100ft British supermaxi yacht ICAP Leopard, owned by Mike Slade, took line honours in the Heineken Cape to Bahia Race, setting a new course record. Having left Cape Town on 10th January, she crossed the finish line off the coast of Salavador de Bahia, Brazil, at 17:46:35 (UTC), completing the 3,330 nautical mile course in just 10 days, 5 hours, 46 minutes and 35 seconds. ICAP Leopard’s closest rival Rambler was approximately 230 nautical miles behind when she crossed the finish line in light and tricky conditions.
Mike Slade, owner of ICAP Leopard and Chief Executive of Helical Bar plc, said shortly after the finish:
“This has been a truly fantastic race and I am delighted that we have set a new course record. We have pushed ICAP Leopard hard throughout the race and we now believe that the modifications we made last summer have turned her into the ultimate record breaking machine. It is a great feeling to add yet another course record to our collection.”
Chris Sherlock, Boat Captain, commented on ICAP Leopard’s performance and tactics:
“We knew we had to get out of the blocks fast to get a jump on Rambler, which we were able to do as the stronger reaching winds favoured us. Once we were ahead, our navigator and afterguard did a fantastic job keeping us in phase with the breeze right through to the finish. The record is what we came for; hopefully it will stand for some years to come.”
ICAP Leopard currently holds 10 records, including four World Speed Sailing Records and six course records. This will be her 11th record since her launch in 2007 and with a full race schedule in place for 2009, there is no doubt that she will be looking for more. Following on from the Heineken Cape to Bahia Race, ICAP Leopard will compete in the RORC Caribbean 600 and Antigua Sailing Week, before heading to North America for a number of corporate events. She will then return to the UK for the summer racing season and her corporate charter commitments.