Leopard to take on the Atlantic again
ICAP Leopard is set to depart from Australia this month bound for the northern hemisphere and an attempt to break her own transatlantic record.
Following an action-packed 2009, which saw Slade and his crew take line honours in the Rolex Fastnet and Middle Sea races, ICAP Leopard is now returning to the northern hemisphere following an extensive refit of her hydraulic and mechanical systems. This work, which has been carried out at the Sydney boatyard where ICAP Leopard was first built, will prepare her for a shot at the west to east transatlantic record for monohull sailing yachts that she set in the summer of 2008.
ICAP Leopard’s schedule for 2010 will see her travel first to the Caribbean, in order to compete in the inaugural Les Voiles de St. Barths regatta in April, before heading to New York for her record attempt. To break her own record ICAP Leopard will need to average more than 15.5 knots over a period of seven days. However, Slade’s crew will also have their eyes set on Mari Cha IV's outright monohull transatlantic record of 6 days 17 hours and 52 minutes.
Owner and skipper Mike Slade commented: "After a brilliant 2009 for the boat and crew, ICAP Leopard is moving onwards and upwards. A springtime sprint in the Caribbean will set us up for another assault on the Atlantic. Unfortunately we will have to forgo Antigua sailing week to hit the weather window perfectly for our record attempt, but the transat is an exciting challenge and one we can’t wait to get stuck into!"
Boat Captain Chris Sherlock commented: "2009 was a year in which we made some significant advances in performance across the wind-range. Returning to McConaghy’s in Sydney, where ICAP Leopard was built, has been another important step for us. We have been able to complete a mechanical overhaul with the help of Central Coast Hydraulics and Dark Horse Yachting that will ensure the yacht’s continued reliability throughout what promises to be a busy and demanding season."