ICAP Leopard to set sail on Saturday
ICAP Leopard, the 100ft super-maxi racing yacht owned by Helical Bar PLC chief executive Mike Slade, is to set sail on her attempt on the west to east transatlantic record. The required weather window has finally arrived and ICAP Leopard will leave New York on Saturday 29 May in her bid to become the fastest monohulled sailing vessel ever to cross the Atlantic.
ICAP Leopard’s weather router, the internationally renowned Roger “Clouds” Badham, yesterday informed the crew that a suitable weather window will open on Saturday and Chris Sherlock, skipper and boat captain, took the decision to press the green light on the record attempt. Throughout the night ICAP Leopard’s berth in Newport, Rhode Island has been a hive of activity as final preparations were made, provisions taken onboard and the assembly call was fired out to ICAP Leopard’s highly experienced crew of ocean record-breakers.
Among the crew currently flying to New York are some familiar faces such as Ericsson 4 crewman Guy Salter, experienced watch leader Mark Thomas and veteran navigator Hugh Agnew, but also several new members of the ICAP Leopard team. This newer contingent includes English bowman Freddie Shanks and Aussie watch leader Anthony 'Youngster' Merrington, both fresh from the Green Dragon campaign in the 2008-9 Volvo Ocean Race. Also onboard will be world-renowned ocean racing experts Justin 'Juggy' Clougher, Michael Joubert and Guillermo Altadill who have amassed no fewer than 11 Whitbred / Volvo Ocean Races between them. Together they will be sure to add considerably to this already highly accomplished crew.
The benchmark that ICAP Leopard will be aiming for is the outright monohull west to east transatlantic record of 6 days 17 hours and 52 minutes, set by Mari Cha IV in 2003. This means that ICAP Leopard will have to keep up a fearsome pace but navigator Hugh Agnew is confident that they have the weather for it.
Agnew commented: “Everything is looking good at the moment. There is a low pressure system due to develop over Nova Scotia that we are aiming to hook into at the weekend. This would give us a fast start to our record attempt. If all goes to plan we should then have some time in the bank to deal with any high pressure that could get in our way on the approach to the U.K. It looks like it might be a challenging run but we can’t wait to get started.”
|JOE HEYWOOD||SOUTH AFRICAN||BOW|
|DARYL WISLANG||NEW ZEALAND||BOW|
|LOUIS SINCLAIR||NEW ZEALAND||MAST PIT|
|TIM SELLARS||AUSTRALIAN||MAST PIT|
|MICHAEL JOUBERT||SOUTH AFRICAN||TRIMMER/DRIVER|
|ANTHONY MERRINGTON||AUSTRALIAN||WATCH LEADER|
|MARK THOMAS||AUSTRALIAN||WATCH LEADER|