TeamSnell Successfully Completes the RORC Rolex 2013 Fastnet,the World’s Greatest Offshore Race

September 4, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

FastnetLogo2013At 14:42 pm on Thursday 15th of August 2013 TeamSnell Racing, sailing its Beneteau 40.7, Parallel Blue, crossed the finish line of the 2013 RORC Rolex Fastnet Race, arguably some would say the ‘worlds greatest offshore yacht race’ (Daily Telegraph, 13 August 2013), off the iconic Plymouth lighthouse located on the Plymouth breakwater. In doing so, TeamSnell Racing completed 608 nautical miles in 4 days, 1 hour and 32 minutes and the yacht race which the organisers, the Royal Offshore Racing Club (RORC), describe as a ‘challenge second to none’.

The Fastnet yacht race starts off the Royal Yacht Squadron at Cowes taking yachts – this year a record breaking number close to 350 – out of the Solent along the South of England to Lands End before they must cross the Celtic (Irish) Sea which can throw up some of the worst storm conditions anywhere in the world as it did in the 1979 Fastnet tragedy claiming the lives of 18 (15 yachtsmen and 3 rescuers). Once the yachts round the Fastnet Rock it is a race back to the finish at Plymouth.

Ever since the inaugural race in 1925 the challenge of the course remains strong for each yachtsman. Physically, emotionally and mentally exerting, the competitors race day and night, usually rotating active and resting crew through a watch system, living aboard in cramped, damp accommodation.

SRf 118From 1925 to 2013 the Fastnet continues to call to yachtsmen around the world including Ivan Snell and TeamSnell Racing. “it is the ultimate test of endurance and the ensuing sense of accomplishment which enticed me back this year” said Snell Consultancy Director and the TeamSnell Racing skipper after the race in the RORC Fastnet Race village.

This year was particularly challenging for TeamSnell and navigator Richard ‘Dickie’ Clarke due to the inclusion for the first time of ‘Traffic Separation Schemes’ (TSS) which all the fleet had to navigate their way around. Richard did a great job navigating TeamSnell safely around Lands End and past the Sicily Isles without infringing the adjacent TSS area which would have meant an extremely costly ten hour penalty for TeamSnell. Unfortunately not even he was able to organise for an arrival at the majestic Fastnet Rock in daylight and the team sailed around at 2 am on Wednesday morning in the dark and extremely poor visibility.

IMG_1841Ivan Snell continued ‘it has been an amazing year campaign for our international Anglo-Canadian-Dutch crew. We achieved everything which we set out to achieve with a mid-fleet result, 187th out of 287 yachts that finished, no breakages or damage to our yacht or crew loss or injury. You have to remember this was all achieved with a scratch crew that had never sailed together before the first training week end in April this year and also, all of whom had very different levels of offshore racing experience and abilities. It is a credit to everyone that took part, they should all be extremely proud of what they have individually and collectively achieved’. Ivan concluded ‘our successful campaign this year is also testament, in at least a small part, to the rigorous planning, strong leadership and can do attitude of the TeamSnell Racing sponsors, The Snell Consultancy. These are some of the fundamental skills that are also needed for our high quality, IT project delivery to our international client base’.

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TeamSnell Completes Myth of Malham race and Successfully Qualifies for the RORC Rolex 2013 Fastnet in August 2013

June 23, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 


At 08:57 am  on Monday 27th May TeamSnell crossed the Myth of Malham race finish line off Hurst Castle at the entrance to the approaches to the Western Solent. This gave TeamSnell its final two hundred nautical miles, completed in one day and twenty-three hours, towards a total of three hundred nautical miles that TeamSnell has to achieve in offshore races this summer to qualify for the RORC Rolex Fastnet 2013 race in August this year.

Organised by RORC, in association with the Royal Yacht Squadron (RYS), the Myth of Trophy race started on Saturday 25th May from the RYS line taking the fleet of one hundred and twenty yachts two hundred and thirty nautical miles West along the south coast, round the Eddystone Rock lighthouse, Plymouth, before returning to the Solent.

Initially TeamSnell, racing its’ Beneteau First 40.7 yacht Parallel Blue, had a good start and kept pace with the other thirty yachts in its’ IRC Class II. A tactical error unfortunately saw TeamSnell sail ten nautical miles further offshore during Saturday night than the rest of the fleet. Everyone was becalmed over night for six hours and once a sea breeze kicked in the majority of Class II, whom had stayed inshore, benefited from the more direct rhumb line to Eddystone Rock lighthouse.


During the return leg back to the Solent, TeamSnell were without electronics due to a faulty battery calling on navigator Richard Clarke’s old school navigational skills to navigate Parallel Blue to the finish line. Without instruments and the yacht’s chart plotter TeamSnell made good boat speed downwind back to Hurst Castle flying its no.3 kite in twenty to twenty-five knots of breeze.

Skipper Ivan Snell commented after the race: “the campaign has gone really well. Better than I thought actually. We have qualified with one training week end and only two RORC races”. ”This has really reduced the pressure now. TeamSnell can look forward to our final preparation for the Fastnet which will be a few races around the cans in the Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes week in August without the concern of having to enter another qualifying race to gain the necessary miles” he concluded.

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TeamSnell Successfully Completes Cervantes Trophy, 200 Nautical Miles Left to Qualify for the RORC Rolex 2013 Fastnet

May 6, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

FastnetLogo2013At 22:32 pm local time on Saturday 4th May TeamSnell crossed the Cervantes Trophy finish line at the entrance to Le Havre harbour. This gave TeamSnell its critical first 100 nautical miles towards a total of 300 that TeamSnell has to achieve in offshore races this summer to qualify for the RORC Rolex Fastnet 2013 race in August this year.

Organised by RORC, in association with the Société des Régates du Havre and the Royal Yacht Squadron (RYS), the Cervantes Trophy race kicked off on Saturday 4th May from the RYS line taking the fleet across the channel to finish in Le Havre.

In strong thirty knot (Beaufort Force 7) winds TeamSnell, racing its’ Beneteau First 40.7 yacht Parallel Blue, had a good start and kept pace with the other 16 yachts in IRC Class II. The total entry comprised of 104 yachts with competitors from Belgium, Britain, France, The Netherlands and Russia.

TeamSnellTeamSnell with its Anglo Canadian Dutch crew was at a disadvantage from the start with the unexpected absence at the last minute of two of its key crew members. Dutch bowman, Jan Meijer, experienced logistical difficulties traveling from Amsterdam and the mainsail trimmer, Peter Buckley, fell ill on the eve of the race with suspected food poisoning. Despite this, and the rough sea state  which had several crew members succumbing to severe sea sickness, TeamSnell completed the race in just over 12 hours finishing mid-class.

Watch leader and downwind helmsman Jeremy Millar, a former Canadian Olympic sailing team trialist commented: “this was an awesome first race for TeamSnell in challenging conditions. Our training to date has paid off and the team is really starting to work well together. Its a great base for all our crew and Skipper Ivan Snell. I am convinced we will do even better in the next qualification race at the end of May.”

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TeamSnell Enters the RORC Rolex Fastnet 2013 – 11th August 2013

January 7, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

FastnetLogo2013Snell Consultancy is proud to announce that today it entered a yacht to race in the RORC Rolex Fastnet 2013, sponsored through the TeamSnell sailing brand.

Sunday 11th of August 2013 will see over 300 yachts setting sail from the start line off the Royal Squadron at Cowes for the Western Approaches of the Solent before sailing along the South West coast of England, out into the Irish Sea to the famous Fastnet Rock and back to the finish four to five days later in Plymouth Sound.

 “The RORC Rolex Fastnet is one of the most challenging and demanding yacht races in the world. Despite being held in the summer you never quite know what the UK weather is going to do and there have been some years with extremely severe weather conditions. Since the Fastnet disaster in 1979 all yachts and their crews’ safety equipment has improved without recognition and the race is now extremely professionally managed by RORC and the prime sponsor Rolex who stipulate mandatory training and pre-qualification criteria for all competitors. Even so, it is not to be taken lightly and the safety and security of the yacht and its crew will be paramount, not only throughout the race but also during the training and mandatory RORC qualification races” said Snell Consultancy director, Ivan Snell.

The Rolex Fastnet Race is the culmination of many months of preparation and planning; starting from today when the entry opens online, through qualifying and on to the day of the race itself. TeamSnell wishes all its fellow competing yachtsmen the very best of luck and fair winds this summer during the qualification races and the event itself.

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Snell Consultancy Sponsors Entry to AAM Cowes Week 2011

May 17, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Snell Consultancy is proud to announce that it will be supporting the entry of a J109 into this year’s Aberdeen Asset Managment Cowes Week between the 6th and the 12th of August.

TeamSnell participates in a number of regattas and competes in events over the course of a year on various yachts but this will be the first time that it has supported an entry into the Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week as it is now known. Ivan Snell, one of the founding directors of The Snell Consultancy said: “given the competitive nature of the J109 one design fleet in the UK and the new phase of the regatta with Aberdeen Asset Management onboard for the first time, this will really be a great event this year”.

There is the opportunity to join Snell directors, our key partners, customers and suppliers in sampling the traditions, charm and unique atmosphere of the World’s oldest, largest, most famous and most fun annual yachting regatta.