2017 Rolex Fastnet Race

‘Anchors Aweigh’ for Adventurous Insurance Broker as he prepares to Set Sail in the 2017 Rolex Fastnet Race

Andrew Alcock, Chief Operating Officer at jewellery trade specialist Insurance Brokers T H March, will leave behind the safe world of insurance and realise a long-held ambition when he sets sail later this week in the 2017 Rolex Fastnet Race as part of a six-man crew on the Grand Soleil 50, Class 2 yacht, ‘Emma Claire’.

The gruelling 605-nautical mile race which starts on Sunday 6 August is renowned as the world’s largest and most prestigious off-shore sailing race.

Starting from Cowes, Isle of Wight, the race will head westward, along the English Channel before crossing the Celtic Sea towards the Fastnet Rock off the southern tip of Ireland. Once there, the yachts head back to the finish at Plymouth.

The race is organised by the Royal Ocean Racing Club and has been an established fixture on the ocean racing circuit since 1925.

With close to 400 competitors, this year’s Rolex Fastnet Race will be the largest off-shore race of all time. The huge event is a test of strategy and skill with challenging tidal currents and changeable weather.

Andrew said:

“Aside from the jewellery trade connection of sponsorship by Rolex, you couldn’t get much further away from my normal world. I am beyond excited about this race! It has taken months of planning and preparation for ‘Emma Claire’ and the crew with lots of qualification stages. I have done a fair amount of sailing over the years, but never anything of this scale - I must admit to feeling pretty daunted.

However, we have a great crew of 6, including a fantastic skipper, with plenty of experience on board. We expect to be at sea for 4 to 5 days”.

He added: “Strangely, the idea of being on a yacht for the best part of a week doesn’t appeal to everyone (including my wife, Helen). Buffeted by high seas, feeling freezing cold, uncomfortable and maybe just a tiny bit sea sick – I can’t wait. It is, of course, an epic adventure and I am thrilled to be taking part. All a great excuse to buy new sailing gear of course, and I think we are going to need it.”

Andrew’s family, friends and colleagues at T H March will be following the progress of the ‘Emma Claire’ and her daring crew on social media and via the Royal Ocean Racing Club’ Fastnet Tracker links below: