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The Fastnet Race is a famous biennial offshore yacht race organised by the Royal Ocean Racing Club of the United Kingdom. Generally considered one of the classic offshore races, 'Fastnet' is a difficult contest testing both inshore and offshore skills, boat and crew preparation and speed potential. From its inception, the Fastnet Race has proven highly influential in the growth of offshore racing, and remains closely linked to advances in yacht design, sailing technique and safety equipment.The Fastnet Race has been sponsored by the Swiss watch manufacturing company Rolex since 2001. The Race prize is known as the Fastnet Challenge Cup.DescriptionThe Fastnet Race takes place every two years over a course of 608nmi. The race starts off Cowes on the Isle of Wight on the south coast of England at the Royal Yacht Squadron. Leaving The Solent through The Needles Channel, the race follows the southern coastline of England westward down the English Channel, before rounding Land's End. After crossing the Celtic Sea, the race rounds the Fastnet Rock off the southwest coast of Ireland. Returning on a largely reciprocal course, the race rounds the Isles of Scilly before finishing at Plymouth.
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