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. The yacht was chartered out to Finn Samuli Leisti.
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, also powered by Doyle. Leopard's time beat the previous record by 2d 6h 45m 19s.
"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," said Captain Chris Sherlock. "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."