Cowes Week - Artemis Challenge attracts big name stars

A galaxy of stars take to the water - Artemis Challenge 2011
Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week 2011 is being held on the Isle of Wight between 6th and 13th August.

The fifth edition of the Artemis Challenge is set to continue the tradition of attracting big name stars as Ewan McGregor, Zara Phillips and Natalie Pinkham take to the water in 2011. The Artemis Challenge, a high adrenaline 50 mile race around the Isle of Wight to claim a £10,000 charity prize fund, will take place on Wednesday August 10th in the middle of Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week, the world’s largest sailing regatta and one of the UK’s biggest sporting events.

Hollywood A-lister Ewan McGregor, who will join British round-the-world skipper Alex Thomson onboard Hugo Boss, said, 'I'm excited to experience the thrill of yacht racing from the very deck of the boat and I'll be doing my best to help Alex win so that we can donate the prize money to UNICEF's East Africa Appeal. There's never been a more important time to support the children of the region who so desperately need our help.'

Zara Phillips, former world champion equestrienne, will be racing her third Artemis Challenge on Artemis Ocean Racing, skippered this year by record-breaking yachtswoman Dee Caffari. TV and radio presenter Natalie Pinkham will sail with Zara and Dee, racing to support Toe in the Water, a non-profit organisation which uses sailing as a vehicle to re-inspire injured servicemen and women, all of whom have been profoundly wounded, some sustaining loss of limb/s and who are currently being treated at Headley Court, the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre.

Dee Caffari said, 'It is great to be back on the helm of Artemis Ocean Racing to try to win £10,000 for Toe in the Water. The Artemis Challenge is a great spectacle for the IMOCA 60 yachts and with Zara and Natalie onboard I’m sure we will make a great team.'

The Artemis Challenge, sponsored by Artemis investment Management, one of the UK’s leading investment companies and the largest British sponsor in offshore sailing, is recognised as one of the key events of Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week and is a magnificent spectacle, showcasing the best of offshore racing within easy reach of spectators.

The start line this year already features a world class line up of five latest generation IMOCA 60s, the same racing machines that compete in the legendary non-stop round the world Vendée Globe solo race, and the Artemis Challenge is the only UK-based IMOCA event.

The race follows the classic America’s Cup route around the Isle of Wight, starting at 10 AM on the Royal Yacht Squadron Line. The winner will be the IMOCA 60 that takes line honours after completing the 50 mile sprint back to the Royal Yacht Squadron Line (weather permitting), winning £10,000 for the charity of choice of the skipper.

Artemis Challenge website
Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week website