At a time when the number of international yacht racing events is dwindling as their sponsors tighten their belts Rolex's sponsorship of long-running offshore events continues unabated. Their trio of the Fastnet, the Sydney-Hobart and the Middle Sea Race continue to be the most popular and toughly fought regattas. These events appeal to experienced sailors who dream of taking on a gruelling adventure alongside the world's top sailors aboard astonishing yachts. Unless you know the right people or are fortunate enough to be professional crew, the dream remains just that. Fortunately a few charter companies and sailing schools offer the opportunity to buy a crew place on their racing yacht for a few thousand euros so that you can fulfil that dream.