A bazillion boats race around the Isle of Wight every year, but amazingly, the record for the 50-mile Round-The-Island course stood for more than a decade, when Steve Fossett turned in a 2h34m performance aboard the 125-footer Playstation.
You’d be forgiven if you never thought a boat 50 feet shorter would break it, but Michel Desjoyeaux and the MOD-70 FONCIA did just that yesterday, with Sydney Gavignet aboard Oman Sail Musandam only giving up the lead to MichDej with a slow final tack. The Arabian boat finished just a minute and change back of Mich’s new record of 2h21m on a day when the Race Committee saw fit to keep the sportboats and small cats ashore.
The Artemis Challenge is a great high-visibility opportunity for sponsor photo ops and guest sails, and this year, each MOD-70 teamed up with an Open 60. Foncia and Mike Golding’s Gamesa won the £12,000 prize, which went to charity.
Photos from our pal Mark Lloyd, and there’s a very sweet gallery with hundreds more here.