Mark Lloyd /

Strongest Artemis Challenge line-up

MOD70s to join IMOCA 60s and VO65s in this year's Cowes Week race around the Isle of Wight

Friday July 3rd 2015, Author: James Boyd, Location: United Kingdom

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 Race, 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 clockwise around the Isle of Wight, has become one of the pinnacle events at the world’s largest sailing regatta.

The Artemis Challenge, sponsored by Artemis investment Management, one of the UK’s leading investment companies and the largest British sponsor in offshore sailing, 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 2015.

Confirmed entries so far include:

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)
Phaedo3/Lloyd Thornburg/(USA)
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 of the entries have been launched within the last 12 months and also includes the winning boat (SMA, formerly 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 Thursday 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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