The famous Fastnet Race started today at 12.00, off Cowes on the Isle of Wight. The race, a 600 mile offshore bash, starts in the sheltered Solent, then goes down the English Channel, out into the Western Approaches around the Fastnet Rock off the Southern Irish coast, before returning to the finish at Plymouth in Devon.
We were anchored in Osbourne Bay, just along from Cowes and saw the fist of the fleet starting to assemble in Cowes Roads. The competitors all seemed to have their orange storm sails set and were easy to identify, perhaps this is a last minute entry requirement I don't know, but it made for a colourful scene.
While many of the entries were local race boats, there were more than a few extreme yachts, like this beast!