Artemis Ocean Racing and Jonny Malbon qualify for Vendee Globe line-up

Artemis Ocean Racing II, skippered by British solo sailor Jonny Malbon, today completed the qualification requirements for the Vendée Globe 2008. The IMOCA Open 60, launched in April, will now line up alongside a world-class fleet including six other British boats in the blue riband event of offshore racing.

Malbon, who set off from Plymouth on 14 August, has now effectively completed a double transatlantic crossing that has taken him north of 52°N and west of 50°W, before returning to British waters and passing 5°W. The trip involved sailing from the coast of Cornwall, passing an imaginary line off the west coast of Ireland to a point near the Grand Banks of Newfoundland and then back again.

The yachtsman covered over 4,000 miles in this latest offshore trip, taking his total tally of offshore solo miles this summer to 6,000.

“It has taken months of hard work to get here,” Malbon commented, “but I am delighted to finally get our qualification requirements for Artemis Ocean Racing II completed. Since we launched the boat in April we have had a number of hurdles to clear, and I would really like to thank my team for working so tirelessly over the last months to achieve this important milestone. Although I will race alone in the Vendée Globe, none of this would be possible without the professional and committed team around me. Getting to the start line was our shared goal and I didn’t intend to let them down.”

“However, there is a huge amount to do to get ready for the race itself. The good news is that the boat proved her resilience and power in a wide range of conditions, including 50knot winds and mountainous seas and I am beginning to understand how to get the best out of her. I am looking forward to what comes next and focusing on some crewed trials where we will really learn how to push the boat.”

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