100ft super maxi ICAP Leopard currently on course to break the transatlantic speed record 3/6/08

ICAP Leopard, the 100ft super maxi yacht owned by Mike Slade, is currently on course to break the transatlantic speed record. Having crossed the official start line off Ambrose Light, New York, at 00:01 UT on Tuesday 27 May, ICAP Leopard must complete her 2,925 nautical mile crossing by 04:30 BST on Wednesday 4th June, in order to break the current record held by Phocea. Having negotiated icebergs, freezing sea temperatures and sleeping whales, ICAP Leopard looks set to beat the record which has stood for the last 20 years; a second record for the Farr designed maxi yacht, which broke the Rolex Fastnet Race Record last year.

It has been an eventful week for the crew. They had a good start, averaging between 20 and 30 knots for the first few days. But as ICAP Leopard headed northeast, they soon entered iceberg territory and it was an iceberg sighting by another vessel that threatened to scupper the record attempt. Spotted almost 100nm to the south of their track during the hours of darkness, the crew decided to alter course. Whilst this could have jeopardised the record attempt, the crew’s safety was top priority and the navigators worked on re-routing the boat around the potential hazard.

Once safely past, ICAP Leopard enjoyed boat speeds of up to 34 knots in brilliant sunshine. However, on Saturday 31 May she hit a large sunfish which became wrapped around the rudder. Fortunately the rudder was undamaged, but the crew had to stop the boat, take down the sails and remove the sunfish before they could continue.

The record ICAP Leopard aims to beat is eight days, three hours and 29 minutes, the 2,925 nautical mile World Sailing Speed Records Council (WSSRC) monohull record for a yacht with power-assisted winches, set by 246 foot yacht Phocea in July 1988.

For more information, visit www.leopard3.com .