Transatlantic Race 2011 started on Sunday 26 June. The race has three staggered race starts with the final race start being held on Sunday 3 July. The races begin at Castle Hill, Newport and finish at Lizard Point, UK.
by Mark Angell
ICAP Leopard, the record breaking 100ft super-maxi racing yacht owned by Helical Bar PLC chief executive Mike Slade, is making final preparations ahead of the Transatlantic Race in the Atlantic Ocean Racing Series. The boat will cross the start line at Castle Hill in Newport, Rhode Island on Sunday 3rd July at the beginning of the 2,975 NM journey on its way to Lizard Point in South Cornwall, UK.
Clarke Murphy will skipper a hugely experienced off-shore crew including veteran Australian Captain, Chris Sherlock. Sherlock was Captain aboard ICAP Leopard when the boat smashed the Transatlantic Speed Sailing record in 2008, finishing in 7 days, 19 hours and 21 minutes.
Sherlock said 'Having competed in transatlantic races before, I know how tough the conditions can get in the Atlantic. Everyone in the team will have to pull together to ensure that we predict the weather conditions as best as possible, and that we react to them quickly to race the best possible tactical race'.
Negotiating complex weather systems will play an integral role in ICAP Leopard’s latest transatlantic voyage which runs a different course to the record beating voyage. Hugh Agnew will be working with weather supremo Roger ‘Clouds’ Badham to negotiate what looks to be a testing scenario. Agnew commented: 'On any transatlantic voyage, keeping a close eye on the meteorological conditions is vital. With the start being on a set date, it means that we don’t have the luxury of looking for the most favourable weather window, so we have to make sure that we look at the long-term weather patterns and use them to map out our route'.
Clarke Murphy said 'After the Caribbean 600 and the Annapolis to Newport races, which saw close results on very different courses, we are well prepared for a great Transatlantic race. ICAP Leopard is a very good all round yacht that has proved itself in the North Atlantic having completed this type of voyage several times. The team’s experience will stand us in good stead to sail a tactical race.'
Mike Slade, owner of ICAP Leopard said 'We are in second place overall in the Atlantic Ocean Racing Series. With the Transatlantic Race counting for 1.5 points it is all to play for. We have a proven team who relish the challenge and never give up.' ICAP Leopard website Transatlantic Race website
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5:35 PM Wed 29 Jun 2011 GMT
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