Up for the Challenge at Cowes Week

Image:  Lloyd Images

The Artemis Challenge at Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week 2013.
Images showing the MOD70 Oman Air Musandam with the fleet, skippered by Sidney Gavignet (FRA), with Olympic sailor Paul Goodison, yachtswoman Dee Caffari, and RYA youth squad members, James Henson and Olivier Greber as guests onboard.
Credit Lloyd Images

The largest fleet on record returns for the ninth edition of the Artemis Challenge at Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week.

Welcoming an impressive fleet of IMOCA 60s, Volvo 65s and powerful multihulls, the 2015 edition of the celebrated annual charity race around the Isle of Wight looks set to be the largest in its nine year history. The Artemis Challenge at Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week has once again attracted the biggest names in sailing and as the precursor to the Rolex Fastnet it looks set to be another magnificent spectacle of big boat racing in British waters. The annual 50 mile sprint, which follows the original America’s Cup route west around the Isle of Wight, has become one of the pinnacle event at the world’s largest sailing regatta.

The Artemis Challenge, sponsored by Artemis investment Management, has welcomed some of the most celebrated sailors over the years. Following in the footsteps of the great names like Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, Michel Desjoyeaux and Ian Walker, 2015 looks on course to set a new standard as a number of world’s most decorated offshore racers will take on the Artemis Challenge.

Confirmed entries so far include:

IMOCA 60
Artemis Ocean Racing/Skipper TBC
Hugo Boss/Alex Thomson/(GBR)
Banque Populaire/Armel Le Cléac’h/(FRA)
Groupe Quéguiner/Yann Eliès/(FRA)
PRB/Vincent Riou/(FRA)
Safran/Morgan Lagravière/(FRA)
SMA /Paul Meilhat/(FRA)
Initatives Coeur/Tanguy de la Motte/(FRA)

Volvo Ocean 65
Dongfeng Race Team/Charles Caudrelier/(FRA)
Team SCA/Sam Davies/(GBR)

ULTIM Multihull
OMAN Mod70/Sidney Gavignet/(FRA)
Concise 10/Ned Collier-Wakefield/(GBR)
Pheado3/Brian Thompson/(GBR)
Prince de Bretagne/Lionel Lemonchois/(FRA)

Amongst the skippers, there are no less than eight solo circumnavigations combined with 15 crewed circumnavigations of the planet. Within the IMOCA fleet, three boats have been launched within the last 12 months and also includes the winning boat (SMA, formally Macif) from the last Vendée Globe in 2012. Further entries may be announced in the coming weeks.

The celebrity guests for the 2015 Artemis Challenge at Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week are expected to match the impressive fleet and will be announced in the coming weeks. 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, including Davina McCall, Bryan Adams and James and Oliver Phelps, the Weasley Twins from the Harry Potter movies.

Starting at 1000 BST on the Royal Yacht Squadron Line on 13 August, the fastest IMOCA 60 to complete the course around the Isle of Wight (weather permitting) will win £10,000 for the charity of their choice.

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