Jonny Malbon skippered Open 60 launched just seven months ahead of Vendée Globe 8/4/08

Artemis Ocean Racing II, the new all-British designed, built and sponsored hi-spec IMOCA Open 60 racing yacht, was officially unveiled at Ocean Village, Southampton yesterday. The boat has been two years in the planning, and incorporates features that have, until now, been unavailable in this class of monohulls.

The racing yacht takes to the water just seven months ahead of the Vendée Globe, which will provide the ideal platform for skipper Jonny Malbon to push the yachts’ potential.

Jonny Malbon, 33, is making his solo sailing debut this season in the Artemis Transat, before tackling solo ocean race, the Vendée Globe. The young Brit cut his teeth preparing IMOCA Open 60 racing yachts for some of Britain’s most famous solo sailors – most notably Dame Ellen Macarthur – and now takes to the stage himself.

Malbon commented: “It is a great day to see this beautiful craft in the water. There has been so much planning and development in the design and build of this yacht over the last two years. It is a great day for everyone involved in the Artemis Ocean Racing project and I can’t wait to get out onto the seas and she what she is capable of.”

“I would like to thank everyone at Artemis Investment Management, Rogers Yacht Design, Neville Hutton Boat Builders and all the people within Artemis Ocean Racing that have worked so hard for such a long time to reach this point. I hope we can go on to achieve fantastic success in 2008.”

Last week in accordance with seafaring tradition to bring a vessel good luck the mast was stepped on top of a coin. Artemis purchased from The British Mint, a 2008 British Gold Sovereign which is positioned at the core of the Open 60.