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Record to tumble as three day time is plotted

20th June 2008

Leopard Skipper Chris Sherlock has all but confirmed that the Round Ireland record will tumble, based on computer modelling with current forecasts.

Sherlock said he would 'bet his house' if he could get a bookies to match Afloat's 10/1 odds for the overall win.

Speaking to Afloat.ie yesterday, Sherlock said he was relishing the prospect of tackling the Round Ireland.

"Give me this race over a Sydney-Hobart any day. It's a circle so there's lots of sail changes and lots of corners."

SHerlock said that they had been using Leopard's on-board computers to run mock Round Irelands based on evolving forecasts.

"It's not a settle pattern as yet, it has changed a lot in the last four days", said Sherlock.

"Yesterday we did a calculated run and it came out with two days and 18 hours, then later calculations showed two days and five hours due to an increase in pressure."

What Sherlock could confirm was that the weather conditions will favour the bigger boats in the race.

"It's a big boat race," he said.

 

"We'll be on the wind until Sunday lunchtime after the start. Then we'll be off the wind until we get home."

"We'll have 10 knots at the start, increasing to 20 knots in the evening and dropping down to 15 knots at midnight," he said.

"We should have 17 to 25 knots all the way around."

Leopard expect to leave the pack trailing early on, with the heavy airs upwind conditions early on favouring them. Even Ger O'Rourke's VO 70 will struggle to keep up, Sherlock reckons.

"Not a chance. This boat has shown to be a weapon upwind. The only thing that would worry me is light airs running, or 25 knots surfing - then they'd be quick, if they had the ABN Amro 1 crew aboard," he said.

"They'll learn a lot on this race. They'll have a good race and it will be interesting to see how they finish. It'll be us, Alegre, and ABN. For my money it will be a big boat race," he said.

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