Light patches dog Londonderry as it leaves Caribbean behind

The Londonderry is halfway through The Grange Hotels Trophy race from Port Antonio, Jamaica to New York.

In a message dispatched from the yacht this morning, skipper Sean McCarter, said: “Good morning sports fans from Derry~Londonderry~Doire! Another long, hot day in paradise!

The Londonderry sails away from Jamaica.

The Londonderry sails away from Jamaica.

“We managed to average six to seven knots during the lighter breeze this morning which was marginally better than expected.

“With kite up a small increase in wind speed has allowed us to average nine knots for several hours now but I fear this will be short lived before the next light patch.”

He said: “Hopefully we can drag our way through it and into the new breeze before the start of the Ocean Sprint in 150 miles time.”

Shortly after transmitting the above Mr McCarter broadcast that the breeze had died.

With the dreaded forecast lighter winds the fleet is now tackling the ridge of a high pressure system.

Henri Lloyd has relinquished its lead, as Derry-Londonderry-Doire and Old Pulteney have stormed to the top of the leaderboard eager to challenge for the impending Ocean Sprint points.

Patrick Van der Zijden - skipper of Old Pulteney - which currently lies in second place - has so far played a successful tactical game after claiming one bonus point in the Scoring Gate. He reflects on the close match racing in his skipper report today:

“We are half way through this race mileage wise, and are still neck and neck with our nearest competitors and good friends Derry~Londonderry~Doire, who is only a mile away. This afternoon the wind lightened and changed enough to hoist our mediumweight kite which helped us average speeds of 9 to 10 knots.”