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Leopard breaks ARC Atlantic Race record

by Leopard3 3 Dec 2014 15:13 GMT 3 December 2014

Mike Slade's canting keel 100ft Maxi, Leopard took Line Honours for the 2014 ARC Race (IRC Racing Division) crossing the finish line off Rodney Bay, St.Lucia on 3 December at 01:09:51 UTC. Leopard by Finland, co-skippered by Chris Sherlock, GBR and Samuli Leisti, FIN set a new record for the race.

In an elapsed time of 8d 14h 39m 51s, this sets a new record for the 2700 nautical mile course, which has been run for over 30 years. The previous record was set last year by Max Klink's Knierim 65, Caro. Leopard's time beat the previous record by 2d 6h 45m 19s.

For the race, Leopard by Finland was chartered to Samuli Leisti 'This project started 18 months ago when I decided to charter Leopard and put a team together to work with Leopard's team 50/50. There has not been any bigger project from Finland since 1989/1990 Whitbread Race, hopefully this will be a big push for Finnish big boat racing. I think all sailors dream of doing a record transatlantic run and this has been the best way to do it. Hopefully we can announce future projects soon.'

Leopard by Finland had excellent sailing conditions with a consistent breeze throughout and Captain Chris Sherlock commented: "This was a very good race for Leopard we had good downwind sailing conditions the whole way, albeit getting lighter towards the finish in St Lucia. Leopard's top speed for the trip was 32.6 knots and the boat consistently averaged in excess of 20 knots. A proper blast across the Atlantic – it is what the boat was built for and a real thrill."

Leopard currently holds four Transatlantic records beginning with the WRSSC powered sailing systems record from Ambrose light to the lizard in the UK (7 days, 19 hours and 21 minutes), the South Atlantic race record from Cape town to Brazil (10 days, 5 hours, 46 minutes and 35 seconds), the IMA maxi association race from Tenerife to Virgin Gorda (7 days, 8 hours, 59 minutes, 12 seconds), and now the ARC race record from Gran Canaria to St Lucia.

"Four different courses, four different records! It is a fantastic achievement for Leopard" commented owner Mike Slade. A fantastic result particularly in her new racer cruiser mode and all credit to our charterers from Finland. We now head to Antigua for the RORC Caribbean 600 before returning and looking forward to a full on season back in the Solent throughout the summer."

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