Race 14 Day 15: Derry ~ Londonderry ~ Doire hanging on to its lead in race to home port

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Derry~Londonderry~Doire is holding onto its lead into its home port with extremely close racing between the top six boats in the final hours of Race 14.

With just three hours left to the finish, less than 20 miles separates the top six boats with Team Garmin in second and PSP Logistics two miles ahead of Jamaica Get All Right as of 09:30 BST.

Varying wind and boat speeds are creating a lot of pressure for the crews and skippers as they fight for the final few miles in the closing stages of the race which will finish at 13:00 BST today (12:00 UTC).

When the racing ceases each team’s distance to the original finish line off Greencastle will be measured to determine their final positions. The results are expected to be confirmed by 15:00 this afternoon.

Derry~Londonderry~Doire skipper Sean McCarter describes the last 24 hours as he attempts to beat the 'home port curse' and be first into Derry Londonderyr, Northern Ireland.

“Yesterday didn't begin very well. We thought we had a reasonably good run during the 6 hours leading up to the 06:00 schedule and were excited to see how we fared against Team Garmin, Jamaica Get All Right and PSP Logistics. The excitement quickly turned to heart-sinking dread when we saw they had all outperformed us yet again in what should have been lighter conditions for them. We were in second place for the first time in over a week, trailing Team Garmin by a mile or so.

“We continued to gain through the day but eventually began to run out of breeze. We gybed north on a wind shift and knew we'd be giving away miles in the short term for a long term gain...Let’s see.” 

Team Garmin skipper Jan Ridd said the tension and the pressure on board was almost unbearable with four boats fighting for three podium positions. 

“The biggest problem is that we are now sailing under a weakening high pressure system which is giving very variable light winds where a distance of 1/2 mile could make the difference of sailing in 10 knots or 4 knots of breeze. With no accurate way of forecasting where the strips of stronger wind are it is becoming a game of chance. 

“Everyone on board Team Garmin is feeling the pressure as with each schedule we see the mileage between the front four boats change. It is almost too much to bear. Thank goodness we are now only hours away from the shortened finish to this race, I really do not think I personally could take any longer.” 

After the race ends the fleet will then make best speed to the Foyle with the first boats expected at Greencastle around 09:00am tomorrow, Monday 23 June. The winning team should arrive at the Foyle Marina by 13:00.

Updates on estimated times of arrival will be issued on the Clipper Race web site where the Race Viewer is also updated on the hour with the yachts’ latest positions.

To track the fleet's progress, click here.

To read all the skipper reports, click here.

To read the crew diaries, click here.