Zara and Mike Tindall were definitely not three sheets to the wind at Cowes this week as they competed in the third annual Artemis Challenge, where they climbed on-board the very powerful Artemis Ocean Racing IMOCA 60.
The reason behind the challenge was to compete for the £10,000 charity prize fund on offer and anyone thinking that the challenge would be an easy one should think again. The couple were sailing against eight other high speed offshore racing yachts, skippered by some of the world’s best but also featuring some celebrity guests including Canadian rocker Bryan Adams and Weasley twins James and Oliver Phelps.
By the mid morning of the race, it came down to a close battle between five of the leading yachts however by the afternoon the course was shortened to end at ‘No Mans Fort’ and subsequently BT IMOCA 60 took first place, with Pindar and Artemis The Profit Hunter in second and third place respectively.
The win for BT IMOCA 60 means that they bagged the £10,000 charity money and they nominated the Ellen MacArthur Trust as their chosen charity. The trust takes young people aged 8-18 sailing in order to regain their confidence after undertaking their own journey of recovery from cancer, leukaemia and other illnesses.
Although Zara and Mike’s Ocean Racing came in fourth place, Princess Anne’s Daughter was full of praise for the day as a whole, commenting “It was great to take part in the Artemis Challenge at Cowes Week and I’m very happy to have joined Sam Davies and the Artemis Ocean Racing team. They got us all involved in what was going on and we had a really good day.”
Cowes Week is one of the world’s longest running regular regattas and has been on going since the reign of King George IV. The class of sailors at the event range from Olympic and world class professionals to weekend sailors. The regatta is held on the Solent, the area of water between Southern England and the Isle of Wight.
This year’s Artemis Challenge welcomed the largest fleet of IMOCA 60’s since its inception in 2007 and CEO of Artemis Investment Management Mark Tyndall commented, “The Artemis Challenge has gone from strength to strength each year. We were delighted to host guests such as Zara Phillips, Mike Tindall and Bryan Adams and I would like to congratulate BT on a win in such testing circumstances, which will see the Ellen MacArthur Trust benefit from the £10,000 prize fund.”
It wasn’t just Zara and Mike in attendance at Cowes Week this year, Zara’s mother The Princess Royal was there on Tuesday 5th August where she took to the water herself with charity UKSA. The Duke of Edinburgh was also present at the regatta where he celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Cowes Combined Clubs. So it appears that Cowes Week 2014 was not given a wide berth by many members of the Royal Family and that consequently all Royal hands were on deck! photo credit: jimbo0307 via photopin cc