Olympic horse rider Zara Phillips will join her rugby star husband Mike Tindall in the annual Artemis Challenge at Cowes Week

Zara Phillips will join rugby stars Sylvain Marconet, Gavin Hastings and husband Mike Tindall to do battle one more time for a £10,000 charity prize fund.

The Artemis Challenge at Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week has long attracted big name stars for many years and with the 2015 Rugby World Cup fast approaching, Zara Phillips will be joining rugby stars from England, Scotland and France to take up the challenge.

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Zara and her husband, former England captain Mike Tindall will be on board Artemis Ocean Racing as they race round the Isle of Wight and will be hoping to claim line honours ahead of Scottish rugby hero Gavin Hastings and French prop Sylvain Marconnet.

Hastings will be racing with the all-female Team SCA, who recently circumnavigated the globe in the Volvo Ocean Race, whilst Marconnet will be joining the French skipper Paul Meilhat on SMA.

Olympic equestrienne Zara said: “Mike and I have enjoyed racing in the Artemis Challenge a number of times and it’s always a lot of fun. With the tension building ahead of the Rugby World Cup and England’s game against France next weekend, it is great to get rugby players from England, Scotland and France to join in. At the end of the day everyone is racing to try and raise money for charity but I know these guys still have a strong competitive spirit so am expecting we’ll have a decent battle on the water!”

The rugby stars have some impressive stats between them, with Marconnet making 84 appearances for France. Full back Gavin Hastings, an ambassador for Aberdeen Asset Management, is a national icon in the sport, where he captained the national team 20 times in 60 appearances and also captained the Lions in 1993. England centre Mike Tindall won the Rugby World Cup with England in 2003 and secured 75 caps in a decorated career retiring as England’s most capped centre.

The race fleet has been growing and will now welcome ten IMOCA 60s, two Volvo 65s and four multihulls with a stellar line up of world class offshore skippers and racers: