The Artemis Challenge welcomes IMOCA 60s and MOD 70s to Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week on August 16th
The world’s fastest offshore monohulls and multihulls set to race around the Isle of Wight for charity
For the sixth straight year the Artemis Challenge will be one of the highlights of the 2012 Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week, the world’s largest sailing regatta and one of the UK’s biggest sporting events. In a new twist to the classic route around the Isle of Wight, the 2012 Artemis Challenge will see teams of monohull IMOCA 60s and multihull MOD 70s race around the island to claim £10,000 for charity. A world class line up of British Vendée Globe skippers helming high performance IMOCA 60s will be paired up with the latest generation MOD 70s to compete together in the 50 mile sprint on August 16th.
The Artemis Challenge will welcome back the best British offshore racers before they take on the mighty challenge of the Vendée Globe in November when they will race singlehandedly around the world. The start line for IMOCA 60s will include Mike Golding (Gamesa) and Artemis Ocean Racing II. They will be joined by the fastest class of cutting edge designed 70 ft multihulls, with legendary French skipper Michel Desjoyeaux skippering Foncia, Sidney Gavignet on Oman Sail and Swiss racer Steve Ravussin on Race for Water.
Mark Tyndell, CEO of Artemis Investment Management, said, “The return of the Artemis Challenge continues the legacy of this wonderful event. We are pleased to welcome back some of the best British solo skippers in the world as they prepare for the Vendée Globe, as well as welcoming for the first time the impressive MOD 70s, skippered by some of the biggest names in offshore racing. Both sets of boats should deliver a fantastic spectacle and compete to raise money for great causes.”
The Artemis Challenge, sponsored by Artemis Investment Management, one of the UK’s leading investment companies, is recognised as one of the key events of Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week and is a magnificent spectacle, showcasing the best of offshore racing within easy reach of spectators. The race follows the classic America’s Cup route around the Isle of Wight, starting at 10 AM on the Royal Yacht Squadron Line.
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, Bryan Adams and James and Oliver Phelps, the Weasley Twins from the Harry Potter movies.
The UK round of the award-winning Extreme Sailing Series™ now in its sixth year will be staged in Cardiff the capital of Wales between the 24-27 August, 2012. In a three-year deal, Cardiff won the bid to host the UK event of this global sailing circuit that is only one of four events with ISAF (International Sailing Federation) Special Event status, positioning the city alongside the other seven premium international sporting venues hosting an Extreme Sailing Series Act in 2012. The host venue agreement with Cardiff City is backed by a Welsh Government grant for 2012-2014.
The Extreme 40 catamarans, raced by many of the world’s best sailors, will race on Cardiff Bay over four days with the event open to the public between the 25-27 August as the Extreme 40 fleet race in the circuit’s action packed ‘stadium’ format.
Executive chairman of the organising company behind the series, Mark Turner of OC ThirdPole, said: “The circuit continues to represent perfectly the developments in the world at large, with its balance of east and west, different cultures and languages and variety of conditions.
“Year on year the commercial value to the host cities of securing this event for the host venues has steadily increased, and this is reflected in 2012 developments. A pro-active and innovative host venue is critical to the success of the event, and we are very excited in this respect by the partnership with Cardiff and the Welsh Government.”
Cardiff Council’s Executive Member for Sport, Culture and Leisure Cllr, Nigel Howells commented: “It’s great news that Cardiff has secured the Extreme Sailing series for the next three years, as a council we will do all that we can to support the event.
“Cardiff has proved time and time again that it can play host to a variety of world class sporting events. From top class football and rugby to newer events like Extreme Sailing. Since the opening of Cardiff International White Water (CIWW) in 2010 more and more watersport events are coming to Cardiff, which is helping to attract a new audience to Cardiff and Wales.”
The 2012 Extreme Sailing Series will be staged at 8 different international venues across three continents, attracting hundreds of thousands of spectators. Alongside other significant media exposure, once again a dedicated TV series will be produced and broadcast on up to 40 channels around the world, including CNBC, Bloomberg, Channel 4 (UK), Sky (UK), Al Jazeera, Fox (Latin America, Australia Middle East), ESPN, Sport+ (France), RAI (Italy).
As we enter the final countdown to the first Act in Oman, the 2012 team line-up will be revealed this coming weekend at the Dusseldorf Boat Show.
2012 Calendar & Host Venues:
Act 1 : Muscat, Oman 28th February-2nd March
Act 2 : Qingdao, China 17th-20th April*
Act 3 : Istanbul, Turkey 7th-10th June
Act 4 : Porto, Portugal 5th-8th July
Act 5: Cardiff, UK 24th-27th August
Act 6 : Trapani, Italy 13th-16th September
Act 7 : Nice, France 18th-21st October
Act 8 : Brazil 29th November-2nd December
Due to official Chinese naval activities in the port of Qingdao, Act 2 will now be staged between 17th-20th April instead of the 19th-22nd April as previously communicated
Mike Golding wind the Artemis Challenge 2010 claiming the £10,000 charitable donation for the RNLI. The six round-the-world IMOCA 60 racers started the fourth consecutive Artemis Challenge at Cowes Week at 1000 BST today [Tuesday, 3rd August]. Joining the renowned round the world skippers were sporting stars Zara Phillips, Amy Williams, GMTV presenter Emma Crosby and former England rugby international Martin Bayfield as well as the Harry Potter ‘Weasley Twins’, James and Oliver Phelps.
Zara Phillips, racing onboard Artemis Ocean Racing, that finished 3rd overall said at the finish: “There 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 but we thought that because it’s the Artemis Challenge and we’re on Artemis Ocean Racing so we thought let the others get in front!”
The boats set out on the 55-mile course round the Isle of Wight in a light south-westerly breeze and made good headway until coming to a standstill at the eastern point of the island before picking up the sea breeze which built steadily through the afternoon. The IMOCA 60s had a great reach from St Catherine’s to The Needles before hoisting their spinnakers for a high-speed dash to the finish line at the Royal Yacht Squadron. Mike Golding narrowly beat Roland Jourdain on Veolia Environnement by 10 minutes to finish in just under six and a half hours.
The sporting stars were not on board just for a joy ride and the skippers had them working hard. “Zara and I were a good team on the grinder, we thought we were way better than the boys! It was so tiring though and big respect to all the sailors – to think they sail these boats all on their own around the world is absolutely amazing. It was a great team effort but I still feel like I’m floating around!” said Amy Williams. Martin Bayfield who crewed for Dee Caffari, the only yachtswoman to have sailed solo around the world in both directions, was also put to work on the grinder although Dee let him steer for a while: “Dee was very gentle and very kind, and very polite about my steering!”
The £10,000 charitable donation by Artemis Investment Management will be made to the RNLI.The Artemis Challenge has become a popular fixture at the UK’s biggest yachting regatta offers a great mix of sporting competition and celebrity glamour. Mike 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.”
Position / Entries / skippers / charities:
1st Mike Golding Yacht Racing / Mike Golding / RNLI
2nd Veolia Environnement / Roland Jourdain / Plan 3rd Artemis Ocean Racing / helmsman Simon Hiscocks / Kids Company
4th Gaes Centros Auditivos / Dee Caffari / Toe in the Water 5th VE1 / Ryan Breymaier & Boris Herrman / Chemo Outreach Project
6th Toe in the Water / Steve White / RNLI
After a ‘disastrous’ start to the Artemis Challenge yesterday due to an issue with their spinnaker, British yachtswoman Dee Caffari and her crew aboard GAES Centros Auditivos fought hard from the back of the fleet to secure fourth place in the annual IMOCA 60 sprint around the Isle of Wight. As the first woman to have sailed solo non-stop round the world in both directions, Dee is no stranger to fighting against the odds but was delighted to have assistance on this occasion in the shape of her crew which included former England and Lions lock, Martin Bayfield.
On reaching the dock, Dee said:
‘Despite our disappointing start we had some brilliant racing out there and fought really hard with all three of the boats ahead of us.’
The fleet initially made good progress on the 55 mile course in a light south westerly breeze giving GAES Centros Auditivos an opportunity to re establish themselves in the race. However, the front runners all came to a standstill at Brembridge Ledge on the eastern point of the island due to a lack of wind. As the sea breeze picked up the crew were forced to tack several times to stay out of the strongest tide as they cleared St Catherine’s Point and it was at this stage that Mike Golding Yacht Racing took the lead and the race positions were established.
‘We had a great sail to the Needles and after our hand break turn back into the Solent we hoisted the spinnaker. The strong winds and good boat speed made for some exciting sailing to the finish, all of which helped hook Martin into a new sport. We are sad that we didn’t win a pot of money for Toe in the Water but everyone onboard had a great time out on the water which is what Cowes Week is all about.’
The Artemis Challenge at Cowes Week was won by Mike Golding aboard Mike Golding Yacht Racing, a close second went to Roland Jourdain on Veolia Environnement with Artemis Ocean Racing skippered by Simon Hiscocks completing the podium. Fourth was Dee Caffari onboard GAES Centros Auditivos with VE1 and Toe in the Water taking fifth and sixth place respectively.
Later this year, Dee will be taking part in the Barcelona World Race onboard GAES Centros Auditivos with her Spanish co-skipper, Anna Corbella. They will be the only all-female crew taking part in the race that leaves Barcelona on 31st December 2010.
Tomorrow six round-the-world IMOCA 60 racers will be on the start line for the fourth consecutive Artemis Challenge at Cowes Week including Britain’s Mike Golding and Dee Caffari. Joining the renowned round the world skippers, competing for the £10,000 charity prize fund, will be sporting stars Zara Phillips, Amy Williams, GMTV presenter Emma Crosby and former England rugby international Martin Bayfield. Bayfield played the role of Robbie Coltrane’s body double ‘Hagrid’ in the Harry Potter films and whose co-stars James and Oliver Phelps, known as the Weasley twin characters in the same films, are back for a second time. Amy Williams, Olympic Gold Medalist in the skeleton bob at the last Winter Olympics commented: “I’ve always wanted to give sailing a try. I’m sure life out at sea is pretty different to life on the skeleton bob track!”
British yachtswoman Dee Caffari, will take part in the fourth edition of the Artemis Challenge at Cowes Week tomorrow. Dee will be joined onboard by former rugby player turned presenter Martin Bayfield who, since retiring from the game, has played the role of Robbie Coltrane’s body double ‘Hagrid’ in the Harry Potter films in addition to carving out a presenting career.
Dee will be competing aboard her Open 60, GAES Centros Auditivos, in the annual IMOCA 60 sprint round the Isle of Wight that attracts some of the biggest names in ocean racing. Teams will be competing for a generous £10,000 prize fund and Dee will be hoping that a win may boost the coffers of her charity of choice, Toe in the Water. Lloyd Hamilton, Director of the charity will also be a guest of the Dee Caffari Racing team, adding some additional muscle to the existing race crew of Joff Brown, Harry Spedding, Tim Carrie and Scott Gray.
Held annually, the Artemis Challenge at Cowes Week enables teams to race for the charity of their choice and, as an ambassador for Toe in the Water, this year Dee was keen to show her support. Speaking about her work with the charity, Dee Caffari said:
‘I joined the Toe In The Water team in Dartmouth last year and sampled the powerful effect competitive sailing has on the injured servicemen recommended to the programme as part of their rehabilitation. Listening to what the charity does is impressive but when you have been able to see firsthand the impact competitive sailing can have on each individual in the programme it is truly amazing.’
The tri service initiative, Toe In The Water, aims to inspire men and women who have sustained often traumatic injuries, including the loss of limbs, to move beyond their disability and to become re inspired by life. Competitive sailing is a physically and mentally challenging adventurous sport and provides a unique opportunity for injured men and women to sail and race on equal terms with their able bodied contemporaries. The charity receives no statutory funding and relies entirely on voluntary contributions from individuals, trusts and companies.
Dee Caffari added:
‘Everyone has a role to play within the race crew, everyone is important for the overall performance and this feeling of being a valued team member has often been lost as a result of the injury sustained. It is incredible to see the self-confidence and self esteem return as these guys are re-engaged and re-integrated as part of a high performance team once more. I am delighted to be racing on behalf of Toe In The Water at the Artemis Challenge this year and have Lloyd Hamilton onboard, one of the Directors of the Charity.’
Later this year, Dee will be taking part in the Barcelona World Race onboard GAES Centros Auditivos with her Spanish co-skipper, Anna Corbella. They will be the only all-female crew taking part in the race that leaves Barcelona on 31st December 2010.
The entries for the Artemis Challenge at Cowes Week 2010 are:
1. Artemis Ocean Racing: Simon Hiscocks
2. Akena Verandas: Arnaud Boissieres
3. Toe in the Water: Steve White
4. GAES Centros Auditivos: Dee Caffari
5. Veolia Environnement: Roland Jourdain
6. VE1: Ryan Breymaier
Too late to play cat and mouse….. it seems like Safran – the super light, quick IMOCA Open 60 boat the sponsors like to call the ‘jet fighter’ – will have devoured Groupe Bel by the time that the Transat Jacques Vabre leader appears from under the cover of ‘Stealth Mode’ to cross the finish line off Puerto Rica this evening to take a well deserved, hard earned victory.
Both of the leading pair, Safran and Groupe Bel, pressed the stealth button in unison together to complete their final miles away from the public tracking system, but at eight this morning Marc Guillemot and Charles Caudrelier-Bénac were already champions elect, with a 90 miles lead and less than 200 miles of the gruelling 4730 miles course from Le Havre to the finish off Puerto Limon, Costa Rica.
While Bel was last seen tracking slightly north in search of some last minute bonus miles as the trade winds fold, Safran was steadily rolling down towards the finish line, on the verge of a significant triumph. Second in the last edition of the race in 2007 and an heroic third on the last Vendée Globe when Guillemot brought the wounded Safran the final 1000 miles with no keel, Safran has lead this race since Thursday 12th, before battling through the storm of Friday 13th.
Guillemot was predicting a slightly ‘sluggish’ finish in light winds, but could not see any obvious reason why their long time rivals Kito de Pavant and Francois Gabart on Groupe Bel should close that significant gap.
“We still have a few more gybes to go and the final 50 miles look like being rather sluggish, but the lead we currently have allows us to remain composed. The lead over Groupe Bel could be cut, but we’re certainly not going to give anything away now.” Guillemot told his team today, happy with the routing they have taken since leaving the English Channel 14 days ago,
“We know that we have left a smooth trail in our wake. As not everything can be done by the two of us together, on the weather it was Charles, who did most of the work picking up and analysing the data. Then, we took decisions together. We always agreed about them.”
And they have always pushed extremely hard:
“With one or two exceptions, we always sailed with the maximum amount of sail. That requires a lot of energy. It really drained our reserves to carry out these manoeuvres and there were many of them. If we do manage to win, it will certainly feel good, as we really gave it our all throughout this race.”
Built-in reliability has been one of the keys to the two leaders successes this race After being hobbled by gear problems, not least a damaged main sail mast track in the Vendee Globe, Guillemot reports that their only damage is to their big spinnaker and slight mainsail damage.
The battle for line honours, between Crepes Whaou! – the Multi50 – and Safran is in the balance. While Franck-Yves Escoffier was relishing the chance to beat the monohulls home, the three times winner of the Route du Rhum and twice winner of his class in this race, is keen to break the finish tape first.
Mike Golding’s power problems have continued and the British skipper and his Spanish co-skipper Javier Sanso have been unable to start their engine for the last 48 hours and so are running with next to no electrical power. Mike Golding Yacht Racing had acceded a few miles to fourth placed Foncia but still has over just under 200 miles in hand over the double Vendée Globe winner with 412 miles to go to the finish. Foncia has been consistently quicker, while Golding’s avowed intent recently was simply to get across the finish with his boat and the podium finish intact.
Spanish fortunes are both climbing and declining. Alex Pella and Pepe Ribes on W-Hotels are positively buoyant with their speed on the Farr design, making miles all the time on Veolia Envirinnement and Aviva. Adding more sail area, to the main and their spinnakers, is paying a regular dividend as is their hard driving style. Meantime 1876 was just emerging back into the trade winds again but has dropped to ninth
Franck-Yves Escoffier (FRA) Crepes Whaou:
“Yes we are still hoping to get in before the IMOCA’s, even if our chances are reduced a little, we are little quicker on a straight course, but at night we tend to take the foot off the accelerator. But we are always truthful that our aim, that is for sure. When it happens, whoever is first – us or the IMOCA’s – there will not be very much in it. We think we will arrive during the night (Costa Rica time) But a little mouse told us there will not be much wind when we are arriving so nothing is for sure. We have fed flying fish with Whaou Crepes, they seem to like them because they keep coming back to the boat.
When we get there I will be congratulating the Crepes Whaou designers, saying to Vincent, to Erwan, Kévin and the others, that we have been on a boat which is great. It is good and looks good, which is good because I wanted a boat which was faster and more powerful, and I think that goal has been met.”
Marc Guillemot (FRA) Safran:
“All is good on Safran. We decided to go in stealth mode. We thought about it while passing through the West Indies, then thought about it yesterday but finally we went for it today. I understand it can be frustrating for those on shore, but it adds a bit of spice. But it’s a card to be played and it would be stupid not to use it before the end. There was a difference of 90 miles and with 250 miles to go, I don’t think we needed it or it will help in any way, there no great gains to be made. I don’t think we need to worry unduly about big surprises, unless Kito and Francois expect a big surprise. For the moment we have not really looked too closely at the weather forecasts to the finish, we are happy to be just racing in and to trim the sails. We kind of saw this time coming a couple of days ago. And we don’t have to do too much to push the boat. We have not really thought about breaking the finish line. Over this race focus has been 100% on the sporting result, there have been no side adventures, since the start gun the focus has just been on getting to the finish. These boats are very demanding, they require a lot of hard work to make them go. The physical effort has been great and we are tired of all the manoeuvres. If Crepes Whaou! get in first, so be it, it won’t bother me. And it would be good for Franck-Yves and Erwan but what interests us is in getting in before Groupe Bel and the others. They are a different class and did a different course.”
Yves Parlier (FRA) 1876:
“We have finally reached the trade winds and now have a much better speed, but we have been through some areas of terrible calms for the last 24 hours. We have started to have really hot conditions; there is a lot of light but not a cloud in sight. Yesterday it was 35º inside the boat, and now it is 32 with no shade at all. We have water so there is no worry of being dehydrated. However for the connections and the screens the pilots are broken, and so right now I am at the chart table and trying to drive at the same time with the only pilot that is working still. I am lying down at the bottom of the boat, head up looking at then gennaker through one window and when I want to correct the pilot I have to move, but at least I am in the shade! Pachi has just had a short rest as he has spent a lot of time taking the pilots apart and trying to repair them.”
“We are not too surprised that we were overtaken as until just a while ago we were only making two knots. But the road is still long and we hope not to lose any more positions, and even try and win something!”
Pepe Ribes (ESP) W-Hotels:
“Things are going extremely well. It is downwind in the Caribbean Sea, spinnaker, shorts and beautiful sailing here today. We are a bit surprised by our downwind speed, the last five or six days. In the Istanbul Race we were able to keep up with some of the boat here but now we faster than them, so the changes we have made are paying off.
We have a new main, much bigger, 17 sq m, and we have changed to downwind Quantum Sails, and so little by little we are getting better.”
“We are pushing very hard, the others will be doing the same. But it is hard, 12 hours every day on deck, the secret to be fast is not to use the auto-pilot, to steer as much as possible, you have to steer.”
“I think we are OK, a long way to go. We are maybe 50 miles to leeward of Veolia and maybe 120 miles to leeward of Aviva and it is a downwind race. We are sailing fast and in a good position.”
“ We share everything. Normally Alex pulls the grib files when he is off watch, but at the moment I am doing the weather. And we are sharing everything, we share the helm and just keep changing. We have little problems with the batteries and so on, but I hope we will be able to sort it out and have no more problems.”
Seb Josse and his all-star team, including celebrity guests Dame Ellen MacArthur and Radio 1 DJ, Rob Da Bank have won the Artemis Challenge at Cowes Week. On an east-bound course, the fleet set off at 10:00 from the Royal Yacht Squadron line on a downwind leg flying their huge code zero gennakers. Mike Sanderson and team, including celebrity guest Paul Rose (TV presenter and adventurer), led off the startline but complicated winds soon started to affect proceedings and within 10 minutes, fleet positions had turned inside out.
Team Pindar today finished second in the Artemis Challenge at Cowes Week, skippered by Former ISAF World Sailor of the Year and TEAMORIGIN Team Director, Mike Sanderson.
Light winds this morning forced organisers to modify the normal ‘round-the-island’ course, to a shortened 35-mile route through the Forts and around Nab Tower off the Isle of Wight. 8 miles from the official line, as the wind dropped further, the race was called to an early finish, sealing victory for Frenchman Seb Josse and his crew on board BT IMOCA 60.
Now in its third year, this year’s Artemis Challenge attracted a total of eight Open 60’s many of which had not competed since the end of the non-stop solo round the world yacht race, the Vendée Globe earlier this year. Each yacht played host to a celebrity sailor which included names from the world of entertainment and sport: Zara Phillips, Bryan Adams and Rugby World Cup winners Will Greenwood and Mike Tindall. Sailing on board Team Pindar was BBC TV presenter, adventurer and Earthwatch ambassador, Paul Rose.
Mike Sanderson commented: “Obviously it was disappointing not to have more breeze, but we had a good time and definitely made the most of the day. Considering how well the boat has been performing in the strong winds over the last few days, I was really encouraged to see how well she handled the light breeze too.”
Earthwatch Ambassador, Paul Rose commented: “I’ve been sailing all my life but it’s not everyday you get to be out on the water on an Open 60 and with some of the best sailors in the world. It’s been a tremendous event and a great opportunity to raise awareness for Earthwatch and its Oceans Appeal.”
Team Pindar is now preparing for the 2009 Rolex Fastnet Race, which starts from the Royal Yacht Squadron
A further five hours later the fleet made its way back up the Solent from No Man’s Land Fort after the course was shortened for the first time but the wind totally disappeared between Portsmouth and Ryde creating a concertina effect on the fleet.
Making zero headway against a now adverse tide, the race officers made a decision to put the self-shortening course procedure into action. It was agreed this morning that all competitors were to time themselves round each mark of the course, and take the times of the boat ahead and behind should this particular scenario happen.
The race office confirmed that the results would be based on the timings at Bembridge Ledge which meant that BT who was leading at the time was deemed the overall winner, and Pindar was second. Simon Clay on Artemis The Profit Hunter with celebrity guest Bryan Adams, were third. Stable mates – Artemis Ocean Racing – with Sam Davies and special guest Zara Phillips finished 4th.