This year’s Artemis Challenge witnessed the six IMOCA crews doing battle in very light airs. Indeed weather conditions even saw the organisers compelled to modify the course: as a replacement for the traditional Round the Island Race, the six competing crews were offered a looped circuit in the eastern Solent.
Aboard MACIF, François Gabart and Michel Desjoyeaux confirmed their status as favourites with a view to the Fastnet Race. However, behind them there was an almighty battle for the runner-up spot with Alex Thomson on Hugo Boss barely two minutes astern of the leader on the finish line. Vincent Riou and Jean Le Cam (PRB) ranked third, ahead of Marc Guillemot (Safran), Brian Thompson (Artemis Challenge II) and Bernard Stamm (Cheminées Poujoulat).
For the Artemis Challenge, the crew of MACIF were able to hand over some £2,500.00 to the SNSM (RNLI equivalent). The crew comprised François Gabart, Michel Desjoyeaux, Antoine Gautier, Jimmy Le Baud and Sébastien Gladu.
The next event on the horizon is the Fastnet Race, which sets off on 11 August.