The impeccably sailed Wizard beat over 300 other yachts en route to overall victory in one of sailing’s ultimate challenges. © Rolex / Kurt Arrigo
The 2019 Rolex Fastnet Race has been won by David and Peter Askew’s 21.5 metre (70-foot) Wizard. The announcement was made at 1600 BST today by the race organizers, the Royal Ocean Racing Club, when it became clear that the Volvo 70 could not be beaten. Wizard is the first American yacht to win the race overall since Great News in 1989 and, before that, Tenacious, in the infamous race of 1979. The first ever winner from the United States was Ninain 1928 and, arguably, the most famous was Dorade with back-to-back wins in 1931 and 1933.
Prevailing from an international fleet of over 300 yachts is a remarkable achievement. The Rolex Fastnet Race is one of the world’s legendary and most challenging contests. The race has attained mythic status in the minds of sailors around the world and Wizard’s crew can be rightly proud of fully embracing the characteristics required to succeed: preparedness, determination, endurance and skill. Their position at the top of the podium was challenged, not least by French yacht Bretagne Telecom, which finished second overall, 45 minutes behind, and British yacht Tala, 45 minutes further back. The victory epitomizes the enduring challenge of the Rolex Fastnet Race, a race that tests the will of the sport’s best.
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