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Brits chase Fastnet - Sydney Hobart double

by Kate Fairclough on 13 Dec 2007
City Index Leopard goes sightseeing Sydney . ©

Ocean Marine, the British sailing team owned by Mike Slade will race City Index Leopard, the 100 foot super maxi yacht, in this year’s Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race. City Index Leopard will be looking to take line honours in the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, making her the first boat ever to take line honours in both the Rolex Fastnet Race and the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race in the same year.

The yacht, skippered by owner Mike Slade, previously known as ICAP Leopard, will be crewed by a team of America’s Cup and Volvo Ocean Race sailors who between them have an astounding 115 Sydney Hobart Yacht Races.

The race, which starts in Sydney Harbour at 1300 (local time) on Wednesday 26th December, will take the 90 boat fleet 628 nautical miles south down the coast of Australia and up the Derwent River into Hobart, on the south-eastern coast of the island of Tasmania.

The 63rd edition of the race sees six UK entries. The current record for the fastest Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race is held by Australian yacht Wild Oats XI, which in 2005 completed the course in just 1 day, 18 hours, 40 minutes and 10 seconds and will be aiming for line honours for a third consecutive year.

Aboard City Index Leopard for the race is a professional crew of 23, plus guests. Helmed by owner Mike Slade, City Index Leopard has several Volvo Ocean Race and America’s Cup sailors onboard, with Jules Salter navigating, Jason Carrington on the bow and Gordon Maguire and Paul Standbridge as watch captains.

Ray Davies, Emirates Team New Zealand’s strategist in the last America’s Cup, will be tactician and Noel Drennan will be trimmer/helmsman, with 22 Sydney Hobart Yacht Races to his name. Four of the crew will remember competing in the epic 1998 Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, in which just 44 of the 115 yachts entered made it to Hobart. This was a race marred by tragedy in which five boats sank and six people died, in the worst weather ever experienced in the 62 year history of the race.

Mike Slade commented: 'It’s wonderful to have City Index Leopard in the southern hemisphere for this year’s Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race. One of the most iconic races in the yacht racing calendar, the Sydney Hobart is a must-do event and we can’t wait to line up against all the other fantastic big boat entries on Boxing Day. This will be my third Sydney Hobart Yacht Race having competed in 1994 and 2002, in which we finished fifth and third respectively. City Index Leopard was built with this race in mind and we will be striving for the race record this time!'

Formerly known as ICAP Leopard, the 100 foot Farr-designed yacht will be known as City Index Leopard for the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race. City Index, one of the world’s leading providers of spread betting, contracts for difference and FX trading, is part of IPGL Limited, shareholders in the world’s leading derivatives broker ICAP, who are the ongoing title sponsors of Leopard.

Crew List for Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race:

NAME OF CREW / POSITION

Kevin George / Trimmer
Rory Heron / Mastman
Chris Sherlock / Trimmer/Driver
Hugo Slade / Trimmer
Ray Davies / Watch Captain
Barney Henshaw Depledge / Sewer
Noel Drennan / Trimmer/Driver
Mike Slade / Owner/Driver
Adam Hawkins / Trimmer
David Peter Rolfe / Trimmer/Bow
Mark Antony Thomas / Trimmer/Driver
Zane Richard Gills / Bow
Paul Standbridge / Watch Captain
Josh Clark / Sewer
Ross Monson / Bow
Guy Salter / Bow
Timothy Sellars / Pit/Sewer
Gordon Maguire / Watch Captain
Darren Paul Senogles / Bow
Jason Christopher Carrington / Bow/Trimmer
Jules Salter / Navigator
John Wyborn Seabrook / Trimmer
Hugh John Agnew / Navigator
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