Last year’s Cowes Week.
SAILING THE world’s best offshore racers will return to Solent waters this summer for the Artemis Challenge at Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week.
Now in its seventh year, the Artemis Challenge sees some of the world’s fastest yachts, skippered by the biggest names in the sport and joined by celebrity guests, take on a 50-mile charity sprint around the Island.
In 2012, the MOD70 Fonica, helmed by legendary skippers Michel Desjoyeaux and Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, set a new record taking just two hours, 21 minutes and 25 seconds to circumnavigate the Island.
For 2013, the MOD70s return with French Volvo Ocean Race sailors Seb Josse on Edmond de Rothschild and Sidney Gavignet on Musandam — Oman Air both challenging for the record.
A strong fleet of IMOCA 60s will also return following their endeavours in the Vendee Globe as they make their final preparations ahead of the infamous Fastnet Race.
Representing Britain will be Brian Thompson on Artemis Ocean Racing and Alex Thomson on Hugo Boss.
The French bid for glory will be led by Vincent Riou on PRB who won the event in 2011, joined this year by Marc Guillemot on Safran and Bertrand de Broc on Votre Nom Autour du Monde.
The fleet is completed by hardened Swiss skipper Bernard Stamm on Cheminees Poujoulat who returns for a second attempt at winning the £10,000 charity prize fund.
The race on August 8 will start at 10am on the Royal Yacht Squadron line.
Previous celebrity guests have included Zara Phillips, Ewan McGregor, Davina McCall and Bryan Adams.