Philip Jeune, racing onboard Jersey Clipper in the penultimate leg of The Times Clipper Race, sums up the feelings of the Clipper crews after Tuesday’s senseless carnage

“The news of the terrorist attacks on the twin towers of the World Trade Centre came as a devastating shock to the crews competing in the Times Clipper 2000 race. Only a few days ago the eight yachts left the Liberty Landing Marina after an 11-day stopover in New York just half a mile from the huge Manhattan tower blocks.

“Each day crew members would take the five-minute ferry ride across the river to the North Cove Marina which literally lies in the shadow of the World Trade Centre. There they strolled on the waterfront and relaxed in the numerous cafes and restaurants that are a lunchtime haven for the thousands who work in the towers.

“How many of the secretaries, brokers, accountants, bankers and other financiers who we saw grabbing a sandwich or coffee in the sunshine are now among the dead or injured?

“For many Clipper crew members, including several from Jersey, the tragedy was brought all the more closer by the fact that they had strolled around the concourses and piazzas of the Trade Centre and ridden to the observation platform on the 107th floor of the south tower.

“At their radio schedule a short while later the eight skippers were subdued and brief as they reported their positions. The usual wisecracks were noticeable by their absence as the full impact of the news sank in. Even in the middle of the Atlantic, nearly a thousand miles from land, the full horror of man’s latest inhumanity to man could not be avoided.”

Philip Jeune, Jersey Clipper