Derry crew hoping for podium finish

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Derry’s Clipper Round the World Yacht race entry is breathing down the neck of the US crew in a battle for a podium place on arrival in Madeira.

Having slipped back from second place to fourth over the weekend, the ‘Derry~Londonderry’ yacht has gained on third placed ‘New York’.

A glimpse of the third place boat ahead of them has given the crew high hopes of catching the racer despite less than ideal sailing conditions in the Atlantic. The first yachts are expected to arrive at Madeira’s Quinta do Lorde marina this morning.

Skipper Mark Light has revealed that his team has been searching for wind to keep the boat moving in the right direction. “We can see the very faint flicker of a tri-colour light up ahead, fine on our starboard bow - this we identified to be New York. We have been hunting them down for the last two days and now we have them in our sights but the wind has dropped.

“A quick check of the radar shows them to be 7.5 nautical miles away. This could be significant as they were in third position at the last position report so we will do our very best to gain an all important podium finishing position.”

In close proximity to Derry-Londonderry is English entry, Welcome to Yorkshire, and skipper Rupert Dean’s 0600 report echoes that of the other teams in his vicinity.

As of 9am yesterday the position of Derry’s entry was third, 97 nautical miles behind leaders, ‘Gold Coast Australia’; 53 nautical miles behind second placed ‘Visit Finland’ and eight nautical miles a drift of ‘New York’.