Rolex Fastnet Race 2021


The Rolex Fastnet Race is one of the most famous ocean yacht races in the world. Completing the race is widely regarded as one of sailing’s crowning achievements and not for the faint hearted.

About this race

The 2021 edition is a special one. You will be trained as a valued teammember aboard of an 18 meter ocean racing winner by true ocean race winning legends: Hans Bouscholte and Erik van Vuuren.

  • Start: August 8th 2021
  • Southampton (GB) – Cherbourg (F)
  • Race Experience – 700 NM – 10+4 Days
  • € 7500,00

The race began as a challenge between a few competing yachts in 1925. Today, the Fastnet Race runs every two years. Until today, the 608 nautical mile course runs from Cowes on the Isle of Wight, west to the Fastnet Rock lighthouse off the south-west corner of Ireland before returning to finish off Plymouth.

The 2021 edition is different to any previous edition. Setting off from the Royal Yacht Squadron line on Sunday 8 August 2021 on the Solent. Expect an impressive 400 race teams to pass the Needles with you. Its challenges include negotiating infamous headlands and tidal gates such as St Albans Head, Portland Bill, The Lizard and Land’s End, and facing prevailing south-westerlies and gales in the Celtic towards the Fastnet Rock on the southern tip of Ireland. Once around the Rock, it’s back south wards, round the Scilly Isles then south east across the English Channel towards Cherbourg. Thus adding an extra 100 miles to a lengthy 700 nautical mile race and the challenge how best to tackle one of Europe most powerful tidal gates between Alderney and Cape de la Hague.

Veterans know, the Rolex Fastnet Race remains the least predictable and arguably still the toughest race. It certainly will put all of the teams’ skills to the test. You have to be prepared as a team for anything, as this race will generally throw it all at you. Due to its demanding reputation, there is strict entry criteria for Rolex Fastnet Race.

In the year prior to the race the yacht and majority of crew must have completed 300 miles in offshore racing, as a team. With this in mind, training days are included.

Training days are a choice of regular training days, offshore experiences and the following pre-qualifying races:  North Sea Regatta offshore race (May 11th, 2021), North Sea Race (May 14th, 2021), and Channel Race (July 24th, 2021). 

In addition to the qualifier mileage, any offshore race requires safety certified trained sailors. Check if you need certifications or if they need updating.

Consider at least:

  • First Aid certification on board (3 year validity)
  • Offshore Personal Survival Training (5 year validity)
  • VHF certification (lifetime validity).

Departure & Return Location

For the Fastnet, crew will join the boat in Southampton area for last minute training and preparation of the boat before the race.

The finish is in Cherbourg, France.

On-shore accommodation, travel options and other logistics will be coordinated and shared in due time.

Price Includes

Race Entry Fee

BOUdragon Yacht Charter

Accommodation on board

Meals at sea (self service)

Skipper / trainers


Consumables for the yacht (diesel, fuel and water)

Mooring Fees

Insurance for the yacht


Personal locating beacon

Price Excludes

Airfares or other means of transportation

Meals offboard

Transfers airport-marina-airport

Shore based accommodation

Wet gear

Personal insurance
Additional safety training

What to Expect?


To optimise teamwork and operate as a winning entity, our trainers require 10 days training and races with the crew prior to the Fastnet. Always with a clear focus to teamwork and winning.

High safety standards

We demand and provide high safety standards of ‘man and materials’. We equip our yachts to comply to high safety standards. We provide the best trainers and skippers to prepare the team for the race. And we ask you and the other teammembers to take care of the necessary safety certifications and trainingen to guarantee the safety of us all.

Competitive ocean racer

The full Fastnet Race experience comes from pushing ourselves to the max and competing with other racing yachts. The racing yacht ‘BOUdragon’ is the fully upgraded former successful Whitbread-around-the-world racer ‘Silk Cut’.


Training Days
2021 schedules are shared; reserve 10 days on Training-qualification Races and training days. The 2 days prior to the start of Rolex Fastnet Race are mandatory.  

Option 1 – Training-qualification Race
Tue 11th May 2021- North Sea Regatta
Scheveningen (NL) – Harwich (GB)

The North Sea Regatta ‘Vuurschepen’ Offshore Race is a 130nm race crossing the North Sea from Scheveningen to Harwich. Counts as 2 training days.

Option 2 – Training-qualification Race
Tue 14th May 2021- RORC North Sea Race
Harwich (GB) – Scheveningen (NL)

The RORC North Sea Race is a 180nm offshore race crossing the North Sea from Harwich to Scheveningen. Counts as 2 training days.

Option 3 – Training-qualification Race
Friday 24th July 2021- Cowes – Dinard-St Malo Race

A 110-160 mile race around the Isle of Wight and marks in the Solent. Counts as 2 training days.

Training Days – mandatory
6th / 7th August 2021- Mandatory 2 training and preparation days

Rolex Fastnet Race
8th August 2021
The Rolex Fastnet Race is one of the most famous ocean yacht races in the world. 700 mile race from Southampton (GB) to Cherbourg (F) via the Irish Fastnet Rock will put all of the teams’ skills to the test.

Your next Ocean Race Experience?

Skippers / trainers

To experience a true ocean in an epic race requires perfect teamwork on a true ocean racing yacht.
Both Hans and Erik are best in class trainers and skippers:

Hans Bouscholte

A wel known well-known and former skipper of BrunelSunergy, also an entry in the 1997-98 race. He won 2 world champion titles, 4 european champion titles, 3 world record and 7 French champion titles.

Erik van Vuuren

One of the best all-round big boat sailors of the Netherlands. He won 2 world champion titles, 2 time winner of the Rolex Middle Sea Race, winner of the epic Admirals Cup, >25 times national champion, winner of the UK doublehanded national title, and teamcaptain of the 1st ever non-stop Atlantic kitesurf crossing.

Fastnet Rock



  • Fastnet Rock

  • Cherbourg

  • Cowes

The racing yacht ‘BOUdragon’

The racing yacht ‘BOUdragon’ is the successful former Whitbread-around-the-world racer ‘Silk Cut’. Record-holder Silk was originally raced by Britain’s Lawrie Smith and started the 1997-98 Whitbread Round the World Race as the pre-race favourite, with odds of 7:2. The combination of Lawrie Smith as skipper and strong funding held good promise. A fast boat, with the skipper willing to take some chances, Silk Cut, claimed a new 24-hour monohull world record of 449.1 nm, averaging 18.71 knots on Leg 2 from Cape Town, South Africa to Fremantle, Western Australia.

However, Smith’s luck ran out, when, on Leg 5, from Auckland to Saõ Sebastião in Brazil, the wind gusted to 68 knots and, 2,000 nm from land, Silk Cut’s mast snapped at the second spreader and Smith headed for Ushuaia, the southernmost port in the world and retired from the leg. With a new mast, Silk Cut’s form improved with a win on Leg 6 from Saõ Sebastião to Ft Lauderdale, USA, beating Paul Cayard and EF Language, the eventual race winner, by 78 minutes. But, in a fleet made up of 10 Whitbread 60s, Silk Cut was only able to finish midway through the field, in fifth place overall.

Now called BOUdragon, Silk Cut has been completely renovated. BOUdragon is also the ocean racer to train young talent with the ambition to sail big racing yachts, and a springboard to races like the Ocean Race.

About BOUdragon

  • Designer: Farr Yacht Design
  • Launched 17 February 1997
  • LOA: 18m

Results Whitbread Round the World Race 1997-98

  • 24-hour monohull world record Leg 2 449.1 nm
  • Winner Leg 6
  • 5th place overall