Race 13 of the 2013/14 Clipper Round the World Yacht Race, from Jamaica to New York, starts at 1300 local time (1800 UTC) Saturday 24 May off the Folly Point Lighthouse, Port Antonio.
Race 13, The Grange Hotels Trophy from Jamaica to New York, starts today
This latest stage of the race is being named by Grange Hotels, London’s leading luxury hotel group, to celebrate their connections with New York and award The Grange Hotels Trophy to the winning team. The company is also a team partner of the Great Britain entry.
The 1420 mile race will see crews working hard in a wide range of conditions in an intense week of sailing to pick up valuable extra points prior to the final leg back to London.
Deputy Race Director Mark Light said: 'Many sail changes will be required to keep the boats going as fast as possible in the right direction. Throw in the Gulf Stream, which can reach speeds of more than three knots, and it makes for a very interesting race.'
After leaving the tropical destination, the fleet will be heading into lighter winds near the Windward Passage, which marks the exit from the Caribbean Sea into the Atlantic Ocean.
The teams will experience wind from every point of the compass as the yachts head away from the steady Caribbean trade winds into the variable conditions associated with the depressions coming from the North American land mass.
Hazards include reefs around the Bahamas and a large amount of shipping close to New York. The yachts are also advised to stay at least 12 miles clear of Haiti and Cuba.
The course includes an elective Scoring Gate and an Ocean Sprint section between the lines of latitudes 30N and 32N. Each yacht has the opportunity to use one 24 hour period of Stealth Mode.
'Thunderstorms are likely to provide some spectacular backdrops, bringing the air alive with static and lightening cracking in to the sea around the finish line in the Ambrose Channel outside the Big Apple,' added Light.
The winning team will not only receive The Grange Hotels Trophy but also a hamper of food to take aboard their boat.
Tony Matharu, Managing Director of Grange Hotels, said London and New York have an exceptionally close cultural, economic and historical relationship:
'As London's leading luxury hotel group, Grange Hotels enjoy a special relationship with many corporations, organisations and individuals from New York and across the US.
'Similarly, the sense of teamwork, commitment and individual endeavour for a common collective cause is evidenced in both the sport of sailing and in the manner in which Grange Hotels manage their 17 luxury London properties.
'This explains why we at Grange Hotels are delighted to support the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race and the Jamaica to New York race in particular.'
The fleet is estimated to arrive into New York between 31 May and 1 June. The final leg resumes on 7 June and concludes with a spectacular homecoming in London on 12 July.