Fans given ‘unprecedented’ live access to yacht race

Organisers of the world famous Rolex Fastnet Race have praised FleetBroadband for providing “unprecedented” live access to the event for fans and the media.

For the first time its 88-year history, the 608-nautical mile race along the English coast from the Isle of Wight to Plymouth, Devon, via the Fastnet Rock off Ireland, was won by a double-handed crew.

French father and son team – Pascal and Alexis Loison – won the race on their yacht Night and Day setting a new milestone for the event.

Dramatic view
“It’s extraordinary, like a dream. I am very happy to have won this race with my son,” said Pascal.

The duo who have entered the race once before, won this time after they enjoyed a blistering return leg from the Fastnet Rock.

Their only regret is that they did not experience a dramatic view of the rock.

Surreal experience
“Every time we pass the Fastnet it’s foggy,” joked Alexis. “I’m not sure if it really exists.”

“It was raining with 300 metres of visibility,” added Pascal. “We only saw the beam of the lighthouse. There were boats everywhere, stunning.”

Night and Day’s victory heralds a dominant performance by more than 50 French boats taking part in this year’s race – which attracted a record entry of 350 competitors from 20 nations.

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The Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) selected Inmarsat as its satellite communications partner for the race.

Fans were able to see the action on board the yachts thanks to technology developed by Inmarsat and Livewire Digital.

They were able to receive up-to-the-minute stories in the form of video diaries, blogs and social media posts.

Box of tricks
RORC Chief Executive Eddie Warden Owen said: “A faultless performance from Inmarsat’s FleetBroadband and Livewire’s ‘box of tricks’ has given us the ability to share insights into life onboard during this challenging race, as well as the varying emotions of the crews as they pass milestones such as the iconic Fastnet Rock.

“They are important tools to enhance the way we communicate the story of the race, minute-by-minute, as it unfolds."

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