British plans to develop offshore racing talent

In 2009, Artemis Ocean Racing aims to promote British short-handed sailing talent, through a team structure that recruits skippers for particular periods and events. This team concept is the core of the campaign strategy with a clear objective of developing top solo and double-handed racing expertise in the UK.

“In offshore sailing there is a clear evolutionary cycle starting from the Mini Transat class, tiny 21-foot ocean going boats sailed solo, into the intensity of Figaro racing, and passing through the stepping stone of the Class 40 on to the IMOCA 60 Class of yachts used in the Vendée Globe” commented Charles Darbyshire, Project Manager for Offshore Challenges who now oversee Artemis Ocean Racing. “Ellen MacArthur kick-started her career in the Mini Transat and if you look at all the top French IMOCA sailors, this overall progression, in particular through the Figaro, is how they have attained a level of excellence.”

Mark Tyndall, CEO, Artemis Investment Management: “Central to the development of the Artemis Ocean Racing campaign is to support and encourage British sailors wherever they are on the professional sailing ladder. With our support, we hope they reach their full potential, and both in the short term and longer term reap the rewards from our backing.”

Three new British sailors, Nick Bubb, Sam Davies and Ollie Bond, have joined Jonny Malbon in the Artemis Ocean Racing Team for the next 6 months to the end of the current programme – skippers and boats that cover a spectrum of British talent and short-handed events.

Jonny Malbon will be focusing this year on his Figaro campaign, assisted by Nick Bubb. Jonny's aim is a top 5 placing in the Rookie Division – and this pair will then go on to compete together in the follow on event in September, the Tour de Bretagne, a 7 day classic two-up race around the Brittany coast. “Whilst of course I'm disappointed to not do the TJV on the IMOCA 60, I am learning so much sailing the Figaro, and I'm really looking forward to the race at the end of this month. Its an amazing opportunity to learn, up against some of the very best solo sailors.” (http://www.lasolitaire.com/en)

Britain's best finisher (4th) in the Vendée Globe last year and top Brit in the IMOCA Ocean Racing World Championship rankings (4th), Samantha Davies, joins the team with a clear objective of using the TJV event as a way to learn from another top level sailor, and to gain knowledge about the new generation of more powerful boats – alongside her own personal goal of finding a new sponsor to compliment Roxy and build a new IMOCA 60 for the Vendee Globe 2012. Sam will also be providing technical feedback to the Artemis team in the evolution of Artemis Ocean Racing II. For her time with Artemis Ocean Racing this year, she will pair up with the vastly experienced French ocean racing sailor Sidney Gavignet, recently returned from the Volvo Ocean Race on Puma, for the forthcoming Transat Jacques Vabre – the double-handed transatlantic race from Le Havre (France) to Puerto Limon (Costa Rica). This 4,700-mile race across the Atlantic is the major race of the 2009 IMOCA season and nearly all the leading teams in the class will be on the start line on 9th November. Artemis Ocean Racing II is mid-way through its first major weight reduction ‘diet' refit at Saxon Wharf in the UK, and Sam and Sidney will restart the testing and optimization programme in the second half of July, with the Artemis Challenge at Cowes Week as their first official event.

Samantha Davies: “This is a great opportunity for me to race on board a latest generation IMOCA 60, in the middle of a continuing development programme alongside a sailor for whom I have a lot of respect, that will certainly challenge us on the predominantly light air downwind racecourse of the TJV. But Artemis is a powerful boat that drew a lot of attention before the Vendée and it will be a very interesting experience and learning curve for me and I hope to be able to contribute to the evolution of the Artemis racing team for the future,” commented Davies. “Joining the Artemis team for this phase of their programme is a great opportunity from both a technical and sporting perspective.”

The TJV campaign will also give Davies a chance to continue sharing her ocean racing experiences in the way she did so well in the Vendée Globe last year, and Artemis' support in keeping Davies out on the racecourse and in the public eye.

Davies' co-skipper Frenchman, Sidney Gavignet, is a seasoned professional racer in both short-handed (Barcelona World Race 2007 and former Figaro sailor) and the crewed offshore scene (Volvo Ocean Race): “It is a great challenge to do a race like the TJV on a boat like Artemis, and I think racing alongside Samantha we will make a good team,” said Gaivgnet.

Artemis Ocean Racing's two other recruits both have a very strong “Mini” background and involvement: Ollie Bond, who will race the 2009 Mini Transat this autumn, is Britain's best hope in the Class and already has proven his worth, accumulating podium finishes in the major races of the circuit over the past two years. He is also currently competing in the Class 40 Les Sables-Madeira-Les Sables race. Nick Bubb will specifically assist Jonny Malbon on shore during his Figaro effort this summer, and Nick has previously run two Mini Transat campaigns that gave him invaluable know-how and strong problem-anticipation skills. His background will be very helpful for Ollie Bond as well.

“Integrating these new sailors into the team is the perfect illustration of Artemis Ocean Racing's new philosophy for the future,” concluded Mark Tyndall, CEO, Artemis Investment Management. “Jonny was a fantastic ambassador for Artemis in the last Vendée Globe and we were extremely proud of his performance, considering the short work-up period he had before the race. Now Jonny can really ‘get back to basics' and use his Figaro training to accelerate up the learning curve to the very top – he is an integral part of our team.”

Programme of events and CV highlights:

Samantha Davies (GBR): skipper Artemis Ocean Racing II
Artemis Challenge (5 August 09)
Fastnet (9 August 09)
Transat Jacques Vabre (November 09)

Sidney Gavignet (FRA): co-skipper Artemis Ocean Racing II
Artemis Challenge (5 August 09)
Fastnet (9 August 09)
Transat Jacques Vabre (November 09)

Jonny Malbon (GBR): skipper Artemis Figaro
Solitaire du Figaro (July/August 09))
Round Brittany Race (September 09)

Nick Bubb (GBR): préparateur for Jonny Malbon's Solitaire du Figaro Co-skipper Round Brittany (September 09)

Ollie Bond (GBR): Skipper Artemis Mini 6.50
Class 40 Les Sables-Madeira-Les Sables (July 09)

Artemis Investment Management

Established in 1997, Artemis is an investment provider known for achieving superior returns through funds that regularly beat their benchmark and peers. Since the first funds were launched in 1998, Artemis has established a reputation for strong investment performance in up, as well as down markets.
Artemis has grown to the extent that it now manages an asset base which is spread across a range of unit trust funds, an investment trust, hedge fund products, venture capital trusts, as well as segregated and pooled institutional portfolios.

Artemis believes in active fund management, fundamental for delivering outstanding investment returns based on the team's belief that its primary aim is to beat the markets by accepting full responsibility for their portfolios. Artemis employs experienced and highly skilled people who have flair, enthusiasm and above all, a passion for searching out the best stocks markets have to offer.

The sponsorship of Artemis Ocean Racing began in June 2006 and the current phase is due to end January 2010.

www.artemisonline.co.uk

 

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