can do the same, just pass inside the Cherbourg breakwater and back to UK. 

Hang on! In that case why not just make it the Fastnet race and finish in Plymouth. Makes more sense!

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2 hours ago, winchfodder said:

Interesting comment from Marcus Hutchinson today on the Vendee programme that the Cowes Cherbourg in August will be ok for the French competitors including the multihull and IMOCA crews as they will be able to sail over, cross the start line and then finish in Cherbourg so no need to touch down in the UK and breach any covid rules that might be in place. 

The UK competitors can do the same, just pass inside the Cherbourg breakwater and back to UK. 

Hang on! In that case why not just make it the Fastnet race and finish in Plymouth. Makes more sense!

You have been to Cherbourg and Plymouth? Easy decision plus Cherbourg makes better financial offer. National pride put aside seem simple decision.

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2 hours ago, winchfodder said:

Interesting comment from Marcus Hutchinson today on the Vendee programme that the Cowes Cherbourg in August will be ok for the French competitors including the multihull and IMOCA crews as they will be able to sail over, cross the start line and then finish in Cherbourg so no need to touch down in the UK and breach any covid rules that might be in place. 

The UK competitors can do the same, just pass inside the Cherbourg breakwater and back to UK. 

Hang on! In that case why not just make it the Fastnet race and finish in Plymouth. Makes more sense!

Why does it make more sense? I'm really sorry winch fodder but you sound like a broken record. Are you a RORC member? As a current RORC member I'd far rather see the financial survival of a historic institution and a continuation of a great program of events. To me, as a sailor, the Fastnet is about exactly that, the Fastnet (and rounding it). I, along with thousands of others, don't really care whether it finishes in Plymouth or Cherbourg. I appreciate the history and I appreciate that things evolve. 

That's it for me, I fear we'll have to agree to disagree!  

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59 minutes ago, Jean-Baptiste said:

Hang on! In that case why not just make it the Fastnet race and finish in Plymouth. Makes more NONsense!

FIFY.

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On 1/21/2021 at 4:34 PM, winchfodder said:

Interesting comment from Marcus Hutchinson today on the Vendee programme that the Cowes Cherbourg in August will be ok for the French competitors including the multihull and IMOCA crews as they will be able to sail over, cross the start line and then finish in Cherbourg so no need to touch down in the UK and breach any covid rules that might be in place. 

The UK competitors can do the same, just pass inside the Cherbourg breakwater and back to UK. 

Hang on! In that case why not just make it the Fastnet race and finish in Plymouth. Makes more sense!

Funny you should mention crossing the line and going back home without setting foot ashore, we and many other French sailors have been doing just that for many years without whining because we have to be at work on Monday morning.

Many British boats do the exact same thing for the Cervantes Trophy, Cowes-Dinard, Cowes-Cherbourg,  and La Trinité and it does not seem to be a problem for them either.

Should you want a UK race between British sailors in British ports, then be it, but it's certainly not in the RORC DNA or program which consists mainly of crossings from Cowes to Le Havre, St Peter, La Trinité, Cherbourg, St Malo, or... Portsmouth.

I really like the openness of the club and how every sailor is treated regardless of nationality, background, or boat size, and look forward to this year's Fastnet.

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3 hours ago, Sebyseb said:

Funny you should mention crossing the line and going back home without setting foot ashore, we and many other French sailors have been doing just that for many years without whining because we have to be at work on Monday morning.

Many British boats do the exact same thing for the Cervantes Trophy, Cowes-Dinard, Cowes-Cherbourg,  and La Trinité and it does not seem to be a problem for them either.

Should you want a UK race between British sailors in British ports, then be it, but it's certainly not in the RORC DNA or program which consists mainly of crossings from Cowes to Le Havre, St Peter, La Trinité, Cherbourg, St Malo, or... Portsmouth.

I really like the openness of the club and how every sailor is treated regardless of nationality, background, or boat size, and look forward to this year's Fastnet.

Done a few of those,  "close enough to smell the garlic" was the description of doing those races.

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The last three Fastnet races i have done, we have bailed out of Plymouth as fast as possible,  if we have stopped at all. It is a shit place to finish a race that has 300 boats...and I grew up there.

Covid may mean doing that this year with Cherbourg, and calendars may mean doing it in the future.

However, at least RORC are looking at possibilities,  rather than just saying 'we have always done it this way, so that is how we must continue '

Winchfodder and his ilk who claim it is not the Fastnet Race are welcome to bitch and moan, but RORC have done more to advance competition in Offshore Racing than nearly any other entity, whereas the RWYC has continuously cocked up decisions and races for decades. 

Tidal gates have always been part of the Fastnet Race, every competitor have to deal with them, one more is going to make some people look good and others look sad...no different than any other race in the Channel.

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With the combination of summer and vaccination the chance for then still being a lockdown are slim in my opinion. There will still be some "social distancing" rules.

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17 minutes ago, hairyharford said:

How long before they either have to go back cap in hand to Plymouth or finish in Cowes ? 

Customs rules, Closed borders, Testing, Self Isolation.

It's ok, we'll all be vaccinated by then so we can crack on. Might not be able to land in France... France may be at war with Germany by then, as well as everyone else, over their vaccine stocks, so might be light on crew due to conscription.

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Likely the French fisherfolk will do what they always do to make a point - blockade the port!  Anyone remember the  1/4 ton Cup in Deauville way back when the whole fleet was dockbound for two or three days.  And then 'an arrangement' was made:)

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1 hour ago, hairyharford said:

How long before they either have to go back cap in hand to Plymouth or finish in Cowes ? 

Customs rules, Closed borders, Testing, Self Isolation.

Its could be a consideration for this year, but I doubt they can go back now.  That bridge is burnt to a crisp.

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59 minutes ago, European Bloke said:

It's ok, we'll all be vaccinated by then so we can crack on. Might not be able to land in France... France may be at war with Germany by then, as well as everyone else, over their vaccine stocks, so might be light on crew due to conscription.

:lol::lol:

That's delusionally funny.

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13 minutes ago, GBH said:

Likely the French fisherfolk will do what they always do to make a point - blockade the port!  Anyone remember the  1/4 ton Cup in Deauville way back when the whole fleet was dockbound for two or three days.  And then 'an arrangement' was made:)

Rather be blockaded and stuck in France than Plymouth.:P

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58 minutes ago, mad said:

Rather be blockaded and stuck in France than Plymouth.:P

More likely to be blockaded out of France ;) Which to be honest, is probably the contingency plan, just cross the line and head home, couple of class 40's did that for the channel race, its a "relatively" short trip home.

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On 1/30/2021 at 5:07 PM, JonRowe said:

More likely to be blockaded out of France ;) Which to be honest, is probably the contingency plan, just cross the line and head home, couple of class 40's did that for the channel race, its a "relatively" short trip home.

Actually, if home is the Solent, Cherbourg is a lot closer than Plymouth and has a neutral tide!

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12 hours ago, Sebyseb said:

Actually, if home is the Solent, Cherbourg is a lot closer than Plymouth and has a neutral tide!

Yes that was my point, its the shortest delivery home of the RORC destination races, not sure I'd call the channel neutral tide, but I guess compared to coming round the corner from the west coast it is :lol::lol:

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Just read a german news article that the Cherbourg harbor is also a huge winner of the Brexit since a lot of transportation companies now use this port for direct access to Ireland and avoid border bureaucracy instead of the former routes via the UK.

So maybe even more money to spend there for the finish village ;)

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10 minutes ago, Marty6 said:

Just read a german news article that the Cherbourg harbor is also a huge winner of the Brexit since a lot of transportation companies now use this port for direct access to Ireland and avoid border bureaucracy instead of the former routes via the UK.

So maybe even more money to spend there for the finish village ;)

I'm sure the French will out-spend and lay on a better event than Plymouth ever would.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Great to see Palby Marine ..the Elliott 35 SS. pocket rocket in the line up ............as is     Varuna. Kerr 56.   to keep Rambler 88 honest in the go fast machines

  30---31??  Class 40's     and all the J 's , JPK 's and Sun Fasts.        

   Cherbourg.   .....Neutral Tide.   ....????    But will be a great place to finish

But  only if the Pandemic is under control...........    And  BREXIT Hiccups....      so most probably see you next year....

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9 hours ago, huey 2 said:

   Cherbourg.   .....Neutral Tide.   ....????    But will be a great place to finish

 

CH-Cowes is a 10-12 hours crossing Northbound with 2 full lateral tides, meaning you don't have to compensate and pick your way into the Solent.

Le Havre or St Malo are a whole different story.

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7 hours ago, Sebyseb said:

CH-Cowes is a 10-12 hours crossing Northbound with 2 full lateral tides, meaning you don't have to compensate and pick your way into the Solent.

only if you like plugging 3 knots foul tide in the Western Solent ;-)

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  • 2 weeks later...

Campbell Field is running a webinar series in the run up, worth a watch if you're an expedition user and want a bit of a nav refresher for the new course, he's a good presenter and very knowledgable, I did a bunch of his webinars last year to keep skills sharp during the first covid pass :lol::lol::lol:

Edit: The link is https://www.fieldyachting.com/rolex-fastnet-race-webinar-series if you are curious

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