Race 14 of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race gets underway today (Saturday) at 18:00 local time in New York (22:00 UTC) for the long awaited homecoming leg. This tactical 2,850 mile race from the city that never sleeps to Derry-Londonderry will take approximately two weeks to complete.
The hot coastal conditions and sunscreen from the previous race will rapidly give way to warm layers and waterproof clothing as the teams have the North Atlantic to play with. On the classic race route across the Atlantic there is the potential for some very fast sailing.
At the southern tip of Newfoundland are the Grand Banks, an area renowned for thick fog and light winds as the Labrador Current drags down cold water from the Arctic. If the yachts can clear Newfoundland without going too far north, staying over the lower third of the Grand Banks and in the Gulf Stream, they will sail over the Flemish Cap made famous in the book and film The Perfect Storm.
There is a Scoring Gate and Ocean Sprint in this race, providing the teams with the opportunity to grab some additional points that could make all the difference to their overall position, as well as the chance to play their Stealth Mode card and race in a period of concealment from the rest of the fleet and followers for a period of 24 hours.
The Race 14 start line will be off the Ambrose Lighthouse today (Saturday 7 June ) at 18:00 local time, 22:00 UTC and the first team will slip lines waving goodbye to the Manhattan skyline in North Cove Marina at 11:00am local time 15:00 UTC before parading the Hudson River at 12:15-12:45 local time, 16:15-16:45 UTC.
The Clipper Race fleet is expected to arrive in Derry-Londonderry from 21 June with Race 15, to Den Helder, The Netherlands starting on 29 June. Yesterday Derry City Council announced the full programme for the LegenDerry Maritime Festival, which will be the biggest sailing event in Ireland this year and looks set to be the North West’s greatest party of 2014.
For the full schedule of events please visit www.legenderrymaritimefestival.com
To keep up-to-date with the fleet’s positions click here