Rolex Fastnet Race 2017 – Myth of Malham Race

#NoviceToFastnet – Following on from the succesful completion of the Cervantes Trophy Race to Le Havre, the next qualification race is the Myth of Malham Race to the Eddystone Lighthouse (offshore from Plymouth), to and from Cowes on the Isle of Wight. After the relatively straightforward race previsouly to Le Havre, this race would be 3 nights at sea and quite a challenge in the differing conditions throughout the 370nm (nautical miles) race.

With this race being,what is effectively the first leg of the Rolex Fastnet Race 2017, getting it right and discovering the importance of tides in the Solent and around the south coast of the UK, illustrates what a chellenge the full race will be in terms of skill in navigating the best route.

Race Conditions

The sea was rough, with strongs winds on the initial day, challenging both the stomach and resilience of the crew with the constant bombardment of rain and wind. Speed was great as the bow cut it’s way through the rough seas, so progression to the Needles Lighthouse and into the night and on toward the Eddystone Lighthouse was good (if only these conditions had continued throughout the race).

The morning signified arrival at the Eddystone Lighthouse, whic each yacht must negotiate round on the port (left side, facing forward) of the boat and heading home through any oncoming yachts, still to make the lighthouse.

Eddystone Lightyhouse - #NovicetoFastnet

/ Eddystone Lighthouse – Race Halfway Point /

Heavy rain and little wind made for an uncomfortable experience on deck with little progress made during the night, with thick fog appearing in the morning that followed. It is here, that a different skill set in sailing was witnessed, with the trimming of sails developing movement of the yacht in just 1knot of light breeze. This developed the, ‘apparent wind’ gaining forward mementum and progress back toward the Isle Wight and the finish!

The Myth of Malham Yacht Race Course

Cowes to Eddystone Lighthouse (Plymouth) and back to Cowes

Myth of Malham Yacht Race 2017 - #NoviceToFastnet - Cowes to Eddystone Lightouse and back Yacht Race

/ Myth of Malham – Cowes to Eddystone Lighthouse Return (Plymouth) /

Half the fleet did not finish, why?

Quite simply, weather conditions! With boats retiring with damage to yachts in the rough seas to an inability to utilise what wind was available through the night and early morning during the race. The race should have been in the region of 256nm, but with challenging tides a and sind conditions, the Zephyr manged more than 370nm in order to navigate the course!

How did #NovicetoFastnet compare to course route?

As you can see from the routes taken below, there are quite some differences in crews searching for the best wind and tide conditions. The #NovicetoFastnet yacht is the one in light grey, with the map on the left comparing to the race route set by the Royal Ocean Racing Club (in red) and map on the right comparing the #NovicetoFastnet with other professional crews.

Novice To Fastnet - Myth of Malham - Course Route Comparison

/ #NovicetoFastnet – The Myth of Malham Race – Navigation /


#NoviceToFastnet: What’s next?

The Morgan Cup 2017.

Novice to Fastnet - Cervantes Trophy - Prestige Film at Helm

/ #NoviceToFastnet – They let Prestige Film’s Managing Director, Trevor Pritchard loose at the helm – crazy fools. /

Next up for Trevor and the crew of Zephyr is the qualification for the 2017 Rolex Fastnet Yacht Race is the Morgan Cup starting on Friday, 6th June, 2017 with yacht crews racing from Cowes to St Peters Port, Guernsey covering 160nm.

Photos or video of the Myth of Malham?

Please send us your pics and videos as we’d love to see other crew experiences.

Find out more about Prestige Film at the Rolex Fastnet Race – #NovicetoFastnet?

Please take a look at our dedicated Rolex Fastnet Race – Novice to Fastnet.

Interested in Sailing?

If you’d like to find out more about sailing and yacht racing, take a look at the Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) website or get in touch and we’ll be able to point you in the right direction.