With a vibrant hull and shocking pink spinnaker, Tony Lawson’s Class40, Concise 2 will be one of the most visible yachts amongst the 387 taking part in the 2015 Rolex Fastnet Race but there is more to Concise 2 than meets the eye. Phillippa Hutton-Squire leads an all-girl crew in partnership with The Ministry of Sound’s events label and music brand, HedKandi, but the team are under no illusion – it will be difficult to dance around the tough opposition. The Class40 division for the Royal Ocean Racing Club’s flagship offshore race is limited to just 20 entries and intense competition is a certainty.
Concise 2 is not short on talent, skipper Phillippa Hutton-Squire is one of the few sailors, man or woman, to have raced around the world in a Class40, coming third in the Global Ocean Race. Phillippa has competed in two previous Rolex Fastnet Races but has visited the Fastnet Rock on 16 occasions in the last five years. Originally from Cape Town, South Africa, Phillippa has lived in Hamble, Hampshire for the past year.
The all-girl squad for the race includes two rising stars: 2012 420 World Champion, Annabel Vose from Curdridge, Hampshire. Amy Prime from Ryde, Isle of Wight was tactician for Vose, winning the 2014 Student World Match Racing Championship. Samantha Evans from Haslemere, Surrey and Joy Fittzgerald from Oban, Scotland have enormous offshore experience for young sailors. Samantha has competed in the last two Rolex Fastnet races and the Quebec – St Malo and is a RORC Committee member. Joy has completed six Atlantic crossings, two RORC Caribbean 600s and the last year Rolex Fastnet Race.
“This race is all about trying to give girls opportunity” commented Phillippa Hutton-Squire. “The Fastnet is an incredible opportunity to experience a major offshore race and it is a fact that few girls really get the chance to do it in a high performance boat. The squad has been selected to cover all of the bases, we have some great inshore sailors, who are good at tactics, helming and trimming and we have crew with excellent offshore experience. Most of all, the team is enthusiastic, you can put together all of the elements but we have to work well as a team. When you are going offshore together everyone has to be friends, there is no hiding away on a 40ft boat. We have done a few RORC races this summer and everyone is beginning to share a laugh at the silly things, it’s coming together and we still have two more RORC offshores before the Rolex Fastnet Race to build on. For the Rolex Fastnet our first goal is to have fun and get to the finish line. The boat is brilliant, and a big thank you to Tony for that, so our second goal is that we have to perform; we have to do the best we can as a team. It would be nice to be half way up the result board at least, and these girls love to push it.”