Rambler 88 arrived in Plymouth to claim monohull line honours. The silver maxi crossed the finish line off Plymouth breakwater at 22:14:21 BST in a time of 2 days 9 hours 34 minutes and 21 seconds.
Rambler 88 was bristling with America’s Cup and Volvo Ocean Race winners, including many former Team New Zealand and Alinghi crew. A new recruit this time was America’s Cup helmsman Dean Barker, who sailed as watch leader. Although best known for his inshore racing, this is Barker’s third Rolex Fastnet Race having previously competed on a Mumm 36 and aboard Hasso Plattner’s maxi Morning Glory in 2001.
Barker said that their hopes of securing ‘the double’ were quashed on the run back from the Scillies. ‘We felt it slipped away there. We hit a couple of rain squalls and the breeze completely shut down and we got parked up with lightning and all sorts. You know that the others are gobbling up that time.’ However he enjoyed racing on the powerful maxi. ‘It maintains really high speed and is really nice to sail. It definitely loads up and you can achieve some high average speeds. Downwind as long as there is some breeze it goes well, because you sail pressed up all the time. As soon as you get down to eight – nine knots it does suffer. And there’s a great bunch of guys on board.’
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