The 100ft British super-maxi is preparing in New York for an attempt on its own Transatlantic record
ICAP Leopard, the 100ft super-maxi racing yacht owned by Helical Bar PLC chief executive Mike Slade, is this week berthed in New York’s financial district as she prepares to launch an attempt on the west-to-east monohull transatlantic sailing record in the coming weeks.
Since its launch in 2007, ICAP Leopard has broken 12 major offshore racing records, including the fastest elapsed time ever set in the Rolex Fastnet Race. This voyage will see her tackle a course from Ambrose Light, NY and Lizard Point, which marks the entrance to the English Channel. Its target will be the record for monohull yachts with power-assisted systems of 7 days, 19 hours and 21 minutes, ICAP set in June 2008.
Since setting this record, the boat has undergone a series of modifications, and the crew are confident that, given the right conditions, Mari Cha IV’s outright monohull transatlantic speed record of 6 days 17 hours and 52 minutes will be achievable.
As with all major sailing record attempts, negotiating complex weather systems will play an integral role in ICAP Leopard’s latest transatlantic foray. The man responsible onboard will be veteran navigator Hugh Agnew.
Chris Sherlock, ICAP Leopard’s boat Captain commented: “We can’t wait to get stuck into another attempt on the Atlantic record. Last time a tight weather window forced us into accepting less than ideal conditions for our record run but we have slightly more leeway this time. Our weather window will open on the 11th May and then we will have roughly three weeks to plan our departure. This should allow us to set ourselves up for the best possible weather pattern.”
Owner Mike Slade added: “This is something that I have been looking forward to ever since we crossed the finish line last time around. It has been brilliant to hold the record for yachts with power-assisted winches but we know we can go faster. The yacht and crew have been tempered over a two year period of hard racing and we are now sailing faster and harder than ever before. We will have a decent period of time in which to pick our weather window and the crew are all preparing to go on standby for what promises to be a thrilling sprint across the pond!”
ICAP Leopard will be carrying a GPS tracker. To follow its progress, visit www.leopard3.com