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Fantastic Result in Rolex Fastnet Race

The Oliver Heer Ocean Racing team are off to a great start this season with an excellent result in a challenging Rolex Fastnet Race. As they crossed the finish line early Tuesday morning, in 19th place in the IMOCA fleet of 29, after 2 days, 16 hours and 42 minutes of racing Ollie and co-skipper David LeDroit were tired but elated.


“I am actually VERY happy with the result. For sure we’re somewhere mid-fleet, but if you look into the detail it’s almost like there are two different classes within the IMOCA class these days; the foiling boats with big budgets and big teams, who have the ability to fly and go much faster. And then the dagger-board boats which quite often have a smaller team and limited budgets.

“Within our ‘dagger-board fleet’ we finished in third place out of 10 boats, which is a fantastic result.

“It was my 5th Fastnet Race, but the first as skipper of my own IMOCA and my first double-handed race on this boat. Considering the challenging weather conditions that we faced, a very competitive fleet and a famously challenging race course, I am very happy with the result.”

- Oliver Heer, Skipper


Although at 700nM the race is relatively short compared to ocean races, it is one of the most iconic offshore races in the calendar, due to a unique combination of complex tidal patterns, tricky winds around the numerous headlands and bays, and the sheer number of boats taking part. This 50th anniversary year saw over 450 entrants – making it the largest offshore race in the world.

Following weeks of relatively calm weather in the UK, the race start was dominated by a deep low pressure system causing strong winds and rough sea state in the first leg out of the Solent and past the Needles, which led to over a quarter of the 450 entrants retiring in the first day of the race.

Ollie’s IMOCA underwent an extensive refit over the spring, where the boat is taken out of the water, disassembled into hundreds of pieces and every component checked and optimised. The first test sail was in the Channel last week, with special guest Dominique Weber on board, the CEO of the Swiss luxury boat yard, Portier Yachts, the most recent sponsor of team OHOR.


“This race was the final stage of the yacht commissioning for us. This is one of the reasons I chose my boat captain, David, as co-skipper – as well as being a fantastic sailor he is extremely knowledgeable about the technical aspects of the boat.

“We were pushing the boat hard upwind and downwind in very tough conditions, and yet had no major damage! I am very thankful to David and all of the technical team for their work during the refit – to finish a race like this with nothing on the job-list is a credit to them, not me.”

- Oliver Heer, Skipper


Having thoroughly tested the boat, the team and Ollie are now looking forward to the next race of the season, the Defi Azimut in September which is a 4 day regatta combining speed runs, a 48 hour race and a Round the Island. In 2022 the team was the fastest non-foiler in the speed runs and lead all the way around the Island race until the final mark, so it’s all to play for!


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