The 266 boats still racing in the biennial Rolex Fastnet Race are running into lighter air after an initial two days of breeze on conditions that produced two elapsed time records and claimed one of the world’s fastest monohulls. George David’s Juan K 100 Rambler 100 was lost shortly after rounding Fastnet Rock on Monday afternoon at 5:45 p.m. GMT. In a report to Scuttlebutt, navigator Peter Isler described being at the nav station when he "heard the big bang. The boat immediately flipped to 90 degrees, and within 30 seconds it turned turtle." Thankfully all 21 crew aboard — 16 managed to stay aboard the upturned hull while five floated away but remained tethered to each other — were successfully rescued, but a read of Isler’s report reveals that that outcome was never a sure thing, and if not for a variety of factors, things may have turned out much differently.
The fast conditions did however allow Loïck Peyron’s 130-ft trimaran Banque Populaire V to set a new multihull elapsed time record of 32h, 48m, and Ian Walker’s brand new Farr-designed Volvo 70 Abu Dhabi Racing took 1h, 39m off the old record of 1d, 20h, 18m set by Mike Slade’s Farr 100 ICAP Leopard in ’07. Vanquish, the Oakcliff All American Offshore Team‘s STP 65, finished right in the thick of things in the midst of a pack of Open 60s with a crew of 20-somethings, including three Bay Area sailors: Richmond YC’s Matt Noble and David Rasmussen, and San Francisco YC’s Molly Robinson.
Rambler‘s keel loss got us to thinking about how many high-profile race boats boats we could think of that had lost keels or keel bulbs. We thought of a few of the more obvious ones, but if any come to mind, obvious or less so, please send them along. This is what we came up with off the tops of our heads:
Charley, Holland 67
Martela of Finland (’89-’90 Whitbread)
Drum, Simon Le Bon (Fastnet Race)
Warrior’s Wish, Ronnie Simpson
Heatwave, J/80, Dave Wilhite
Veolia Environment, IMOCA 60, Roland Jourdain
VM Materiaux, IMOCA 60, Jean Le Cam