ICAP Leopard - racing harder than ever

Richard Langdon / www.oceanimages.co.uk
Skipper Chris Sherlock talks us through the latest iteration of Mike Slade's maxi
We have been led to believe over the last year that Mike Slade’s 100ft maxi, ICAP Leopard, has been converted into a cruising boat, albeit still a blisteringly fast one, and that she would retire into a life of gentle luxury charter. But in fact this is far from the case. Yes, this spring the giant maxi did have a cruising interior fitted (as was always planned from her inception at the Farr office back in 2006-7) but there is no let-up in her intensive race programme, owner Mike Slade maintaining a strong appetite to campaign his famous boat. As Leopard’s long term skipper and project manager Chris Sherlock puts it: “I am doing more racing in the next 12 months than I have ever done with this boat. Except I have got to put it into six weeks of term charter as well!”  The charter role of ICAP Leopard always been an impressive feature of her program - the boat actually runs at a profit... but thanks to the newly installed accommodation in the forward acreage of her long hull, she can not only day charter but term charter now too. Mike Slade (left) with Chris Sherlock As Sherlock explains: “Mike turned around and said ‘we have been racing for four or five years. I want to live on my boat again’.” The bow area, previously open, now features a full width owner’s stateroom forward, and then heading aft, two further guest cabins on either side and then two smaller cabins, which have ICAP Leopard’s substantial twin daggerboard cases hidden within them. Like a proper superyacht, there is carpeting which Sherlock acknowledges is “not very boatie” but makes a huge difference in reducing noise.  Interior design work was carried out by Mark Tucker at Design Unlimited, who also performed the same role on Charles Dunstone’s new WallyCento Hamilton. To make the