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Contracting Excellence Magazine - Feb 2010















Congratulations to Dave Sadler
Completing the Fastnet Race 2009

On Sunday 9th August the world's A-List sailors from around the world in the strongest international line up of 300 grand prix race yachts hovered in Cowes waters, waiting for the horn to start one of the toughest events in the international yacht racing calendar, the biennial Fastnet Race. The competitors (from the UK and across Europe, USA, Hong Kong, Chile and Australia) faced brutal weather, complexity, foul tides and at times calm, during their 608 mile ordeal out through the Solent, negotiating numerous tidal gates past the Needles, Anvil Point, Portland Bill, Start Point, and Lands End, as well as the open ocean as they crossed the Celtic Sea to round the famous Fastnet Rock 10.8 nautical miles off the coast of southwest Ireland, before returning round the west (open sea) side of Scilly Isles and the home run in to Plymouth. 

Portland Bill was probably the defining moment of this year's race, with most of the big boats managing to make it past before the tide turned foul, with the rest (including some notable professional boats and Dave Sadler) becalmed on an adverse tide. 
Dave Sadler was one of a crew of 7 on the 36' Dehler db "Draig O'r Mor", finishing a very respectable 28/59 in class placing the team 14th out of 114 in IRC3 for the RORC 2009 offshore season to date. 
The race in context:   This year was the 30th anniversary of the tragic 1979 Fastnet Race, when gale-force winds battered the fleet. 15 yachtsmen lost their lives, and a total of 23 yachts were sunk or abandoned. A massive search and rescue operation resulted in over 130 sailors being rescued at sea, a feat of courage overcoming technological disadvantage as the limited communications and satellite navigation at that time meant that one of the greatest difficulties facing the rescue services was locating each boat. In 2007, the last race, conditions were so poor 207boats of the 247 field retired. This year all the yachts and sailors returned to port safely.






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