Ready for adventure this summer? You don’t have to be one of sailing’s elite to sail the 608-mile Rolex Fastnet Race, and you’ll be trained in the process.

Sail trimmer on Northern Child

The weather may be cooler en route to Fastnet Rock, but this could be you, trimming the sails.

When entries were first accepted to this year’s Rolex Fastnet Race, the 300-boat entry limit was filled within 24 hours (and later raised to 340). Since 1925, the Royal Ocean Racing Club's biennial race around the Fastnet Rock has captured hearts and minds, and this August, more than 3500 competitors, from five continents and 22 countries, will test themselves in yachts ranging from 33 to 114 feet long.

Swan 51 racing yacht

The 51-foot Swan, called Northern Child, sailed from the Caribbean recently and is training for the Rolex Fastnet Race.

The race is a test of strategy and skill with crews encountering challenging tidal currents and changeable weather. The fleet starts at the Royal Yacht Squadron off Cowes, on the Isle of Wight, races out of The Solent and westward down the English Channel. Yachts then turn northwest and cross the Irish Sea to round the famous lighthouse at Fastnet Rock, before returning on a reciprocal course to the finish off Plymouth.

Three sailors trim the jib

Teamwork is fundamental to being part of a crew in a sailing race.

If you’re interested in participating in a piece of history and testing yourself in the process, Performance Yacht Charter has two fully prepared racing yachts with some spaces left. Readers of this blog will recall Jonathan Russo’s series as he sailed aboard the larger of the two boats, Northern Child (see "Antigua Sailing Week: Becoming a Team"). Northern Child and Southern Child are run by a husband and wife team, Christian and Lucy Reynolds. Each is a well-qualified skipper and, you will be in good hands as they each have over 100,000 sea miles behind them.