New Leopard will challenge RTI record

Mike Slade’s sleek new Leopard3 looks set to stir things up on the race course in this year’s Round the Island race. Launched this June, the long-awaited super maxi has some impressive vital statistics: 24 feet wide, 100 feet long, a 15foot fixed bowsprit and an 18-and-a-half foot canting keel should help the boat speed round the course in time for a crew breakfast back at Cowes.

The yacht has a downwind sail area of 1,604 square metres, equivalent to six tennis courts, and, at speed, it is expected to be capable of speeds of over 35 knots.

Slade will be hoping to regain his Round the Island speed record in this year’s race – his previous record of 4 hours, 8 minutes and 55 seconds, set by his former Leopard in June 2001, was broken last Cowes Week. The 98ft super maxi Maximus, owned by Charles St Clair Brown, shattered the record, which now stands at just 3hours, 20 minutes and 9 seconds.

Watch this space..