King's Harbour Master Portsmouth

LNTM No 79/23

1. NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN jointly by the King’s Harbour Master Portsmouth, the Harbour Master ABP Southampton and the Harbour Master Cowes to advise mariners that the Rolex Fastnet Race will start from the Central Solent between 1300 and 1530 BST on Saturday 22 July 2023.

2. The event is anticipated to attract up to 480 vessels, ranging from 9 metres to 32 metres waterline length, including cruising and racing yachts, and involving approximately 3500 participants.

3. The start line for the race will be the Royal Yacht Squadron (RYS) start line which runs from the RYS flagstaff in West Cowes, northwards to the special mark Williams Shipping (position 50° 47’.20N, 001° 18’.55W). An inflatable Rolex buoy (which may not be exactly on the starting line), up to 500m from the RYS flagstaff marks the southern limit of the start line (see figure 1). Competitors will cross the start line heading to the west and continue out of the Solent.

4. The Royal Ocean Racing Club race control, call sign ‘Ocean One’, can be contacted on VHF channel 72 prior to and during the race start. The race committee, call sign “Ocean One”, will broadcast race instructions on VHF channel 77.

5. Prior to the start, all competing craft are required to pass through one of three identity gates: 

North Gate - between starboard channel mark Reach in position 50° 49’.05N 001°7'.65W and a gate boat to the east. Boats using this gate shall pass through the gate once from north to south.

Middle Gate - between Port Hand lateral mark Norris position 50° 46′ 90N 001° 15′.45.36W and a gate boat lying to the south. Boat using this gate shall pass through the gate once from east to west.

South Gate - between special mark Cowes Corinthian in position 50°46’.15N 001°17’.20W and a gate boat lying to the south. Boats using the South Gate shall pass through the gate once from east to west.

A Spectator Zone (see figure 1) has been established. Boats racing in the Fastnet are prohibited from entering the Spectator Zone.

Figure 1: Fastnet Race Start Line

6.   All competitors shall maintain a constant watch for shipping movements and attention is drawn to Southampton Harbour Byelaws 2003, Byelaw No. 11 ‘Moving Prohibited Zone’ and to ABP Southampton Notice to Mariners No. 06 of 2023 (Port of Southampton – Precautionary Area (Thorn Channel)) which provides advice on the tracks followed by large vessels through The Precautionary Area in various tidal conditions.

7.   Note: Under certain weather conditions the race may be started to the east, when the start line will be established between the RYS, Cowes and the South Bramble cardinal buoy. The fleet would then sail east through the Forts, then south of the Isle of Wight. 

8.   All vessels are to navigate with particular caution whilst in the vicinity.

9.   Further information on this event can be found at

10. Cancel this Local Notice to Mariners 23 July 2023.


Monday 17 Jul 2023

King's Harbour Master

Owners, Agents, Charterers, Marinas, Yacht Clubs and Recreational Sailing Organisations should ensure that the contents of this Notice are made known to the masters or persons in charge of their vessels or craft.