The Bruichladdich-supported Class 40 sailor Phil Sharp and his crew of Pablo Santurde, Robin Marais and Pietro Luciani have crossed the Rolex Fastnet finish line in second place in ‘Imerys‘. The winning yacht in the class was ‘VandB’ skippered by Maxime Sorel who completed the course in three days, three hours and 22 minutes. They beat our boys by 45 minutes. Huge congratulations.
Phil said: “The race was very intense as we were pretty much going upwind to Fastnet Rock, tacking all the way. The conditions were too uncomfortable to sleep and the close competition meant that we couldn’t relax until we had rounded the Rock, finally hoisting the spinnaker for some fast sailing downwind.
“Going upwind for this long at the start meant that it was very tactical and I spent most of the race working on strategy. As the weather forecasts were incredibly unreliable this was very tiring indeed…
“The wild sprint back from Fastnet Rock last night was a really liberating experience. We were able to take the lead back and had a fantastic night sailing at 16 knots in the light of a full moon. It felt incredible to be riding with the elements rather than battling against them…
“We had ‘VandB‘ breathing down our necks for a lot of the course, which pushed us right to the Isles of Scilly when unfortunately for us they were able to speed past.
“We had a very strange incident as we approached the Scilly TSS exclusion zone. Sailing under spinnaker the boat suddenly lurched to a stop and the object holding us, perhaps a huge mooring rope, began to drag us towards the no go zone… We rapidly took down the spinnaker, and broke free. This then happened again just five minutes later and soon we were surrounded by both ‘Campagne de France’ and also ‘V&B‘, who soon shot off into the distance!
“It was brilliant to be part of such a legendary event. The team were great, spirits were always high and everyone was proactive, so we were able to get into a nice rhythm right from the start. Every Rolex Fastnet is a unique experience that tends to mix pleasure with pain. I love this race. Work hard play hard!”