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 has welcomed some of the most celebrated sailors over the years.
And with the 2015 Rugby World Cup fast approaching, Zara Phillips will be joining rugby stars from England, Scotland and France to take up the challenge to claim a £10,000 prize by winning the annual charity race around the Isle of Wight.
Zara and her husband, former England captain Mike Tindall will be on board Artemis Ocean Racing and will be hoping to claim line honours ahead of Scottish rugby hero Gavin Hastings and French prop Sylvain Marconnet. Hastings will be racing with the all-female Team SCA, who recently circumnavigated the globe in the Volvo Ocean Race, whilst Marconnet will be joining the French skipper Paul Meilhat on SMA.
The rugby stars have some impressive stats between them, with Marconnet making 84 appearances for France. Full back Gavin Hastings, an ambassador for Aberdeen Asset Management, is a national icon in the sport, where he captained the national team 20 times in 60 appearances and also captained the Lions in 1993. England centre Mike Tindall won the Rugby World Cup with England in 2003 and secured 75 caps in a decorated career retiring as England’s most capped centre.
They will also be following in the footsteps of the great names like Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, Michel Desjoyeaux and Ian Walker and 2015 looks on course to set a new standard as a number of world’s most decorated offshore racers will take on the challenge this year.
You can follow the fleet on our live race player once the race has began. This is made possible by each of yacht having a YB tracker onboard, programmed to collect and transmit data through the Iridium satellite network to YB HQ servers, where it is visualised onto the race player.
For more information on the competition please visit the offical race website.