Britain's Jez Fanstone has baptised the Team News Corp syndicate with their first victory after winning the Volvo Ocean 60 class in the Rolex Fastnet Race
Britain’s Jez Fanstone has baptised the Team News Corp syndicate with their first victory after winning the Volvo Ocean 60 class in the Rolex Fastnet Race. They stole victory from John Kostecki and his illbruck crew after a game of cat and mouse in the English Channel and Lyme Bay throughout the night and early this morning.
Fanstone and navigator Ross Field remained cool under pressure during a nail-biting final 12 hours to beat illbruck by 21 minutes, gliding across the finish line in just seven knots of breeze at 08.28UTC.
Although the two race boats were neck and neck on the final leg to the finish, a thick bank of fog rolled in making it impossible to see each other. Such was the density the finish line at Plymouth Breakwater was invisible from Queen Anne’s Battery Marina, just a quarter of a mile away.
Commenting on his win, Fanstone said, “It’s always fantastic to win a yacht race. We’re delighted with the way the crew worked together, they were awesome. Overall, there were some good moments and some bad moments and we learnt a hell of a lot. It has been very good practice for the short legs of the Volvo Ocean Race.”
He continued, “The racing was very close, it was as though we were attached with a bungee. We were yo-yoing all the way but in the end, we got the jump that they didn’t get and that was the difference.”
illbruck’s two year development programme has certainly paid dividends as their performance was observed as “clockwork in motion”.
“It was pretty riveting stuff. We had a very good race but they [News Corp] sailed well too – they sailed a bit better. We were pleased with our boat. Let’s put it this way, we don’t want to trade boats with anybody. I think the Volvo is going to be a close race, this has been a huge lesson for all of us,” commented illbruck skipper John Kostecki.