COWES WEEKPRB, skippered by Vincent Riou, won today's Artemis Challenge but missed out on breaking the record for the fastest time by just 13 seconds.
The French entry completed the race in four hours, 14 minutes and one second, narrowly missing out on breaking the previous fastest time set by Team Pindar in the 2008 Artemis Challenge.
Celebrities Ewan McGregor, Zara Phillips and Natalie Pinkham took part in the 50-mile sprint around the Isle of Wight.
The Artemis Challenge, at Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week, saw four IMOCA 60 teams battle it out for a £10,000 prize fund for the charity of their choice.
Actor Ewan McGregor, who sailed on the Hugo Boss team skippered by Alex Thomson, said: "It was an amazing experience — it was my first time yacht racing and to be part of the Hugo Boss team was a fantastic introduction to a really adventurous sport.
"Although the prize fund will not be awarded to UNICEF, I was pleased to be able to represent such a great cause on the water today and we hopefully helped to raise awareness of UNICEF's crucial work for children in East Africa."
Zara Phillips and TV and radio presenter Natalie Pinkham were on Artemis Ocean Racing, skippered by record-breaking yachtswoman Dee Caffari.
Zara said: "It was a great day on the water today. I really enjoyed sailing with Dee and Natalie, and although we didn’t claim the prize for Toe in the Water, it was great to be back at Cowes and go round the Island so quickly."
The race started in a moderate southerly breeze at 10am as PRB stayed close to the shore out of the foul tide and gained an advantage that the French team managed to hold right through to the finish.
When PRB, Cheminees Poujoulat, Artemis Ocean Racing and Hugo Boss rounded Bembridge Ledge at the eastern end of the Island and headed upwind round the back of the Island, the wind was increasing in strength reaching up to 25 knots, which provided spectacular downwind 'surfing’ conditions on the home run from The Needles to the Royal Yacht Squadron finish line off Cowes.
Bernard Stamm’s team on Cheminees Poujoulat challenged PRB throughout whilst Artemis Ocean Racing and Hugo Boss engaged in a great battle for third place.
PRB’s nominated charity is Foundation Movement for Children's Village Foundation (MVE) and will receive a cheque for £10,000.
Results of the Artemis Challenge 2011: 1 PRB (Vincent Riou) 14:14:01; 2 Cheminees Poujoulat (Bernard Stamm) 14:20:05; 3 Hugo Boss (Alex Thomson) 14:26:36; 4 Artemis Ocean Racing (Dee Caffari) 14:38:32.
• Click here to view pictures from the Artemis Challenge