Race 13 of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race, The Grange Hotels Trophy from Port Antonio, Jamaica to New York, USA got underway today at 1330 local time (1830 UTC) from the Folly Point Lighthouse by Port Antonio.
PSP Logistics, Old Pulteney, and Derry~Londonderry~Doire crossed the line first, in that order, in a beautifully sunny, closely fought race start after heavy monsoon conditions and thunder this morning eventually cleared up.
Mark Light, Clipper Race Deputy Race Director explained: 'A typically Caribbean easterly breeze of about 12 to 15 knots allowed for a stunning, tropical start to Race 13: The Grange Hotels Trophy, to New York. After a short delay to get the committee start boat on station, the start line was set and the fleet were busy jostling for position during pre-start.
'At 1330 the gunshot sounded from Coastguard Cutter HMJS Cornwall and an impressive start ensued and in my opinion, one of the most hotly contested in the Clipper Race so far. PSP Logistics timed its start superbly, followed very closely by Old Pulteney and Derry~Londonderry~Doire and the rest of the fleet, looking magnificent as it heading away up wind.'
After leaving the Jamaican coastline, the twelve teams competing in the world’s longest ocean race are now heading into lighter winds near the Windward Passage, which marks the exit from the Caribbean Sea into the Atlantic Ocean.
The 1,420 mile race will see crews experience wind from every point of the compass as the yachts head away from the steady Caribbean trade winds into the variable winds associated with the depressions coming from the North American land mass.
Speaking just ahead of the race start, Eric Holden, Skipper of Henri Lloyd, the overall ClipperRace leaders said: 'I’m telling my crew to expect anything in this race, downwind reaching, calms, strong wind, so like I said, it is kind of hard to plan for this one. Just need to adapt to the situation as it comes. Things will evolve pretty quick once you get the low pressures coming off the eastern seaboard.'
The Clipper Race fleet is due to arrive in New York from May 31. The fleet will berth first at Liberty Landing Marina, New Jersey before moving to North Cove Marina, Manhattan on June 4. Clipper Round the World