Super maxi dust up

Leopard captain Chris Sherlock on their prospects for the Transatlantic Race and beyond
The clash of the titans is due to get under way tomorrow when the fast boats set off on the third start of the Transatlantic Race 2011 from Newport to the Lizard. Favourite for line honours is certainly George David’s Juan K-designed supermaxi Rambler 100 but gunning hard, particularly on handicap, will be Mike Slade’s ICAP Leopard. Slade isn’t sailing on board on this occasion when his Farr-designed 100 footer will be skippered by American Clarke Murphy. Murphy is the Global Leader of New York-based headhunters Russell Reynolds Association’s CEO and Board Services Practice and has so far this year jointly skippered ICAP Leopard with Slade in the RORC Caribbean 600 and the Annapolis-Newport race. Murphy competed in the Rolex Transatlantic Race in 2005 aboard Stuart Robinson’s Stay Calm and brings with him Ian Budgen and Will Passano, to complement the normal Leopard crew roster that includes the likes of Guillermo Altadill, Guy Salter, Jim Turner, Luke Molloy, Mark Thomas and of course navigator Hugh Agnew and Leopard’s Captain Chris Sherlock. For the Transatlantic Race they are sailing 18 up, which Sherlock says is the same number as they had on board for their last attempt on the west to east monohull transatlantic record. Of course Rambler 100 are hardly a bunch of rookies with Peter Isler navigating, Erle Williams on tactics and a whole roster of Volvo Ocean Race sailors in their midst including Rodney Ardern, Stu Wilson, Justin Clougher, Jerry Kirby, Jan Dekker and Scott Beavis. Ironically, given that they have twice made attempts on the transatlantic record, for next week’s race to the Lizard, the weather is looking set to make for a fast crossing, with high pressure set up to the south. The routing at present has them completing the course in 7-8 days. “At the moment it looks