Tuesday July 27 2010 Author: PRPETA Location: United Kingdom

The Even Keel Project is inviting everyone in Cowes on Monday 2nd August to ‘come on down’ to The Parade at 5.30pm and cheer on its sailing teams in the finals of the inaugural Artemis Even Keel Challenge Pro-Am Series @ Cowes Week.

The culmination of this special two-day series comprises novice sailors with disabilities who have been through the Even Keel Project/ UKSA selection trials over the past few weeks and who will race Artemis 20 keelboats with professional helmsmen in the finals. The professionals include hotshot sailors Brian Thompson, Steve White and Nick Rogers, Simon Clay, James Grant and Andy Cassell.

To help spectators understand what’s happening out on the water, Cowes Radio will be providing live commentary as the teams battle it out for the big prize. It’s particularly special for the Challenge and for the sailors involved to have Cowes Radio’s support in their 25th Anniversary year of broadcasting from Cowes Week.

Even Keel Project Managing Director, Dave Rutter: “In my opinion, Cowes Week is the best sailing event in the world and it is amazing to be able to offer 12 of our Even Keel Project sailors the opportunity to be able to take part in some racing. Quite a few members of our Artemis Even Keel Challenge teams have rarely, if ever, had the chance to go sailing and now, here they are racing during Cowes Week.

“The impact of The Even Keel Project has been amazing, from the instructors through to the sponsors, all going above and beyond to ensure the Project works at its best. A big thank you to all the pro sailors for going out of their way to help increase the profile of the project, especially having spent the majority of their day on the water already!

I wish everybody the best of luck and hope to see some of the sailors progressing throughout the year. Who knows? We may have a few Paralympians in-the-making.

The Challenge kicks off on Sunday 1st August when the initial twelve novice sailors will crew alongside UKSA skippers in two races. Racing will take place off the Royal Yacht Squadron Line from approx. 1730hrs in six adaptable Simon Rogers-designed Artemis 20 keelboats. The teams will race an upwind/downwind course off Princes’ Green.

On Monday 2nd August, the top three finalists from each of Sunday’s races will be alongside their professional helms on Trinity Landing on the Parade, with the boats rigged and ready to muster on the Royal Yacht Squadron start line for the approx. 1730hrs start.

The invitation-only Prizegiving is being held at the Piper Heidsieck Bar in Cowes Yacht Haven. There will be 12 certificates for the initial race crew members, six medals for the finalists and just the one Trophy for the overall winner, all courtesy of Artemis. The prizes will be presented by Richard Turpin, the Managing Director of Artemis Investment Management.

Fun & competitive

This fun and competitive new Race series is the brainchild of the Even Keel Project and its partners UKSA and is being mounted with the full backing and support of its primary sponsor Artemis Investment Management. The Artemis Even Keel Challenge has been put in place to help promote sailing as a ‘sport for all’ to Cowes Week’s captive audience of sailors, media and spectators. 

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