Five days after the official crew reception in St Helier, the first Clipper boat has finished

Skipper Bob Beggs and the crew of Bristol Clipper slipped over the finish line off Jersey to claim first place in the penultimate leg of the Times Clipper Race. They eased across the line at 0500 this morning and with Jersey Clipper – their chief rival for the overall Clipper Trophy – languishing in fourth place, they now stand as the favourites.

Liverpool Clipper was 26 miles from the finish line at 0744 BST this morning, neck and neck with London Clipper. Jersey, long-time leg leader, was leading a pack of four boats, Plymouth, Glasgow and Leeds, 12-16 miles behind the leading pair, with Portsmouth Clipper bringing up the rear from a distance of 26 miles. No doubt the finish hosts are keeping their powder dry for the final leg into their homeport.

The two leading boats are expected in around lunchtime, the pack two hours later and Portsmouth Clipper around 1800 today. They are experiencing northeasterly Force 4 headwinds, backing and possibly dropping later in the day.