Supporting the 50th Rolex Fastnet Race

Ocean Sports was thrilled to be involved in the 50th Rolex Fastnet Race, providing support on the water for the IMCO L’Occitane en Provence, and guest charter for VIPs involved with SVR Lazartigue.

Race day started at 7:30am on Saturday 22nd July, where our team loaded up the RIB with life jackets and provisions, and set off to meet the L’Occitane en Provence (LEP) crew at Endeavour Quay, Gosport.

After embarking race team members, we set off again. Acting as a tug on the bow of LEP, our RIB helped her depart jetty at 10:30am, and escorted LEP through the harbour entrance, down the channel, and onwards to the starting point at Cowes.

Extra eyes are always needed when boats are preparing to run in to start the race, due to the amount of smaller boats buzzing around the competitors who aren’t due to start yet. Our boat remained in trail to LEP ready to warn off any boats that got too close.

At 1:30pm, LEP crossed the start line at full speed. After negotiating the dense pack of boats at the start line, we rejoined LEP in the trail, standing by in case of any failures.

With the wind continuing to build, averaging 25-30 knots from the south west and the tide turning against the wind, the LEP made excellent progress despite the tough conditions.

At 2:30pm, we began to move insure as we struggled to stay with LEP in the heavy seas. Heading up the western shore to loiter off Yarmouth, we saw LEP tack to make the Needles gap.

After disembarking four passengers and equipment at Endeavour Quay, our team headed back home to Saxon Wharf via a quick refuel at Hythe. The distress channel on the VHF radio was alive with Mayday and Pan-Pan calls from Fastnet vessels who were struggling with the heavy seas and treacherous weather outside the Solent.

Finishing in sixth place, LEP had a fantastic run, finishing at 02d 08:01:31. Skipper Clarisse Cremer said of the race:

“It is a bit shorter than what we are used to, because on these boats we usually do longer races, but it is very intense because of where we are going – lots of changes, you go through different weather systems, etc. It is so nice to have these kind of events which mix us up with amateur sailors and other people with a similar passion.”

Ocean Sports also completed private charters in our luxurious Beneteau GT38, facilitating a lunch at the Royal London Yacht Club in Cowes on Friday 21st July, and following the SVR Lazartigue on race day.

Meeting the SVR Lazartigue on her return from a practice start on Saturday morning, our motor boat and VIPs waited to the west of Cowes, listening to the radio for the starting sequence. Once the boats set off, we followed the race to the west, staying on the north side of the Isle of Wight as the front runners battled their way out of the Solent.

As the boats left the Solent, we stopped with our guests at Colwell Bay, passing Hurst Castle and The Needles. After lunch and tea at Newton Creek to the north, our GT38 and guests returned on a strong breeze and outgoing tide before finding flatter water for the home stretch back to Ocean Village in Southampton.

As an unanticipated bonus, the SVR Lazartigue was the first home in the 50th anniversary race, setting a new record of 1 day 8 hours 38 minutes 27 seconds and winning the Ultim class.

Ocean Sports also captured live footage from the event, using one of our vessels as the camera boat to record the live feed.

Overall, our crew and guests had a fantastic weekend watching the boats battle the winds and overcoming the challenging conditions.

If you’re involved in upcoming events on the South Coast such as Cowes Week or the Royal Regatta, our boat charters are the best seat in the house to catch all of the action. Complete our contact form today to book your Solent boat charter, or alternatively call 02381 242 159 or email

About Ocean Sports

Ocean Sports Tuition offers both assisted and skippered boat charter for the experience of a lifetime chartering a rib or motorboat on the Solent. Whether you’re looking for an exciting introduction to boat chartering, a fun team-building exercise, or an out-of-the-box activity to celebrate a special occasion, Ocean Sports Tuition can organise a luxurious day out on the water for you and your team. 

Ocean Sports also offers RYA-recognised practical and theory courses for those who want to learn more about boating, consolidate their knowledge, or start a career in boating.

Out on the water for the 50th Rolex Fastnet Race