The Rolex Fastnet Race might not be anything like the length of even the shortest of the Volvo Ocean Race legs, but it’s a renowned ocean classic race nevertheless, with a complex course that combines coastal and open water challenges.
Few people know the Fastnet better than team AkzoNobel navigator Jules Salter. Born on the Isle of Wight where the race originates, Jules has taken part in 12 editions so far of the 92-year old race and his enthusiasm for it remains undiminished.
In 2011 he was the navigator on the Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing VO70 Azzam when Ian Walker’s crew set the current monohull record time of 42 hours, 39 minutes (one day, 18 hours, 39 minutes).
There’s no one better than Jules to break the 603-nautical mile (1,117-kilometer) race down into understandable sections.
He begins with the start in Cowes from the Royal Yacht Squadron starting line…
“There will be hundreds of boats setting off through the confines of the Solent [the sandbank-strewn, current-ridden strait separating the Isle of Wight from the English mainland].
“We will be one of the last fleets to start, but also one of the fastest – so we will have to pick our way through a lot of boats. It’s a case of getting out of the Solent in good shape and not ending your race too early.”