Open 60 set to defend Artemis Challenge

Post by: TheYachtMarket News
28 July 2009

Team Pindar's radical Juan Kouyoumdjian designed Open 60 yacht is up for sale and returns to the water to enjoy a final regatta, including its defence of the Artemis Challenge, during Cowes Week from 1-8 August.

The boat, which last year won the prestigious Artemis Challenge, also proved its race-winning capabilities offshore on its maiden round-the-world voyage, when Brian Thompson, skippered it to a fifth place finish in the Vendée Globe earlier this year.

Former ISAF World Sailor of the Year and Volvo Ocean Race winner, Mike Sanderson, who was instrumental in the design of the boat, will showcase the boat?s capabilities to potential buyers and sponsors during the 8-day regatta. The TEAMORIGIN Team Director will also skipper the boat in its bid to defend the coveted round the island trophy, the Artemis Challenge, which will take place on August 5. The team will be looking to break the Open 60 record winning time of 4 hours and 14 minutes, set by Brian Thompson and crew last year.

Chairman of Team Pindar, Andrew Pindar OBE, who also sponsors reigning Double ISAF World Match Racing Champion, Ian Williams and has supported sailing campaigns for over 25 years, commented: “It has been a challenging two years since the boat first entered the water but we're immensely proud of her and in particular how she performed during the Vendée, with very little preparation time.

“Mike has some unfinished business with the yacht and would clearly love to go out and win a number of major races but, for us, now is the right time to sell and we hope to find a buyer who can maximize its race-winning potential. Since the Vendée, we have been approached by a number of interested parties and Cowes Week provides an ideal opportunity to invite prospective buyers to experience the boat firsthand, in a competitive environment.”

Brian Thompson who spent over 98-days alone on board the boat during his circumnavigation, commented: “She's a wonderful boat and I'm sure has many race wins ahead of her. The Vendée was one of the most incredible experiences of my life and despite facing some of the toughest conditions of the race, she proved to be fast and safe!?

The Pindar Open 60, which conforms to the new IMOCA regulations, incorporates the highest power-to-weight ratio and the largest maximum sail area of the Open 60 fleet.

Whilst the sale means a step away from the Open 60 class, the team continues to progress its Sail Bahrain plans in the Kingdom of Bahrain. Andrew Pindar said: “There is a definite interest and excitement in developing a comprehensive sailing programme in Bahrain. As an island nation, they are blessed with fantastic natural sailing conditions, however it's not going to happen overnight. We have made extensive contacts in the region with people who share the Sail Bahrain vision.”