BT Open 60 Sailboat

BT Open 60 Sailboat

Sailing Open 60’s at Cowes Week

Cowes Week’s Artemis Challenge has long attracted some of the biggest names in the Open 60 sailing world. The 2009 entry list already boasts a fleet of seven boats, including five British skippers, as well as a taste of France and the Basque Country, and more teams are expected to join the line up! The Artemis Challenge yacht race is a 50 mile high speed sprint around the Isle of Wight for IMOCA 60s, with £10,000 donated to the charity of the winning skipper. The skippers and their teams will be joined by a number of high profile celebrities for the event, which this year will also be an ideal warm up ahead of the Rolex Fastnet Race. The race has quickly become a popular event for skippers and the general public alike, and has bred a strong competition amongst the skippers to take first prize.

The Open 60 sailing fleet already contains a host of world class sailors with a vast amount of experience and round the world voyages between them. With a number of other teams close to confirming their entries it will be an intense battle for the coveted trophy and donation to charity. This will be the first time since the Vendée Globe where skippers can get to show their raw boat speed in a quick battle.

Confirmed Artemis Challenge entries so far:

Akena Verandas: Arnaud Boissieres and Vincent Riou
Artemis Ocean Racing I: Simon Clay
Artemis Ocean Racing II: Skipper TBC
Aviva: Dee Caffari
BT IMOCA 60: Seb Josse
Toe in the Water: Steve White
Pakea Bizkaia: Unai Basurko

In 2008 it was a wet and gusty event, with eight IMOCA 60s charging around the Isle of Wight. It was a hard fought race with the teams showing a number of celebrity guests what it takes to sail these high-speed ocean racing yachts. However it was British skipper Brian Thompson who, in a time of 4 hours 14 minutes, claimed the first prize onboard Pindar in one of the fastest recorded times for circumnavigating the island, donating the winning prize to Earthwatch.

Seb Josse, Skipper of BT IMOCA 60: “The Artemis Challenge is a great event where we have to play with strong tidal currents and its effects can sometimes be costly! It is not a game that we are used to playing with our boats which are designed for distance offshore racing. It’s as well a great opportunity to test BT and compare our speed with others competitors after the post-Vendée Globe refits, ahead of the Fastnet Race. This year, even a French team is crossing the Channel to take part in the event. Racing in the Artemis Challenge and at Cowes Week is always amazing, the traffic on the water is crazy and the spirit onshore is always great.”

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