Leopard picks up speed

Mike Slade's supermaxi 265 miles ahead of her west to east transat record

Friday June 4th 2010, Author: James Boyd, Location: none selected


Time Lat Long Spd Crs 24hr run Ahead DTF
      4 hr        
04/06/2010 07:00 50°33.41 N 022°36.15 W 20.7 Knots 45° 452.0 nm 264.73 nm 667 nm
04/06/2010 05:00 50°00.22 N 023°14.96 W 20.4 Knots 55° 429.8 nm 267.51 nm 695 nm
04/06/2010 03:00 49°30.11 N 023°59.36 W 20.4 Knots 55° 408.1 nm 265.07 nm 727 nm
04/06/2010 01:00 49°00.86 N 024°41.45 W 20.2 Knots 67° 393.1 nm 262.92 nm 760 nm
03/06/2010 23:00 48°37.48 N 025°34.30 W 19.8 Knots 69° 374.8 nm 253.02 nm 799 nm
03/06/2010 21:00 48°15.25 N 026°22.70 W 19.8 Knots 65° 364.7 nm 245.06 nm 835 nm
03/06/2010 18:00 47°43.24 N 027°37.18 W 19.9 Knots 69° 348.5 nm 232.58 nm 892 nm
03/06/2010 16:00 47°22.66 N 028°28.30 W 18.6 Knots 75° 335.2 nm 224.80 nm 931 nm
03/06/2010 14:00 47°09.11 N 029°23.73 W 18.6 Knots 50° 321.0 nm 219.79 nm 971 nm
03/06/2010 12:00 46°40.15 N 029°57.54 W 18.3 Knots 57° 322.6 nm 223.98 nm 1 003 nm

Mike Slade's supermaxi ICAP Leopard has been slowly edging ahead of the west to east transatlantic record pace for vessels with powered winches over the last 24 hours and at the latest sched has 264 miles in the bank with 667 mile left to run to the finish line off the Lizard.

Yesterday mid-morning Leopard gybed to the northeast in an attempt to stay in the strongest westerlies being generated by the depression now to her northwest. The wind currently in the west, the team will be waiting for the wind to back slightly at which point they will tack, hoping to be able to lay the finish line.

Unfortunately the end of their run continues to look light as the Azores high encroaches over the British Isles. To remain in the best of what pressure there is, it seems likely that Leopard will shave the southwest coast of Ireland and do the best she can to get across the Celtic Sea tomorrow. The wind looks set to fill in from the norhwest by Sunday morning.

Chris Sherlock reported yesterday morning from on board:

Sitting here in the nav area looking at the GPS and our plotter. The GPS says we are doing speed over the ground at 20 knots – fantastic!  It has been a great nights sail with our largest A-2 spinnaker flying, only one problem we are heading towards Lisbon!  In layman's terms, a yacht cannot sail directly into or 180 degrees directly away from the wind, we always need to sail at an angle to the wind hence heading for Lisbon and not the UK.

The low pressure system we have been trying to ride has been very uncharacteristic the whole way across the Atlantic since the Grand Banks and yet again yesterday holding us up with lighter than expected winds for the third time this Attempt – I cant tell you how frustrating this is sitting and watching the clock countdown without going fast….anything under 20 knots of boat speed seems like we are standing still. The weather gods are not happy with Mr Leopard for some reason as we had the same problem for our last event, the Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, which was a light air event yet again! Anyway we are looking for the shift to get back onto port and hopefully more wind to sail on course for Lands End at pace.



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