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VIDEO: 'The Everest of sailing'

The 2015 Rolex Fastnet Race got underway in Great Britain on Sunday with the largest fleet in the 90-year history of the biennial bluewater race.

More than 4,000 sailors, professional and amateur, representing 25 nations, are competing aboard 356 sailboats of various designs and sizes in the 603-nautical mile offshore race to Plymouth via Ireland’s Fastnet rock.

The start was a modest one, hindered by light winds.

The first boat is expected to finish today, with slower entries trickling in during the coming days.

The event is infamously remembered for the 1979 Fastnet, when a worse-than-expected storm on the third day wreaked havoc on more than 306 yachts, resulting in 18 fatalities (15 yachtsmen and three rescuers).