Gamesa to compete in Artemis Challenge

Wed, 15 Aug 2012 11:58 BST

Mike Golding, skipper of Gamesa, will be competing for charity on Thursday, 16 August, as he races the 50 nautical mile course round the Isle of Wight, in a bid to win the Artemis Challenge for a second time.

Gamesa 009

Gamesa © Lloyd Images

Golding, who is sponsored by Gamesa, the global technology leader in the wind industry, will set off in just 88 days from Les Sables d’Olonne, France, for his fourth consecutive Vendée Globe (solo, non-stop round the World). He'll be bidding to win the Artemis Challenge and raise funds for Gamesa’s nominated charity, Save the Children.

Mike Golding

Mike Golding. © Lloyd Images. 

For the first time, the Artemis Challenge has become the ‘Arte-Mix’ Challenge, featuring for the first time two IMOCA 60s – Artemis Ocean Racing II and Gamesa – and two MOD 70s – Musandam Oman Sail skippered by Sidney Gavignet and Foncia, led by iconic French sailor, Michel Desjoyeaux. Each MOD 70 and IMOCA 60 will be paired up, drawn at random on the morning of Thursday, 16 August, and will then race, in opposite directions, round the Isle of Wight. The winning team, on combined time, will claim an £8,000 prize pot, to be shared between the two boats’ nominated charities, plus an additional £2,000 for the winning boat in each class.

“There’s nothing better than racing in home waters and raising money for a worthwhile cause. We’ve supported Save the Children since 1992 when I raced with Group 4, so I’ll be going all out to win again for them. We have a strong connection with the charity and its President, HRH The Princess Royal, is Gamesa’s Godmother and she dedicated the boat for us last September, so this is an added incentive to perform well and to get round as fast as we can.”

Golding will be joined for the 50-mile dash by nine other crew members including Olympians Annie Lush and Kate MacGregor, who competed in the 2012 London Olympics in the women’s Elliott 6m Match Racing Class. The third member of their crew, Lucy MacGregor, will be co-skippering rival IMOCA 60, Artemis Ocean Racing II, with London 2012 Olympic silver medallist Nick Dempsey.

With less than 90 days to go before Golding sets off on his final Vendée Globe endeavour, the Artemis Challenge is a welcome break from the rigours of training. Gamesa, which underwent a complete modification process last September to optimise the boat for solo sailing, has recently been fitted with new rigging and five new sails as Golding makes the final preparations before she is delivered to France in early October for the start.

To follow Gamesa’s progress in the Artemis Challenge, and Golding’s route to the Vendée Globe, follow @gamesasailing and @goldingmike on Twitter and via the Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/mikegoldingyachtracing.