In the final 2,800nm leg of the Clipper Round the World Yacht race from New York to Derry, local boat Londonderry-Derry Doire curently lies in first position and remains in hot contention to take ‘virtual’ line honours on Sunday.
Due to the stationary high pressure system centred over the west coast of Ireland and a head wind before the fleet, racing will cease at 1300 on Sunday when distance to finish at that time will be used to award places and enable boats to make ‘best speed’ to the finsh by motor-sail.
Londonderry-Derry Doire skippered by Sean McCarter and 11 other identical 70 ft clipper boats have endured mountainous seas, freezing temperatures and gael force winds since the race began in the Thames Estuary on September 1.
The crews are a mix of professional and amateur sailors. ‘This is were a taxi driver rubs shoulders with chief executives, vicars mix with housewives students work alongside bankers, nurses work with vets and doctors team with rugby players. It’s an experience that will change people’s lives,’ the race organisers state.
“We are very excited to head home, particularly given our clipper is supported by the UK City of Culture, it will be some home coming,” remarked Sean McCarter.
A voyage of highs and lows, McCarter recalls a key event when one of the crew (Andrew Taylor UK) was washed overboard into freezing seas as the boat crossed the north Pacific in violent weather.
“It was a scary moment as conditions deteoriated and impacted our rescue effort for two hours.”
The total crew of 54 includes members who completed the full circumnavigation and others who participated in part of a specific leg of the race.