Mike Golding wins Artemis Challenge
British sports stars Zara Phillips, Amy Williams and former England rugby international Martin Bayfield, along with ‘Weasley Twins’ from the Harry Potter films, James and Oliver Phelps, and GMTV’s Emma Crosby today joined teams sailing in the Artemis Challenge at Cowes Week.
Competing in a high adrenaline 50 mile sprint round the Isle of Wight, British skipper Mike Golding aboard his IMOCA 60 Mike Golding Racing took line honours in a light wind race, winning the £10,000 charity prize fund donated by Artemis Investment Management, for his chosen charity, the RNLI.
After a strong start on their clockwise lap, Golding took the lead from Veolia Environment just before the Needles, with Veolia Environment crossing the finish line off the Royal Yacht Squadron in second place.
Aboard Artemis Ocean Racing, reigning Eventing World Champion Zara Phillips and Olympic Gold medallist Amy Williams got stuck in, helping helmsman and double Olympic medallist Simon Hiscocks and the Artemis team into a third place finish.
Former rugby international Martin Bayfield, who also plays the role of Robbie Coltrane’s body double ‘Hagrid’ in the Harry Potter films was put to work aboard British sailor Dee Caffari’s boat Gaes as ‘chief grinder’ for the day. Fellow Harry Potter stars the ‘Weasley Twins’ Oliver and James Phelps, along with GMTV’s Emma Crosby joined West Country sailor Steve White aboard Toe in the Water.
Amy Williams commented: “Zara and I were a good team on the grinder, helping to pull the sails in and out - I am so tired now, it was a great upper body workout! I can’t believe that the guys we were sailing with actually sail these boats on their own, round the world, there’s just constantly so much to do. The teamwork onboard was amazing, and I think I picked up a few things. I would definitely come sailing again, it was a brilliant day!”
Zara Phillips commented: “It was a really good atmosphere on board, we had a good team and we all worked really well together - it was easy for us as the crew know the boat so well. It’s great to finish on the podium and to have made it round the island."
Mark Tyndall, Chief Executive, Artemis Investment Management commented: "It couldn’t have been better Artemis Challenge. After a few years where the wind has been a bit light, we had a proper breeze, almost had a restart halfway through the race when the breeze collapsed, then we had good breeze and a great romp home."
Martin Bayfield commented: "It was great fun, great people and a great experience and I absolutely loved it. Dee was very gentle and very kind, and very polite about my steering."
The Artemis Challenge, now in its fourth year, is recognised as a key event of the Cowes Week regatta, one of the UK’s longest running and most successful sporting events which attracts thousands of spectators each year. The Artemis Challenge, sponsored by Artemis Investment Management, one of the UK’s leading investment companies and the largest British sponsor in offshore sailing, is a magnificent spectacle, showcasing the best of offshore racing within easy reach of spectators.
Photos from Mark Lloyd/www.lloydimages.com