Boston ready to welcome The Artemis Transat Fleet

ECOVER has entered Artemis Transat 2008

Two new entries now confirmed for the 13th edition of The Artemis Transat: Arnaud Boissieres with his Open 60' Akena Verandas and Thierry Bouchard/ Mistral Loisirs-Elior in Class 40 category. With these two further French entries, the official entries now stand at 12 boats so far - six in Open 60' and six in Class 40 - with the entry deadline of 15th February looming.

For nearly fifty years the world's elite sailors have been drawn to the challenge of crossing the large and demanding Atlantic ocean along the 2,800-mile northern route. Even in early summer, huge low-pressure systems bring gale force winds and steeps seas into the paths of competing boats.

Then, as the fleet close in on the Newfoundland coast, the threat of icebergs becomes a reality combined with the risk of dense fog, making the final section of this 2,800 mile race a stressful one for the already physically exhausted skippers.

For the second and consecutive edition, Boston, USA will welcome the IMOCA 60 fleet at the finish of the arduous course. The city already has renowned links with the sea and the finish of The Artemis Transat into this famous port will add another chapter to its maritime history. Nearly 400 years ago in September 1620 the 'Mayflower', a three-mast merchant ship, left Plymouth, England to carry over 100 hundred men. Onboard was an unlikely group of 35 pious people persecuted by their King, James 1st. Three months later on December 21, these Pilgrims landed in what is known today as Plymouth in Massachusetts and settled the first permanent colony in North America. In the stormy winter, it took the Mayflower 65 days to reach American soil. For the 2008 edition of The Artemis Transat, it will only take the IMOCA 60 fleet approximately 10-12 days to cross the North Atlantic alone.

The IMOCA 60 fleet will be moored in front of the Boston Harbor Hotel at Rowes Wharf. The Class 40 fleet will be expected at the Corinthian Yacht Club in Marblehead, about 18 miles in the North East of Boston where a warm welcome will be extended to the skippers of this burgeoning class. According to Commodore Tim Dittrich 'We applaud the Corinthian spirit of this race and the brave men and women competitors, and we especially look forward to welcoming the Class 40's at their finish in Marblehead.'

The Artemis Transat 2008 entries at: IMOCA:
FR Arnaud Boissieres/ Akena Verandas
UK Dee Caffari/ Aviva
UK Mike Golding/ Ecover
FR Sebastien Josse/ BT
UK Jonny Malbon/ Artemis
UK Brian Thomson/ Pindar

Class 40
UK Alex Bennett/ Fujicolor
FR Thierry Bouchard/
FR Christophe Coatnoan/ Groupe Partouche
FR Louis Duc/ Ocean Eleven
FR Yvan Noblet/ Appart'City
IT Giovanni Soldini/ Telecom Italia

The Artemis Transat site: http://www.theartemistransat.com/