Fifty-seven Admiral's Cup contenders were among the 288 yachts that set sail on Sunday (9 August) in a 604 miles (967 kilometres) race from Cowes in southern England around Fastnet Rock off southern Ireland and back to Portsmouth, England.
GV Admiral's Cup fleet before start of race.
GV Mercedes followed by Rubin
MV Pinta with crew on deck.
MV Rough water.
CU ZOOM OUT Charisma from USA
Cu Bumblebee (2 shots)
Initials VS 00.30 VS 1.30
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Background: Fifty-seven Admiral's Cup contenders were among the 288 yachts that set sail on Sunday (9 August) in a 604 miles (967 kilometres) race from Cowes in southern England around Fastnet Rock off southern Ireland and back to Portsmouth, England.
The race got underway in beautiful sunny weather with a 15 knot wind.
Britain is leading in the four event competition for the Admiral's Cup with 542 points. The United States is second with 495 and West Germany, the defending champions, third with 491 points.
Britain and the United States got off to a fast start while West Germany, in keeping with its performance in the previous three events, started sluggishly.
The expected winner of the Fastnet race is Kialoa, a U.S. yacht, but it is not in the Admiral's Cup class.
The Fastnet race is the last of four events that determine who will win the Admiral's Cup, the highly coveted unofficial world's championship of yacht racing. It was preceded by a race through the English Channel and two inshore races during the Cowes Week Regatta which started last weekend.
Each of the 19 nations entered in the competition has a team of three yachts and it is the points accumulated by the three craft which will decide the eventual winner. The Fastnet race is expected to last four days and the sailors may be in for some rough sailing. Thunderstorms and squalls have been predicted.