Two super maxis to race at Stanford Antigua Sailing Week 25/3/08

In the highly competitive world of Grand Prix yacht racing, ICAP Leopard and Rambler are currently two of the best-sailed, highest profile offshore maxis in the game. In the last year they have earned headlines with performances in the Rolex Fastnet Race and the Rolex Sydney-Hobart Race. Their duel in last summer’s Fastnet saw the two giants separated by a mere three seconds as they rounded the Fastnet Rock.

Now Mike Slade’s 100ft ICAP Leopard, and George David’s 90ft Rambler, are preparing for a rematch in the tradewinds of the Caribbean. The two race boats are among the early entrants for the upcoming 41st edition of Stanford Antigua Sailing Week (27 April-3 May).

Leopard may have trailed Rambler by seconds at the halfway mark of the 2007 Fastnet, but the 40-tonner staged an impressive comeback by overtaking her rival, and smashing the race record by eight hours to take line honours. Rambler finished some 45 minutes behind, but exacted some revenge by winning the prestigious IRC Super Zero Class on corrected time.

Antigua will hopefully see a repeat of the fast, close racing enjoyed last year, as the two maxis go head-to-head.