COMPETITORS are still battling it out in the Pacific Ocean in the Clipper race.

The main pack is heading towards San Francisco and pointing directly east towards the finish line for the first time.

Great Britain is holding on to first place, with Invest Africa 15 miles behind.

Team Switzerland, which includes former City College principal Lindsey Noble, is in seventh.

Gosport’s Gareth Glover, skipper of Qingdao, said: “Speeds and headings have been up and down over the day.

"Last night we saw the wind ease off enough for us to change headsails and get a better angle and speed towards San Francisco, which has helped us close down the miles on the lead yachts in a race that we now have under 2,000 miles to run.”

Earlier this week Derry-Londonderry-Doire sailor Andrew Taylor was washed off the boat and dramatically rescued by teammates after being missing for almost two hours.