The Londonderry is now on the Moville side of the Panama canal and is currently sprinting towards Jamaica.
It’s expected the yacht will arrive at the Errol Flynn Marina, Port Antonio, at the weekend.
Skipper Sean McCarter said it was a relief to get through the canal, which can often present problems for sailors, given the red tape involved.
“A special thanks to all the guys in the Race Office, both in Panama and back in Gosport,” he said.
“I have some past experience of getting a boat through the Panama Canal and there is enough bureaucracy to drive even the most patient people over the edge. However, getting 12 boats through on schedule is no minor miracle!,” he added.
“Thanks also to ‘The Black Hand Gang’, or Clipper Race maintenance crew. An elite group of four who take care of the more serious issues aboard the fleet of Clipper 70s.
“This time it was Tim, the instruments and electric specialist who managed to resurrect our navigation software minutes before our departure,” he said.
The Londonderry left Panama on Wednesday morning at approximately 7am local time.
It’s now a 550 mile sprint to Jamaica for the crew.
“This pales in comparison to the 3,300 miles from San Francisco to Panama, or the 5,800 miles across the North Pacific but as we’ve come to learn, it’s all relative. There are still 12 points up for grabs for the winner, and in two days’ time we will still be experiencing the Race Finish phenomenon of time slowing down the closer we get to the line!” said Sean.
“So far it’s pretty close with about half the fleet visible on our AIS (Automatic Identification System), all within a five mile radius of each other.
“We managed to hold our own after drawing the second least desirable starting position on the Le Mans line.
“Our only consolation was that our good friends and closest rivals on OneDLL drew the least desirable spot!
“Patrick and his crew on Old Pulteney did a great job of finding an extra gear a couple of hours after the start and just pulled away.
“Similarly, Henri Lloyd had a flying start at the top end of the line and managed to put a few miles on the fleet early on,” he said.
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