ICAP LEOPARD TO PARTICIPATE IN RORC CARIBBEAN 600Wednesday 23rd January 2013
Photo compliments of www.leopard3.com / Richard Langdon.
By Louay Habib
At the beginning of December, Mike Slade's ICAP Leopard, chartered to Niklas Zennström, smashed the course record for the 2,800 nautical mile IMA Transatlantic Race. Since then ICAP Leopard has been based in Antigua and the 30-metre canting keel maxi has hardly been on the dock, entertaining guests in the Caribbean in superyacht luxury, speeding through the Caribbean surf.
ICAP Leopard’s next big contest will be the RORC Caribbean 600, which starts from Antigua on the 18th February. In 2009, ICAP Leopard set the record for the 600 in the inaugural race, completing the course in just over 44 hours. However the current course record holder is George David’s Rambler 100, at just over 40 hours. For ICAP Leopard to take back the course record, the 100-foot Maxi will need to average 15 knots around the 600-mile course.
“The Transatlantic run was quite remarkable.” Commented Mike Slade. “Hitting speeds of over 30 knots and coming out with a 19 knot average over 7 days. We are absolutely delighted with her performance after her refit to gain superyacht status and we are really looking forward to getting back on the race course in the RORC Caribbean 600.”
ICAP Leopard will have a world-class crew for the RORC Caribbean 600, including Volvo Ocean Race winner and Skiff World Champion, Robert Greenhalgh. “ The 600 is a great event with fantastic sailing and with plenty of islands to go around there is always so much to consider. The course is ideal for a canting keelboat and our aim has got to be the record and the weather will play a great part in our performance. If we get strong Trade Winds, 20-25 knots from the nor east and some of the key tactical plays go our way, I firmly believe the record can be broken. Rounding Guadeloupe is going to be critical, very much risk versus reward.”
Since her launch ICAP Leopard has held numerous course records and Mike Slade is keen to win back the RORC Caribbean 600 title. “I really can’t imagine a better scenario than racing Leopard in the 600, it’s the ideal playground and Leopard’s natural habitat. For the Caribbean 600, our first aim will be to be the first boat back in Antigua but we will have one eye on the clock, I want to get that record back and if we get the right conditions, who knows, anything is possible and that is why we will be there.”
For more information on ICAP Leopard: www.leopard3.com.
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