Friday August 22, 2003
Australian built and crewed super maxi Alfa Romeohas taken the line honours in the 2003 Fastnet Race, giving the Neville Crichton skippered maxi has a winning account of more than 60 races - including the sport's leading three races, the Sydney to Hobart, the Giraglia Cup and now the Fastnet Race - since she was launched 12 months ago.
"This was always our goal with Alfa Romeo, to win the three top blue water ocean races in the world and we have achieved it," said Neville Crichton at the finish. "Winning the Fastnet also completed a fabulous week at the Royal Cowes Regatta, with our two wins in races the week before the Fastnet. It's an outstanding achievement for an Australian crew and an Australian built boat."
Although the Fastnet, like the Sydney to Hobart, has a reputation for strong winds and fearsome seas, this year's race was run in very light winds. With six fewer crew than normal and a minium number of sails, Crichton cut the weight to the minimum and ran a very tactical race. The 698 mile race saw Alfa Romeo not just beating 247 of the world's leading yachts and crews, but also fighting the final six yachts right to the
finish line in Plymouth.