Team Pindar to enter Fastnet

Team Pindar has confirmed its entry in the 2009 Rolex Fastnet Race which begins on Sunday August 9th. Former ISAF World Sailor of the Year and TEAMORIGIN Team Director, Mike Sanderson will skipper the crew alongside a 300-strong fleet, as they embark on the 608-mile course from Cowes, around the Fastnet Rock and back to the finish line in Plymouth.

Mike, who was instrumental in the design and build of the Juan Kouyoumdjian Pindar Open 60, will be joined by experienced offshore sailors, Nick Bice, Phil Harmer and navigator Simon Fisher along with 5 other members of the crew, including owner of SuperMaxi ‘Speedboat’, Alex Jackson.

Mike has returned to Team Pindar on a temporary basis, to help facilitate the sale of the Open 60. He and his shore team have been working round the clock to return the boat to the water for Cowes Week, including its defence of the Artemis Challenge tomorrow, before the start of the Rolex Fastnet Race on Sunday.

Mike, who has competed in the Fastnet four times, commented: “Following Brian Thompson’s awesome fifth finish in the Vendee, it’s great to see the Pindar Open 60 back in the water. She’s in great shape and we’re looking forward to more testing during Cowes Week, before heading off on Sunday. The Fastnet is a classic race. There’s a strong line up, but we have a fast boat and a solid crew. With the right conditions, we hope to do well.”

The Rolex Fastnet is one of the most prestigious events in the offshore sailing calendar. Established in 1925, it is raced every 2-years and has proved so popular that race organisers, the Royal Ocean Racing Club, have enforced an entry limit of 300 boats. This year’s event will be especially poignant as it marks the 30th anniversary of the tragic events of 1979, when a severe storm took the lives of 15 competitors in the race.

Commenting on the anniversary, Mike said: “The events of 1979 undoubtedly sent shockwaves around the sailing community – nobody could have predicted the scale of the tragic events that unfolded. Since then, a major overhaul of the rules and equipment required for the race has impacted on all forms of offshore racing.”

The race record is held by Icap Leopard 3, who in 2007 set a time of 44 hours 18 min, taking almost 9 hours off the previous record in 1999.

The 2009 Rolex Fastnet Race will start from the Royal Yacht Squadron line in Cowes at 11.50 BST on Sunday, 9 August.

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