Esimit Europa 2 this morning became the first monohull yacht to finish the 2013 Rolex Fastnet Race in an elapsed time of 60 hours and 27 minutes.
As a result, the incredible boat secured its 25th consecutive line honours victory The 18-member Esimit team is skippered by three time Olympic gold medallist and two time America’s Cup winner Jochen Schümann.
In the first couple of hours after the start off Cowes last Sunday, fleet of five yachts made a significant distance to the rest of over 340 competitors.
Besides Esimit Europa 2, the runaway fleet included a two time line honours winner ICAP Leopard – skippered by Lymington’s Mike Slade – Team SCA – featuring Hamble’s Sam Davies – current monohull record holder Abu Dhabi (with Southampton’s Ian Walker), Bella Mente and Ran.
Passing the Isles of Scily just two of them remained in the game – Esimit Europa 2 and ICAP Leopard.
Igor Simeie’s 30-meters maxi yacht, sponsored by Gazprom, had to push hard to stay in the front of the same size excellent British yacht, forcing Andrew Cape (navigator) and Jordi Calafat (tactician) onboard Esimit Europa 2 use all their experiences to find better upwind sailing conditions.
Therefore, several tacks were performed all the way towards the Irish Fastnet Rock, where Esimit decided to take a westerly turn, while ICAP Leopard stayed on the east side.
This brilliant manoeuvre allowed the European flagged yacht, a true sailing Formula 1, to pick up speed when rounding Fastnet Rock and increase the distance to Slade’s FARR 100.
When sailing downwind on their way to Plymouth, the racing conditions favoured the British yacht due to its specifics.
Esimit, yherefore, had to push even harder to take the very well deserved trophy – one of the most renowned in the sailing world.
“Taking line honours at the Rolex Fastnet Race, as it is one of the greatest challenges among all offshore races, was always one of my biggest wishes,” said Simeie.
“I am happy that my dream has been realised with the hard work of the entire crew.
“I am proud of our skipper Jochen Schümann and the engineering team, who did an amazing job in preparing the yacht in the best possible way for the demanding conditions we faced during the entire course.”
Schumann added: “The Fastnet has again proved to be a difficult race.
“We are exhausted, but very pleased with the final result.
“Basically, it was a race of two stages, upwind towards Fastnet Rock and downwind after rounding it.
“At the first stage we had a very good breeze of 16 – 20 knots, performing many tacks and we had to keep a close eye on our closest competitor ICAP Leopard.
“We knew that they are very strong sailing upwind, therefore we had to keep up the good pace and at the same time follow their performance.
“After rounding the Fastnet Rock and passing the mark, wind was decreasing even down to 5 knots at the final stage of the race, but with the correctly chosen tactics and sails we were in control at every single moment.
“Being in lead the entire course and taking line honours at the Fastnet Race is a great achievement and I am very proud of the performance of the crew and yacht.”
After her successful performances in northern Europe, including line honours at Kieler Woche in Germany, ÅF Offshore Race in Sweden and Cowes Week, Esimit Europa 2 is now returning to the Mediterranean.