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Ireland's Damian Foxall Gears up for Isle of Wight Challenge

6th August 2013
Ireland's Damian Foxall Gears up for Isle of Wight Challenge

#cowes – Ireland's Damian Foxall is among some of the biggest names in offshore ocean racing gearing up to take on the Isle of Wight in the 2013 Artemis Challenge at Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week on Thursday.

The fleet boasts some of the most experienced big boat sailing stars from the UK and France. And they will be joined by a number of VIP guests as they bid to claim £10,000 for their nominated charities.

While the 2012 race saw Michel Desjoyeaux set a new world record onboard his MOD70 Foncia for circumnavigating the Isle of Wight, the forecast for Thursday suggests a challenge to the record is unlikely.

But it won't stop these sailing greats pulling out all the stops to be first across the finish line.
At 10 AM on Thursday August 8th, an impressive fleet of two 70ft+ trimarans and seven IMOCA 60s will set off from the start line at the Royal Yacht Squadron at Cowes and sail clockwise (East) around the Isle of Wight (course distance and set-up will be dependent on the wind conditions).

The multihulls will be skippered by two well known French skippers, Sidney Gavignet (with Foxall) and Seb Josse, helming Oman Air-Musandam and Gitana respectively. Oman Sail will also be hosting British Olympic sailing medallist Paul Goodison and celebrated solo yachtswoman Dee Caffari.
The fleet of IMOCA 60s brings together the cream of the Vendée Globe, including the winner of the 2012 edition of the renowned solo race, Francois Gabart on Macif, who will be joined by legendary sailor and mentor Michel Desjoyeaux. Flying the flag for British sailing will be Alex Thomson on Hugo Boss, Brian Thompson on Artemis Ocean Racing and Mike Golding on Mike Golding Yacht Racing. Alex will be joined by rising British actor Douglas Booth whilst Artemis Ocean Racing will host celebrated chef Mitch Tonks, who commented: "It is just brilliant to be involved with the Artemis Challenge – food and sailing are two of my favourite things in life so to get on board one of these boats will be a dream. I can't wait."
The fleet of IMOCA 60s is completed by a number of decorated solo sailors with Vincent Riou sailing on PRB, Bernard Stamm on Cheminées Poujoulat and Marc Guillemot on Safran (see list below for full details of entries). An overall Artemis Challenge Trophy will be awarded to the winning team with the best added elapsed time. Each team is made up of several IMOCA 60s and one of the trimarans, which will be decided on the morning of the race. £5,000 will be donated by Artemis Investment Management to the winning teams' charities of choice and £2,500 will also be donated to the fastest IMOCA 60 and the fastest trimaran to cross the finish line.

Published in Cowes Week Team

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