Jonny Malbon, the Artemis Ocean Racing skipper, incorporated a routine Royal Navy exercise over Portland Harbour, Weymouth (Dorset) as part of Malbon’s preparations for his inaugural solo race in May in the Artemis Transat.
The 33 year old, one of the rising stars of British sailing was winched from a life raft into a Royal Navy Lynx helicopter from RNAS Yeovilton.
This training exercise marked the beginning of a partnership between Artemis Ocean Racing and the Royal Navy. The partnership will help prepare Malbon for a busy season of international ocean racing which starts with the solo trans-Atlantic yacht race, the Artemis Transat in May, and culminates in November with the enduring solo circumnavigation, The Vendee Globe, the race which propelled Dame Ellen Macarthur to fame.
Only weeks ahead of the launch of his new high-spec and high-tech IMOCA Open 60, Malbon was training for all eventualities in order to mitigate risk in a sport that is inherent with dangers and has recently seen numerous dis-mastings and dramatic ocean rescues. The Royal Navy has given Malbon the opportunity to re-create an ocean rescue near Weymouth. The solo skipper released smoke flares from his life raft, and a Royal Navy Lynx then winched him to safety.
'I am very grateful to the Royal Navy for giving me the opportunity to practice an exercise I hope that I never have to experience for real. The Royal Navy provide an invaluable service to seafarers in International waters and I think it gives all sailors on the water some confidence knowing that the Royal Navy is watching over us, ' said Artemis Ocean Racing Skipper, Jonny Malbon.
Vice Admiral Paul Boissier, the Deputy Commander in Chief Fleet of the Royal Navy said, 'The Ocean is often a hostile and dangerous place and as fellow seafarers we are delighted to have assisted Jonny with our training. The Artemis Transat requires ‘Courage, Commitment and Teamwork’ from all its competitors; values that are shared by the Royal Navy and all the world’s sailors who face the peril of the oceans.'
Malbon’s links with the Royal Navy are longstanding. Malbon’s father, Vice Admiral Sir Fabian Malbon KBE, who is now filling a Crown appointment as the Lieutenant-Governor of Guernsey, served in the Royal Navy for 37 years and his final role was Deputy Commander-in-Chief Fleet.
Being hoisted above Portland Harbour takes Malbon back to his former home, Weymouth where he lived for 18 years and to Portland Harbour, where he learnt to sail dinghies.
For more information please visit: www.artemisoceanracing.com www.royalnavy.mod.uk