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Perhaps it is because people are becoming increasingly time-poor, or because it neatly side-steps the problem of keeping a large crew together, but one area of offshore racing undeniably gaining popularity is shorthanded racing. In fact, World Sailing recently announced that a ‘Mixed Two Person Keelboat Offshore’ event will be introduced to the Olympics for Paris 2024. The 2019 Fastnet Race is a further example of this concept’s popularity — 64 boats are in the doublehanded Fastnet fleet that is approaching the finish now.
Over the last few editions of the Rolex Fastnet Race, the IRC Two Handed class has shown steady growth from 45 entries in 2013 to 64 competitors this year. Erik van Vuuren’s Dutch W36 HUBO had a successful tune up the week before Fastnet by winning IRC 3 in the RORC Channel Race the week before. HUBO sailed the race doublehanded. Van Vuuren hopes his yellow, Titanium powered Waarschip 36 will have a similar finish in the 64-boat doublehanded fleet in the 630-mile trip around Fastnet Rock.
To track the fleet, go to: https://www.rolexfastnetrace.com/2019-fleet-tracking-race-player