Chasing History: Hall-Rigged Yachts Gear Up for 50th Fastnet
The Fastnet’s power to captivate sailors and spectators with its unique challenges and exhilarating racing has not diminished over the years. As always, as we move into the final week of preparation, anticipation is reaching fever pitch. But with this year’s contest marking the 50th edition of the legendary race, the excitement in the air is even more palpable.
No exception, the Hall Spars team is buzzing with anticipation. Our team comprises experienced competitive sailors, with thousands of ocean miles between them. Some will be among the approx. 500 yachts lining up at the iconic Royal Yacht Squadron start line ready to embark on this extraordinary journey, including Managing Director Roeland Franssens who sails in the doublehanded division alongside his wife. Others will watch race trackers with eagle eyes, following every twist and turn as the drama unfolds.
Every rig package that leaves our Breskens facility represents hours of meticulous design and manufacturing, ensuring that our technology delivers to our high expectations, and enabling our customers to compete for illustrious titles like the Fastnet. It fills us with immense satisfaction to finally see our spars perform as intended, being put through the toughest of tests and emerging victorious, delighting our customers in the process.
So, the possibility of one of our customers making history in the 50th edition of the Fastnet Race, their name forever etched in the annals of this prestigious event, is a thrilling prospect.
The fleet this year is teeming with Hall-rigged yachts, making it impossible to cover them all. However, we’re getting in the mood by highlighting a few contenders that we believe have a strong chance of lifting the Fastnet Challenge Cup when all is said and done.
A likely suspect for Overall victory in any offshore race she enters, Eric de Turckheim’s NMYD 54 has had a series of fantastic results, winning Overall in the Rolex Middle Sea Race, RORC Transatlantic Race, and recently in the Myth of Malham, as well as taking second place in the Caribbean 600.
The RORC Vice Commodore will want to add an elusive Fastnet title to his impressive trophy cabinet, and after being forced to retire from the race two years ago, will no doubt be spurred on all the more. Teasing Machine has delivered in the biggest races time and time again, and through all those highlights has relied on a Hall Spars carbon rig and ECsix multistrand rigging from our sister company Future Fibres. Who would bet against her when the cogs of this winning machine start turning come Saturday?
A familiar combatant for Vice Commodore Eric de Turckheim is RORC Commodore James Neville. This year, however, it is out with the old and in with the new, as Neville returns to the Fastnet Race with a brand-new yacht, ready to present a red-hot challenge. Fresh off her launch in April, INO Noir replaces the hugely successful HH42 INO XXX, which won IRC One last time around in 2021, narrowly missing out on Overall victory at the hands of Thomas Kneen’s Sunrise.
If she has big shoes to fill, INO Noir steps into them with style and speed, with the new Carkeek-designed 45-footer exactly colour-matched to Neville’s Liquid Crimson Aston Martin and packing some serious horsepower of her own. With a chamfered aero-friendly foredeck, reverse sheer bow, twin rudders, 480kg water ballast, and a trusted performance carbon rig from Hall Spars, along with ECsix rigging from Future Fibres, the yacht’s hull, rig and sails have been designed to capture all of the recent developments in the FAST 40+ Class.
Straight out of the traps, INO Noir put up an impressive showing in the Myth of Malham, finishing just behind Teasing Machine. But, with a little more sailing time under their belts, who’s to say that Neville and co. won’t be sipping a smooth glass of red having gone one better in the 50th Fastnet?
Another yacht very familiar with podium finishes in the world’s great offshore races, in 2022 Christopher Sheahan’s Pac52 won the Caribbean 600 and Transpac Overall and took monohull line honours in the Newport Bermuda Race.
Sheahan is backed by a dream team of round-the-world talent, with a crew that includes Stu Bannatyne, Richard Clarke and Will Oxley. Along with an army of great sailors, Warrior Won sails to battle with an armoury of composite rig and rigging technology from our group of companies – the killer combination of a Hall Spars rig package and ECsix multistrand rigging working in perfect harmony to propel her towards greatness.