Nick Moloney and Samantha Davies will co-skippers Team Cowes the Open 60 formerly known as Kingfisher in the Transat Jacques Vabre

Today at the Southampton International Boat Show, Ellen MacArthur who heads up the Offshore Challenges Sailing Team launched the ‘Team Cowes’ project to race in the famous trans-Atlantic race known as the Transat Jacques Vabre (TJV) that starts on 1 November.

“I cannot think of a launch I would much rather be at,” said MacArthur. “To see this boat that I have raced thousands of miles in, now being raced by Nick and Sam as ‘Team Cowes’ in a race that has a great history is just awesome. She looks pretty fast in her new colours as well!”

Australian Nick Moloney and UK’s Samantha Davies, MacArthur’s team mates in the Offshore Challenges Sailing Team, are joining forces to race in the tough 4,340-mile race from Le Harve, France to Salvador de Bahia, Brazil. The racecourse takes the professional sailors through a complete set of conditions – from November gales in the English Channel and Bay of Biscay, to the warm and fast Trade Winds, and the unbearable heat and frustrations of crossing the Doldrums at the Equator.

“Doing the TJV in 2001 was an awesome experience and I am looking forward to racing in this 10th edition on board the same Open 60 but now with the support of Skandia and Cowes Waterfront – it’s going to be an exciting time for all of us,” said Moloney. “Having raced this boat many times before I have come to know her true potential and racing with Sam who has also had much big boat offshore experience will make for an interesting and, hopefully, competitive combination.”

These two sailors will be supported by another partnership formed by sponsors Skandia, who already sponsor Davies in the Figaro circuit, and the Cowes Waterfront.

Moloney and Davies will be co-skippers on board ‘Team Cowes’ the Open 60 boat formerly known as ‘Kingfisher’. They will race in the 4,340 mile Transat Jacques Vabre race in the IMOCA monohull division. Kingfisher raced in the 2001 edition of the race with co-skippers Moloney and Mark Turner finishing in third place behind the French team of ‘Sill Plein Fruit’ headed up by Roland Jourdain and second-placed Mike Golding on board ‘Ecover’.

“I have always followed in the news the story about this race so it is just brilliant to be finally competing in it,” said Davies. “I know I will learn a lot racing with Nick and hope that we can bring ‘Team Cowes’ across the finish line in a podium position but it is a tough race with many, many good boats.”

As many as twenty Open 60 boats are expected to compete in this class starting on Saturday, 1 November in the 10th edition of this race that starts from Le Harve in France to Salvador de Bahia in Brazil. MacArthur will also be competing in the race in the multihull division on board ‘Foncia’ – they start the day after the monohulls and also race a further 960 miles but as they can race at greater speeds the arrival times of the two divisions are only a couple of days apart.