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Sevenstar Round Britain & Ireland Race - 15 August 2006 - Morning Press Release

15 August, 2006 10:51:00 AM BST | Racetime 07:16:51:00

After 7 days 4 hours and 29 minutes 40 seconds, Jonny Malbon brought Artemis Ocean Racing across the finish line off Cowes to claim line honours in the Sevenstar Round Britain & Ireland Race. As the bulk of the fleet are still beating up to the Shetland Isles turning point of Muckle Flugga, Artemis Ocean Racing proved just what a potent machine this Open 60 (ex-Pindar) is when given the right conditions as she streaked down the east coast of Britain with strong trailing northerlies that ensured a fast ride.

Hitting speeds in excess of 25 knots and plainly enjoying the surfing conditions, Artemis Ocean Racing was an unstoppable force in this race and, after taking control at the front of the fleet in the English Channel early on day one of the race, was never again headed. Speaking after the finish late last night (2229hrs) off the Royal Yacht Squadron line in Cowes, an elated Malbon commented: "We were really pleased with our performance upwind as this is not our strongest point of sail. We made big gains all the way up to Scotland and then turned the corner for some superb downwind sailing with all the big gear up. It was great to stretch our legs in conditions which really suit Artemis and to consolidate the win is a fantastic start to the campaign for us and for our sponsor."

Originally, ocean racer Brian Thompson had been designated as skipper-elect for the Sevenstar Round Britain & Ireland Race but a family tragedy forced Thompson to stay at home with his family. Speaking about the performance of Artemis Ocean Racing in his absence Thompson was clearly impressed with his stand-in skipper and crew saying: "It has been very enjoyable to follow the race on the website. The boys did a great job. They were always in control of the race and I am impressed with the way they sailed the boat - it shows the depth of talent in our team."

Meanwhile it's looking like an afternoon finish today (Tuesday) for the second and third placed yachts - J-P Chomette's Nacira 60 Solune and Ger O'Rourke's Cookson 50 Kingspan-Chieftain. Onboard O'Rourke's boat, navigator Jochem Visser dramatically brought the last day to life saying in an emotional email: "We had a rough, tough last 30 hours, with wind speed ranging up to 35 knots and we pushed the boat to the limit with speeds in the 18 to 26 knots range. At those speeds Kingspan Chieftain is like a wild bucking bronco and extremely wet, because of her swing keel and high sailing angles the bow wave drenches the whole boat, it is like a very powerful fire hose! Our downwind ride has been exciting but we have paid the price with two spinnakers in kite heaven, a boat totally soaked in water and a crew staring around with blood shot eyes due to the immense amount of salt water they have to deal with. We can smell victory around the corner, we are nearly there and it feels very good indeed."

As the race comes to its conclusion the RORC will continue to bring daily updates and position reports from the boats highlighting the highs and lows of this premier coastal yacht race. All yachts competing in the Sevenstar Round Britain & Ireland Race have been fitted with a tracking device developed by the RORC in conjunction with OC Technology. Yacht positions will be updated hourly and can be followed on the Royal Ocean Racing Club's dedicated micro site accessed via www.rorc.org

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