The 10th annual Artemis Challenge race around the Isle Of Wight kicks off racing at Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week today with a 0950 start. Two super- fast multihulls- Lloyd Thornburg's record- breaking MOD70 Phaedo with Brian Thompson helm, and the M32 Tranwall- will head off to the west for what's hoped to be a record- breaking blast around the Isle Of Wight. Meanwhile racing for Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week overall honours intensifies as most classes have just two days remaining to complete their point series'.
The wind has swung round to the west, and will predominately rrach 10-15 knots. Afternoon winds will again depend on the amount of sun, with higher temperatures increasing any thermal influence that will see the wind backing to the southwest and increasing to 14-16 knots. By contrast, more cloud will cause the wind to remain north of west at lower speeds.
Once the Artemis Challenge at 0950 is underway, White Group dayboat classes, including the XOD, will start from the Royal Yacht Squadron line, initially heading towards the west, before routing back to the eastern Solent. They will finish on the Shrape line.
Black Group yachts starting from the Bramble line will race predominatey in the northern part of the Solent, with the smaller boats finishing on the Bramble line. The larger yachts will join those starting on the Black Group Committee Vessel (stationed off Thorness Bay in the western Solent) in a spinnaker finish on the Royal Yacht Squadron line.
Elsewhere in Cowes today watch out for the Fine Art Sails exhibition sail off The Green at 1600- a first-of-its-kind alliance between communities of world class sailing and international fine art. It is living gallery of original contemporary art painted on the sails of Stars- forer Olypic class keelboats.
The Red Arrows display team will also fly into Cowes today, so be prepared for a blast overhead at 1920. For those in party mode, Shepards Wharf Marina is the place to be for the legendary Red Cap party, which runs from 1900-2200.