Captains of industry and the Rolex Fastnet Race

George David, former CEO and Chairman of the American multi-national conglomerate, United Technologies Corporation, is no stranger to the Rolex Fastnet Race. David has competed in this bi-annual 600 mile event, one of yacht racing’s most iconic challenges, five times.

Last weekend David was joined for this year’s Rolex Fastnet Race on board his Maxi yacht Rambler 88 by British industrialist Tony Langley, on his maiden offshore challenge.

Langley, who heads the 5000 employee Langley Holdings group and runs the group sponsored TP52 Gladiator programme, is an accomplished yachtsman and well known for competing in the European Grand Prix TP52 Super Series, in Newport RI in the United States and on his home waters off of Cowes, England.

In athletics terms Langley’s racing hitherto is akin to the 100m sprint, whereas the classic 600 mile Rolex offshore races can be compared to middle distance running and the Volvo round the world Ocean Race, to the marathon.

David has spent his 35 years plus yachting career mostly in the middle distance, racing a series of Rambler yachts and the two men met for the first time to sail the 2019 Rolex Fastnet.

David, CEO and Chairman of the multi-national conglomerate, United Technologies Corporation for over 35 years; and Langley, head of the eponymous privately owned business he founded in the mid 70’s, had never met.

Both share a common love of the sport of yacht racing and both agree that there are many similarities between running a top race programme and running a manufacturing business. These captains of industry came together from two ends of a sport that defines teamwork and the pursuit of technological excellence.

The 2019 Rolex Fastnet Race started in light winds and Rambler 88 came off the line well in the last start of the almost 300 strong fleet at 14:00 on Saturday, August 3rd.

Getting a jump on the SHK Scallywag, the Rambler 88 led the100 foot Maxi the length of the Solent and beyond, picking its way through the slower boats and tactically slowing the bigger boat down by keeping the SHK Scallywag in Rambler 88’s “dirty” air.

Rambler 88 rounding the Fastnet Rock in the 2019 Rolex Fastnet. The 600 mile race from Cowes on the south coast of England to the Fastnet Rock off of Ireland and back to Plymouth, is one of yacht racing’s most iconic challenges.

Moderate breeze died to just a few knots as the leaders approached the Scilly Isles, giving the larger boat the advantage. Then new breeze kicked in and the Rambler 88 picked up her heels to arrive at the Fastnet Rock in a new record time. Rounding in 30 knots of breeze David’s team extended their lead back to the Scillies but the breeze veered and softened to a VMG run back to the Cornish Peninsular and Plymouth, not enough breeze for the overall record but enough to give Rambler 88 line honours for first monohull over the finish line in 43 hours, 55 minutes.

Finishing shortly after, the Volvo 70 Wizard was first overall on corrected time.

Click here to see post race interview with George David and Tony Langley.

About Langley

Langley Holdings plc (Langley) is a globally operating, multi-disciplined engineering and industrial manufacturing concern, principally providing capital equipment technologies to diverse markets around the world. Langley businesses are either outright market leaders or occupy strong niche positions in their respective fields, providing advanced technologies in a solutions based approach.

The group was established in 1975 by the current Chairman, Mr Tony Langley, and remains in family ownership. 

In May 2019, Langley acquired Marelli Motori, the Italian motor and generator manufacturer. The group now comprises 6 divisions based in the UK, Germany, France and Italy. 

The group has a worldwide manufacturing and commercial footprint of several million square feet with production facilities in Germany, France, the UK, Italy, the United States, Malaysia and China and more than 80 sales and service subsidiaries in the Americas, Europe, the Far East and Australasia. The Langley group employs around 5,000 people globally.