Olympic gold medallist Ben Ainslie is looking to break the monohull record with skipper Mike Slade
Sir Ben Ainslie will join Mike Slade and his crew on board Leopard for this year’s Round the Island Race.
The 98ft yacht is the current monohull race record holder after completing last year’s event around the Isle of Wight in three hours 43 minutes and 50 seconds.
Ainslie, who broke last year’s multihull record on his AC45 catamaran, is hoping to claim both records when he competes in the famous race on June 21st.
Speaking ahead of the event, Ainslie said: “Last year’s race was particularly special for me, we broke the multihull record in honour of our great friend Andrew Simpson and this year we have been invited to sail with Mike Slade on his Maxi Yacht, Leopard.
“It’s a fantastic boat and one that I have wanted to compete in the race on for many years.
“I look forward to seeing the thousands of competitors on the start line comes June 21st and wish everyone a great 2014 race,” he added.
Leopard skipper Mike Slade was equally excited about Ainslie joining the crew, saying: “This year I was delighted to invite Sir Ben to co-helm Leopard. We have sailed together previously and that proved memorable and I’m hoping for another notable sail.
“Ben is one of the true greats of British sailing and Leopard and her crew are looking forward to welcoming him onboard.”
Thousands of boats are expected to compete in this year’s Round the Island Race with entries closing on June 7th.
The 82-year-old yacht race sets off from Cowes on the Isle of Wight with the winner taking home a Gold Roman Bowl.
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Image by Leopard3