At 1400 local time, Saturday 10th January, ICAP Leopard, the British 100ft supermaxi will begin the 2009 Heineken Cape to Bahia Race from Cape Town, South Africa. With two days to go before the start, final preparations are being made across the fleet, for what should be a classic offshore race. Having undergone a full refit and optimization treatment since her last race, owner Mike Slade and his world class crew are looking forward to getting out on the water and setting a record pace.
Mike Slade, owner of ICAP Leopard and Chief Executive of Helical Bar plc, commented:
“We are all really looking forward to getting underway on Saturday. The crew has done a great job getting the boat up to scratch for the start. Cape Town has been a fantastic place to be over the last few days and I cannot believe the amount support we have had from the public and the press. It is going to be a long and tough race, but I am really excited about competing in this prestigious offshore challenge.”
When asked about the weather conditions expected during the race, ICAP Leopard Navigator, Rosco Monson, said:
“It looks like a quick exit from Cape Town with a 25 knot southerly, however this will quickly drop to around 12 knots on day two or three. The toughest part of the race for us, will be this period of light winds, so we will be actively seeking stronger winds wherever we can. The second half of the race looks more stable with 13-18 knots of trade winds, so it will be important for us to reach these trade winds as soon as possible.”
ICAP Leopard will compete in this traditionally downwind race with a seasoned crew that includes Whitbread and Volvo Round the World Race sailors Jan Dekker (RSA), Gordon Maguire (IRE), Jason Carrington (GBR) & Paul Standbridge (GBR), as well as members of America’s Cup syndicate Team Shosholoza, David Rae (RSA) and Joey Heywood (RSA).