Estrella Damm wins Artemis Challenge and Alpha Romeo takes Class 0 8/8/07

Alfa Romeo, the 30m Reichel Pugh-designed maxi, has won Class Zero in today’s Round the Island Race at Skandia Cowes Week but the record of 3 hours, 20 minutes and 9 seconds, set by Maximus last year was not broken. Alfa Romeo completed the course in 4 hours, 11 minutes and 37 seconds.

Estrella Damm helmed by Guillermo Altadil retained her lead to the finish winning the inaugural Artemis Challenge and finished third overall in Class Zero. Roxy helmed by Sam Davies was second.

In the Artemis Challenge, the final sprint to the finish line saw Estrella Damm hold off a strong challenge from the girls on Roxy, with Artemis and Akena Verandas finding themselves in a tight scrap for third that Akena Vaernadas finally claimed.

Despite some challenging conditions all the teams spoke of great morale on board all of their respective boats and a thoroughly enjoyable race that sees £10,000 going to Africa Viva, the charity chosen by Estrella Damm that seeks to improve healthcare conditions in the poorest parts of Africa.

Altadil, the skipper of the winning boat Estrella Damm, was in high spirits after the race and commented, “It was a great day for us but we feel sorry for Mike [Sanderson] and the rest of the Pindar crew. We made a small mistake just before the Needles and were having a good race with Pindar before their accident. The race was a good and intensive race with lots of sail changes; our guest, Will, did a good job on the winch and got to see how tough this sport really is. It is a great race to win and we are very pleased to be giving the prize money to Africa Viva where it will go to people who need it far more than us.”

Lady Gabriella Windsor, racing onboard Artemis Ocean Racing, said before the race, “I have only sailed once before but never on an open 60, I think it will be really exciting.” After a great day out on the water she added “I had a great time, it was a real treat to have raced with the Artemis team who are a very talented and professional bunch of sailors. The experience has inspired me to go sailing again in the future.”

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