New Malbon Open 60 - Artemis - nearing completion

Artemis II hull lifting November 2007
Artemis Ocean Racing (AOR), the sailing team, skippered by Jonny Malbon and sponsored by leading UK investment company Artemis, today released updated information regarding the ongoing construction of its new Open 60, AOR II.

The build process led by British designer, Simon Rogers, alongside Neville Hutton Boat Builders of Lymington, is now in the final phase.

The AORII design programme began in November 2006, followed by construction of numerous scaled boat models and eight weeks of tank testing. After testing the final 1/3 scale model, which was 20 feet long, the design phase was complete.

The building process began in June 2007 in Lymington, UK, with the construction of the two wooden moulds that shaped the hull and the deck. Both parts then went through the laminating process in their respective sheds, where layers of carbon fibre are built up either side of a nomex core, and are cooked in an oven at various stages.

The first dry fit of the hull and the deck took place in mid November, whilst the team were working on the installation of the internal structure. During the next two months the focus will be on fitting the final components, laminating of hull and deck together and final painting.

Artemis' original yacht (AORI) underwent a dramatic dismasting on the fourth day of the Transat Jacques Vabre (TJV) double-handed transatlantic race. Jonny Malbon and Graham ('Gringo') Tourell had to cut free the rig before being able to nurse the boat back to safety in Vigo. The boat is awaiting a new mast, currently in a three month construction process. The team hopes to put AOR I back in the water at the beginning of March in preparation for boat-to-boat training with AOR II.

ArtemisII BoatModel lo-res
Wolfson Unit
AOR skipper, Jonny Malbon, will start sail trials onboard AORII in early March 2008. The boat's racing debut will be in the Artemis Transat, from Plymouth to Boston, in May.

For Jonny, along with many of the skippers, this will be the last opportunity to qualify for the solo, non-stop round the world race, the Vendee Globe, which begins in Les Sables d'Olonne (France) in November 2008.

Jonny Malbon, Skipper of Artemis Ocean Racing:

'We were really disappointed not to have finished the TJV, or participate in the Ecover Transat B2B. So much hard work had gone on throughout the season and the boat was in such good shape. The only positive is that I have been able to spend a lot more time at the build shed, looking at the huge variety of elements that we will need to piece together before the launch and sail trials of AOR II.

It has been fantastic to see all the hard work from the build team and design office take shape, and next year looks to be incredibly exciting, and incredibly busy!! The whole AOR team is focused on getting both boats back up to speed, and ready for AOR II's first big outing in May, the Artemis Transat.'
Artemis II first dry hull and deck fitting nov07 lo-res

Mark Tyndall, CEO of Artemis Investment Management Limited

'We are all really impressed by the way Jonny and Gringo coped with the dismasting of AOR I earlier this year and are now all looking forward to 2008. Next year is really promising with the launch of our brand new boat and then the first edition of the Artemis Transat in May. Everyone at Artemis wishes the AOR team good luck and fair winds for the year ahead.'

To follow Artemis Ocean Racing progress: