ICAP Leopard to make transat record attempt

Mike Slade's supermaxi to set sail on New York-Lizard fully crewed record attempt

Tuesday May 4th 2010, Author: James Boyd, Location: none selected

ICAP Leopard, Mike Slade's 100ft super-maxi is in New York this week preparing for another attempt on the west-to-east monohull transatlantic record.

Since her launch in 2007 ICAP Leopard has broken 12 major offshore racing records, including the fastest elapsed time ever set in the Rolex Fastnet Race. Her latest record attempt will see her tackle the well-trodden path between Ambrose Light, NY and the Lizard.

Her target for this attempt will primarily be the monohull record with power-assisted winches which stands at seven days, 19 hours and 21 minutes that she set in June 2008. However, since setting this benchmark the yacht 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 (for boats without powered winches) of 6 days 17 hours and 52 minutes will be achievable - although it should be noted that the outright record is for boats without powered winches.

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 for the successful handling of the meteorological situation 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 11 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!”

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