A late IMOCA Class entry brings the Artemis starters line-up to 13 8/5/08

Steve White, aboard Spirit of Weymouth, has entered the Artemis Transat in the IMOCA Class – taking the number of IMOCA skippers to 13. Having completed his qualifying passage, the Brit takes his place amongst an impressive line-up of singlehanded sailors with only four days remaining until the start on Sunday, 11 May at 14:00.

Patrice Carpentier, however, will not be at the start on Sunday in the Class 40 category, leaving the class 11 skippers on the start line. The Class 40 boats definitely raise the public’s interest in the event, proving how open and accessible ocean racing has remained since its beginnings, as the class mixes seasoned professionals with sailing amateurs, some taking on their first solo crossing.

One seasoned pro, with an unrivalled singlehander’s track record, is Michel Desjoyeaux. Having won the Vendee Globe, the Route du Rhum and The Transat in 2004, Desjoyeaux recognises the obstacles that lay ahead:

“The Artemis Transat is tougher than the Route du Rhum! It’s an important event in terms of sporting results, and a difficult one since the course takes us against the prevailing winds – it’s cold, and the risk of drifting ice is important. The waters around the Labrador current are only 2 to 5 degrees, almost the same conditions as in the Southern Ocean.”

“This lineup is again an impressive one, and we won’t have any time to waste while crossing the Atlantic! I’ll have to watch out for Sebastien Josse, whose boat is very close to Gitana Eighty in her concept, but of course people like Loick Peyron, Marc Guillemot, Yann Elies, Vincent Riou and Armel Le Cleac’h are very serious rivals. Samatha Davies has also optimized her boat with more ballast capacity, new daggerboards, new winches. and that boat, my ex-PRB, was already quite at ease upwind.”

For more information, visit www.theartemistransat.com .