Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Mike Golding Wins The Artemis Challenge

Mike Golding has won the Artemis Challenge 2010 claiming the £10,000 charitable donation for the RNLI. The six round-the-world IMOCA 60 racers started the fourth consecutive Artemis Challenge at Cowes Week at 1000 BST today [Tuesday, 3rd August]. Joining the renowned round the world skippers were sporting stars Zara Phillips, Amy Williams, GMTV presenter Emma Crosby and former England rugby international Martin Bayfield as well as the Harry Potter ‘Weasley Twins’, James and Oliver Phelps.

Zara Phillips, racing onboard Artemis Ocean Racing, that finished 3rd overall said at the finish: “There was a really good atmosphere on board, we had a good team and we all worked really well together - it was easy for us as the crew know the boat so well. It’s great to finish on the podium but we thought that because it’s the Artemis Challenge and we’re on Artemis Ocean Racing so we thought let the others get in front!”

The boats set out on the 55-mile course round the Isle of Wight in a light south-westerly breeze and made good headway until coming to a standstill at the eastern point of the island before picking up the sea breeze which built steadily through the afternoon. The IMOCA 60s had a great reach from St Catherine’s to The Needles before hoisting their spinnakers for a high-speed dash to the finish line at the Royal Yacht Squadron. Mike Golding narrowly beat Roland Jourdain on Veolia Environnement by 10 minutes to finish in just under six and a half hours.

The sporting stars were not on board just for a joy ride and the skippers had them working hard. “Zara and I were a good team on the grinder, we thought we were way better than the boys! It was so tiring though and big respect to all the sailors – to think they sail these boats all on their own around the world is absolutely amazing. It was a great team effort but I still feel like I’m floating around!” said Amy Williams. Martin Bayfield who crewed for Dee Caffari, the only yachtswoman to have sailed solo around the world in both directions, was also put to work on the grinder although Dee let him steer for a while: “Dee was very gentle and very kind, and very polite about my steering!”

The £10,000 charitable donation by Artemis Investment Management will be made to the RNLI.

The Artemis Challenge has become a popular fixture at the UK’s biggest yachting regatta offers a great mix of sporting competition and celebrity glamour. Mike Tyndall, Chief Executive, Artemis Investment Management commented: “It couldn’t have been better Artemis Challenge. After a few years where the wind has been a bit light, we had a proper breeze, almost had a restart halfway through the race when the breeze collapsed, then we had good breeze and a great romp home.”

Position / Entries / skippers / charities:
1st Mike Golding Yacht Racing / Mike Golding / RNLI
2nd Veolia Environnement / Roland Jourdain / Plan
3rd Artemis Ocean Racing / helmsman Simon Hiscocks / Kids Company
4th Gaes Centros Auditivos / Dee Caffari / Toe in the Water
5th VE1 / Ryan Breymaier & Boris Herrman / Chemo Outreach Project
6th Toe in the Water / Steve White / RNLI

News, photos and videos all at http://www.artemischallenge.com/