A well-known name, an infamous place of danger, and a famous lighthouse. To cap it all – the largest yacht race in the world.
Last week we sailed past the Fastnet Rock. It’s a piece of rock that appears from the sea around 10 miles off the South West corner of Ireland. We were sailing from Bere Island to Sherkin Island. Both delightfully set in quiet and beautiful isolation.
Just an hour of so earlier we had scattered the ashes of a crew member’s brother who sadly died before his time. He was a sailor and I can see his nod of approval, to have his ashes scattered from a yacht in the Atlantic. At the time we were motor sailing and several miles offshore with no other boats in sight and no currents to put us in danger. In proper fashion we hove to, switched the engine off, let the boat take the position directed by wind and tide, and then took a moment of reflection as ashes were scattered on the deep.
Sailors reading this will know we also must have sailed past Mizzen Head. This is another example of spectacular rocky cliffs with a lighthouse. This is for many the first land sighted as you cross the Atlantic, and definitely somewhere to steer clear of.
The Fastnet race is a serious yacht racing event. It starts as the last event of Cowes week, yachts race from Cowes, round the Fastnet and back to Plymouth. It’s run every 2 years and competitors have to demonstrate all of the crew have some serious Ocean Yacht racing under their belt and that the boat is “up to scratch”.