Critics of the Fastnet's 211 retirements have missed a key point, argues Elaine Bunting
Congratulations to RORC on some excellent decisions and a very well-run Fastnet Race, in particular to Janet Grosvenor, the RORC’s quiet and competent racing manager.
In the last week, the RORC’s decision to delay the race has been subjected to a fair amount of critical scrutiny. Personally, I think they were completely vindicated. Those who decided to retire were all within hours of safe havens. The only casualty was back in the bar the same night.
Meanwhile, the bigger boats went off to set a record. As I write, some canny skippers of smaller boats are still finishing. How can you ask for better?
Commentary about the number of retirements – 211 of 271 starters – has missed a key point. Everyone who put into port did so on the basis of seamanship, and good for them. But no-one who retired was forced out of the race. Had they wanted to, they could have gone back out at any point, motored to where they’d retired and resumed racing. There isn’t a time limit on the Fastnet race.
Read more about why I think they were right on my blog.