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Ambrose Light to The Lizard in record time

Photos by Ric Tomlinson

British sailor Mike Slade was on top of the world Tuesday when he his crew beat the famed trans-Atlantic speed record for a monohull maxi yacht, according to a recent press release.

Slade managed to shave eight hours off the previous record held by the 246-foot luxury yacht Phocea. Slade and the crew of the 100-foot Farr-designed super-maxi yacht named Leopard, finished the 2,925-nautical mile course from Ambrose Light, N.Y., to Lizard Point in Cornwall,England, in seven days, 19 hours and 21 minutes. Phocea finished in eight days, three hours and 29 minutes and has held the monohull record since July 1988, according to

This is the second world record Leopard has achieved in the last two years, the first being the Rolex Fastnet Race record completed in nine hours. Leopard crossed the Atlantic at an average speed of 15.5 knots and a top speed of 37.4 knots, according to the release. But it was no easy ride. Since Slade’s May 27 departure, he has negotiated icebergs, freezing temperatures, sleeping whales and one memorable collision with a larger-than-life sunfish.

“Having only had a three-day weather window in New York during which to leave, the weather gods have been kind,” says Slade on his site. “We always knew it would be close, but that is the beauty of yacht racing, as you rely entirely on forces beyond your control to get you there. If it was easy, everyone would be doing it”

Future plans for Leopard include racing around the British circuit, competing in the Round Ireland Race and the JP Morgan Round the Island Race, where the super yacht made her debut last year. For information, visit

— Elizabeth Ellis