Mike Slade's giant sloop Leopard is due to dock in La Coruna on Thursday

Mike Slade’s giant 90ft sloop Leopard is under tow from a tug and en route to La Coruna, after losing her rudder off the Azores.

The boat is due to dock in the Spanish port on Thursday. Her main compartment has been successfully pumped out – she was saved from sinking by water-tight bulkheads which failed to give way even in Force 9 winds.

When the tug arrived waves were breaking right across the hull. Earlier her seven crew had been rescued by a passing freighter.