Nearly 100 boats forced to retire after 'destructive' night in famous race

  • Watch Richard Payne's report here.

Nearly 100 boats were forced to retire from a sailing event on the South Coast throughout the night as poor weather made conditions on the water treacherous.

The Rolex Fastnet event, that sees teams race from the Solent shoreline along the coast around Land's End, is one of the largest events for sailing teams in the UK.

Crews taking part in the event were forced to battle gale force winds and rain as they attempted to make their way down the coast of the West Country.

Videos posted on social media from the start of the event, that is the biggest offshore race in the world, showed the boats battling the elements.

Around 430 yachts took part in the race despite the bad conditions in what was the 50th edition of the event.

Over 20 yachts that left the Fastnet race due to damage or safety concerns ended up seeking refuge in The Marina at Portland.

They were greeted by Coastguards and staff.

Some crew were taken off injured and were taken by ambulances to DCH in Dorchester.

One yacht the ‘Diablo’ had its main mast collapse around the two man crew as they were changing course off Portland Bill. Their boat is based at Hamble.

A Royal Navy yacht ‘Eagle of Hornet’ came into shelter over night and rejoined the race from Portland.

“The strong winds last night were forecast well in advance,” commented Rolex Fastnet Race Race Director Steve Cole.

“The club would like to thank HM Coastguard and the RNLI for their assistance. It is thanks to their effort and skill that the incidents were dealt with professionally and those who required assistance were recovered safely.

"Now the front has passed the wind and sea state have dropped, and conditions are even set to be light over the next 24 hours.”