Artemis Offshore Academy based at Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy
Britain’s continued failure to win the football World Cup or any of the trophies on offer at Wimbledon, may just have left the door open for the less well-known sport of offshore solo and short-handed sailing to provide a new sporting hero and champion.
The Artemis Offshore Academy, based at Britain’s olympic sailing venue the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy (WPNSA), aims to help the best of British short-handed sailing talent win major offshore solo and short-handed races.
British skippers consistently race well and win medals in the Olympic sailing events and numerous world championships, yet in events such as the 5 Oceans and the Vendee Globe, so far there have been no winners. Dame Ellen MacArthur briefly held the world record for fastest circumnavigation but shows no sign at present of setting out to regain the title.
The WPNSA will be working closely with the Artemis Offshore Academy supporting a UK training programme designed to help them win major offshore solo and short-handed races in the future. The ultimate goal is to put a British sailor in a strong position to win the Vendée Globe in 2016 or 2020.
A further base in the South of France, La Grande Motte – already an established French Figaro school – has been earmarked for training during the winter.
John Tweed, Chief Executive at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy commented, “Looking across the channel, it is clear that French sailors’ success in short-handed sailing is backed by a strong network of training centres. I have no doubt the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy has the world-class training facilities in place to harness the talent of the Artemis Offshore Academy sailors.”