Saturday, 19 June 2010

RTI: ICAP Leopard to take on massive fleet in British sailing classic

ICAP Leopard in the Round the Island Race. Image copyright Rick Tomlinson.

by Henry Foster

ICAP Leopard, the 100ft super-maxi racing yacht owned by Helical Bar PLC chief executive Mike Slade, is currently preparing for the annual JP Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race. Fresh from her latest transatlantic record attempt, her crew are working hard to ensure that ICAP Leopard is in the best possible shape to take on Saturday’s classic 55 mile sprint around the Isle of Wight

The annual JP Morgan Asset Management Round the Island race is a jewel in the crown of the UK yacht racing calendar and has this year attracted a near record fleet of some 1,754 boats of all shapes and sizes. At the head of this diverse fleet, as per usual, will be a star-studded cast onboard ICAP Leopard. Slade and crew will once again be trying to beat the monohull course record of 3 hours and 53 minutes that they set in 2008.

ICAP Leopard owner Mike Slade has held the Round the Island monohull record since 1991 when he took the honours on his first Maxi yacht Ocean Leopard. He then broke his own record on the Farr designed maxi Longobarda in 1996 and again in 2001 on his own Reichel Pugh designed Leopard of London. Finally in 2008, just a year after the launch of his current canting keeled super-maxi ICAP Leopard, Slade and crew set the monohull benchmark that still stands today.

Mike Slade commented: “The JP Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race is, to my mind, an absolute must do event – so much so that I think I have only missed two or three races in the last twenty years! The racing is extremely tactical, the atmosphere is brilliant and the spectacle is amazing. Unfortunately the wind is forecast to be north of east and so it will be tricky to challenge for the record but we’ll give it our best shot. I can’t wait to get started!”

JP Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race