250 sign up in a week

A record number of boats have entered the 2011 Fastnet Race with the event’s maximum almost reached within a week of entry opening.

250 boats have entered the biennial, Rolex-sponsored race, which has a maximum entry of 300,

15 Class 40s have signed up, making it the biggest class in the race, followed by 14 of both the Sigma 38 and the First 40.7.

2009 winner, Niklas Zennström’s J.V. 72, Rán (pictured), has entered again, as have the canting-keel 100-footers ICAP Leopard and Rambler 100, who are expected to battle for line honours.

RORC racing manager Ian Loffhagen said: ‘We expected an initial rush of interest because people were registering the details about their boat on our REMUS on-line entry system over Christmas.

‘However nothing had prepared us for this unprecedented amount of interest in the race. We are obviously delighted at how popular the race has become with entries from all over the world.’

Entry opened at midnight on Sunday 9 January with first entry Fred Mundle signing up his X332 Mardy Gras only 50 seconds later.

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