Leopard is currently nearing completion in Sydney ready for launching in the Solent early June. The JPMorgan Asset Management Round the Island Race will see her debut on the racing circuit here. Volvo Ocean Race winner and 2006 ISAF Rolex Sailor of the Year Mike SANDERSON (NZL) will skipper the 20-strong crew.
Great Britain's Raymarine Young Sailor of the Year Katie MILLER (GBR) will be racing a small boat, but one that has already completed a successful voyage around Britain. MILLER, a 20 year old student at Southampton Solent University, will be joined on her 21 foot Corribee Elektra by Daniel MONK, aged 18, and together the pair will be raising further funds for The Ellen MacArthur Trust.
MONK was diagnosed with leukaemia in 2002 but nonetheless has completed the race twice for the Trust. Following a relapse after the 2005 race MONK underwent another bone marrow transplant. During his treatment, a major inspiration was to return and compete again the next year.
Trust volunteer MILLER commented, 'It is going to be great sailing with Dan in this historic race and especially on my own boat Elektra - a sistership to Ellen MACARTHUR's [(GBR)] Iduna. I know that Dan and I can't wait to get out there and sail to the best of our abilities. We have both been very lucky to be involved with the Trust and look forward to raising funds and awareness of the charity in the process.'
Online entries for the JPMorgan Asset Management Round the Island Race can be made via the dedicated website www.roundtheisland.org.uk. This year the ISC and JPMorgan Asset Management will be expanding the charitable dimension of the Round the Island Race by encouraging all entrants to make their race count for charity. A bespoke website has been set up to facilitate this. To register, simply go to http://justgiving.com/roundtheisland. Competitors can choose any charity although some may want to help fight cancer by supporting Macmillan, Breast Cancer Care, Prostate Research Campaign UK and The Ellen MacArthur Trust.