Photos Ocean Images
Fresh from her refit earlier this year that included the installation on a new interior designed by Design Unlimited, Mike Slade's 30.5 metre canting keel maxi ICAP Leopard 3 has set a new course record for the 3,300nm IMA Transatlantic Race of 7d 8h 59m 12s. Chartered to Niklas Zennstrom's Team Ran, she beat the previous record set in 2011 by the 66-metre superyacht, Hetairos, by 25 hrs.
Owner Mike Slade said on Leopard’s arrival at Virgin Gorda,”Isn't it fantastic? Leopard hasn't lost any of her pace, even though we have added a couple of tonnes with a full interior. In fact the extra weight of five cabins forward may well have improved her in certain conditions. She looks magnificent and is far more comfortable.”
A popular day and race charter boat, Leopard 3 previously had very little in the way of a conventional interior, with just a crew area plus a basic galley aft and a simple saloon amidships. Design Unlimited retained the crew area but restyled the existing saloon to create a spacious and comfortable space that seats twelve along with a dining area, and drew a completely new, fully-equipped galley. Five luxury cabins, three double with en suite and two single, were designed and installed in the forward part of the hull that had previously been used for stowing sails. The entire interior was built to tight weight tolerances and now allows Leopard to undertake longer charters in the Mediterranean.
Design Unlimited is known for creating ultra-lightweight interiors for large racing yachts, but this was their first project to essentially convert an outright raceboat into a fully-fledged superyacht equally capable of comfortable cruising.
At the end of the race Niklas Zennstrom, owner of 72' Mini Maxi Ran 2 which also has an interior by Design Unlimited, commented that he and his wife had “chartered a superb offshore boat, which was very comfortable. We enjoyed hot showers and cooked meals with homemade bread, which would not have been possible in our own boat.”
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