Team prepares for Rolex Fastnet Race 2015

29 July 2015

There are only 18 days to go until the competitors of the 2015 Rolex Fastnet Race gather at the start line to race in the popular 608 nautical mile offshore classic.

When entry opened earlier this year the 300 available places for the ninetieth anniversary edition sold out in the first 24 minutes. One entry which will be on the start line this August is a Clipper 68-foot ocean racer.

Competing with the Clipper Race's sister company, Clipper Events this year are nine crew members from all walks of life, representing the UK, America, Australia and South Korea. They have a variety of sailing experience, from complete novices who have never sailed before to current and former participants of the Clipper Race, some with over 40,000 miles of ocean racing under their belts.

Sang Cho, a 32 year-old based in New Zealand was the first South Korean to take part in the Clipper 2013-14 Race and will be the first ever South Korean to compete in the Rolex Fastnet Race on Sunday 16 August.

He says: “Sailing and not being able to see land is something I miss and I can’t wait to be back at sea. I am looking forward to racing the Fastnet Race and to be the first to represent South Korea in its 90 year history is a huge honour.

“I hope my participation can lead to more Korean Sailors taking part in the future and hopefully raise the profile of sailing as a sport in Korea.”

Joining Sang is Retired Special Education Teacher, Jackie Patton from Donaghadee, NI. A seasoned sailor, Jackie represented Team GB at the 1988 Seoul Games and is a member of the GREAT Britain team which will take part in this year’s edition of the Clipper Race, racing the America: Coast to Coast and Homecoming legs.

Jackie says: “I was inspired to take part in the Fastnet Race, as a boost to my race training experience ahead of my Clipper Race next year. I am honoured to be a participant in such a competitive fleet, where professionals and amateurs are in the same race. Many sailors can only dream of what we are about to do. I hope to achieve a sense of a personal satisfaction and accomplishment.

"It is a dream come true to be a competitor in the iconic Fastnet Race."

In preparation for the Fastnet, training courses have been underway at our HQ in Gosport and with one qualifier race already under the crew’s belts, the Channel Race – the second qualifier - will take place on the Solent this Saturday 1 August.

“It was in the back of my mind as something on my life To-Do list but at that stage didn’t think I would have time or opportunity to become part of a crew for the campaign,” says Deborah Bucknell, a 35 year-old Business Analyst from Victoria, Australia, who is also taking part in Leg 7 of the Clipper 2015-16 Race on board Da Nang-Vietnam.

“Sailing in one of the biggest races in the Northern Hemisphere is exciting and a privilege. I have done some racing on Sydney Harbour prior to the Clipper Race, but the race training has given me knowledge and confidence to crew on the Fastnet Race campaign on open waters,” she adds.

No stranger to adventure, Clipper Events unique fleet of identical ocean racers competes in iconic sailing events, hospitality and development experiences in the UK and Australia in Sydney. Previous sailing experience is not required for most of our events as training is provided by professional Clipper Events staff.

The qualifying races ahead of the race are short, intense and hugely exciting. Competitors set sail from Cowes on the Isle of Wight, race west along the south coast of England to Land’s End, across the often-tempestuous Celtic Sea to round the Fastnet Rock off the south western tip of Ireland before heading back towards the finish line in Plymouth.

To find out more about Clipper Events click here.

To find out more about Rolex Fastnet Race, click here.

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