Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Another record for Leopard

4th June 2008

The 100ft maxi, Leopard, has lopped eight hours off the transatlantic sailing record for yachts with powered sail systems.

The transatlantic record, Leopard's second in two years, bodes well for its bid to take the Round Ireland course record later this month.

Leopard during her record Fastnet run

The transatlantic record was felled despite Leopard being limited by a delivery sail wardrobe for the journey, having to dodge icebergs and remove a dead sunfish from one of the twin rudders.

Boat captain Chris Sherlock said: “It was a nail biting sail right to the finish. After a good final night, the wind dropped on Tuesday morning, slowing us a little. With full sails up we kept our foot down all the way in to the Lizard, and made it with time to spare even against the tide. As I predicted, it was an incredibly close run to the finish, but that’s the exact reason records are records and therefore difficult to beat. I’d like to thank Roger Badham our weather router, as well as our shore crew, for all of their support.”

The 30-metre maxi will make its way to Wicklow for the June 21 start of the Round Ireland, where it is hoped it will line up against two Volvo 70s, including Ireland's newly-announced second entry, fielded by Limerick man Ger O'Rourke.

Leopard smashed the Fastnet record last year by more than eight hours, romping home in one day, 20 hours and 18 minutes.

The boat made the passage at an average speed of 15.5 knots which, if equalled during the Round Ireland, would see them home in one day, 21 hours and 25 minutes, more than a full day quicker than the current race record, held by Colm Barrington, set in 1988, and standing at three days, four hours and 23 minutes.

Leopard won't have the luxury of a weather window for the race, but will still boast a sail area of 15,000 square feet at max capacity, and could even challenge the overall monohull record of 57 hours, 41 minutes, set by Jean-Pierre Chomett in the Open 60 Cityjet on May 06, 2005.

Below: On-board footage from Leopard 3 during its record Fastnet run last year. Team

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