Mark Lloyd / www.lloydimages.com

MOD70s and IMOCA 60s for Artemis Challenge

Crews and celebrities gunning to better Foncia's (our) lap of the Isle of Wight

Thursday July 4th 2013, Author: James Boyd, Location: none selected

MOD70s and IMOCA 60s are set to return to the Solent for the Artemis Challenge at Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week. On 8 August, the fleet is scheduled to tackle of a lap of the Isle of Wight to claim £10,000 charity prize.

Now in its seventh year, the Artemis Challenge is  one of the highlights of Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week, and as usual this year will include several of the world's most high performance offshore yachts, skippered by the biggest names in the sport, joined by high profile celebrity guests.

In 2012, the MOD70 Foncia, skippered by double Vendee Globe winner Michel Desjoyeaux with a crew including Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, Ian Walker (and thedailysail.com) set a new outright record of just 2 hours, 21 minutes and 25 seconds to circumnavigate the Isle of Wight. For 2013, the MOD70s return with Seb Josse skippering Edmond de Rothschild, winner of the inaugural Route des Princes and Sidney Gavignet on Musandam – Oman Air.

A strong fleet of IMOCA 60s also returns to the Artemis Challenge following the Vendée Globe which finished this spring.

Representing Britain will be Brian Thompson on Artemis Ocean Racing and Alex Thomson on Hugo Boss. France will be represented by 2004 Vendee Globe winner Vincent Riou aboard PRB, who won the event in 2011. He will be joined by Marc Guillemot on Safran and Bertrand de Broc on Votre Nom Autour du Monde. The fleet is completed by Swiss double round the world race will Bernard Stamm on Cheminées Poujoulat.

Mark Tyndell, CEO of Artemis Investment Management, said: “The Artemis Challenge at Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week continues to attract some of the biggest names in offshore racing and creates a fantastic spectacle of big boat racing in British waters, as well as supporting a number of great causes. And this year they will surely all be aiming to beat the incredible world record from last year for going around the Isle of Wight – let’s hope we get some fantastic conditions so we can really see what these boats are capable of doing.”

The Artemis Challenge at Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week has long attracted a strong list of celebrity guests. Teams competing in the race in the past have included sports stars Zara Phillips, Amy Williams, Will Greenwood, Mike Tindall and James Haskell, as well as other stars from the world of entertainment, such as Ewan McGregor, Davina McCall and Bryan Adams. More information on the racing format and prize funds will be provided in the coming weeks.

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