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Team Zoë and the Rolex Fastnet Race 2021

By Tall Ships - August 13th, 2021 | Posted in News No comments

Well done to Team Zoë on Challenger 2 for completing the #RolexFastnet2021! The crew had a great time! Read Zoë’s blog to find out how she got on.

Zoë helmed the team to the finish and has reached her £10k fundraising target to give 12 disadvantaged young people a life-changing voyage with Tall Ships Youth Trust.

Congratulations also to our crew on Challenger 1 who have successfully completed the race. Read their blog here.


AT just 12-years-oldZoë d’Ornano is the youngest ever competitor in the Rolex Fastnet Race after competing with her parents on one of Tall Ships Youth Trust’s two Challenger 72 yacht entries this week.

This year’s race saw a record number of entries, with more than 450 boats signed up for the 695 nautical-miles race. The race started on Sunday (8th August), from Cowes on the Isle of Wight and went round the Fastnet Rock in Irish waters before finishing for the first time in Cherbourg, on France’s northern coast.

Zoë, a dual British and French national, sailed on Challenger 2 with her parents, Philippe and Lay Koon, in a 16-strong Tall Ships Youth Trust (TSYT) internationally formed crew from the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Switzerland and the USA. The diverse crew, which also featured several notable yacht designers, was led by Sue Geary, a highly experienced skipper with TSYT’s sailing staff.

Zoë is leveraging the race to raise awareness of the charity’s work and aims to fundraise £10k to give 12 disadvantaged young people a life-changing experience at sea.

Zoë’s father, Philippe, is a Trustee on TSYT’s Board. He is proud of Zoë’s engagement with the campaign, her enthusiasm about the charity and her determination to pull her wait both onboard and ashore.

Philippe, said:

“I am very proud of Zoe and the way she has embraced the Rolex Fastnet training/racing campaign and the opportunity to showcase the outstanding work Tall Ships Youth Trust is doing with young people. As a young person herself, a dual national and a bilingual English/French speaker she is the perfect flag bearer for TSYT on this campaign!”

Follow Zoë’s story on her JustGiving page.

For further information on the race visit the Rolex Fastnet website.

Zoë and Skipper, Sue Geary

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