HAMPSHIRE sailors were among a jubilant team finishing runners up in the latest leg of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race.

Southampton man Steve Mabey, 47, and Jacob Carter, 20, from Portchester are today celebrating after Great Britain crossed the finishing line in New York, USA.

They were beaten by long term rivals Henri Lloyd, but fought off stiff competition in an epic 'cat and mouse' game with team Switzerland also crewed by Hampshire sailors.

Switzerland whose crew includes former principal at Southampton City College principal Lindsey Noble, 60, narrowly missed a podium position finishing fourth behind OneDLL.

Team Garmin crewed by Matthew Wade, 19, from Totton are expected to arrive later tonight and currently lie eight in the 12-strong fleet.

It means Great Britain are second in the overall standings behind Henri Lloyd with just three of 16 races of the gruelling 400,000 mile race to go.

Crews set off on the 1,500 mile New York leg from Port Antonio, Jamaica, last Saturday [May 24] in what was the 13th race in the series.

It proved a tightly contested battle with many of the fleet were in sight of each other as they raced up the windward passage to head out of the Caribbean Sea, through the notorious Bermuda triangle and into the North Atlantic Ocean.

But lighter winds slowed their progress, forcing race organisers to shorten the course at the Norfolk Gate.

Relieved Great Britain skipper Simon Talbot branded it a “nail biter” and said: “After nearly seven days of some of the most intense racing I can remember in a long time, we finally crossed the finish line.

“Whilst disappointed that Mother Nature had not once, but twice taken our lead and given it to Henri Lloyd, the entire team is over the moon to have finished second in such a tough race.”

The fleet are motoring to the Liberty Landing Marina, New Jersey, where they berth until Wednesday [June 4], when they transfer to North Cove Marina in Manhattan.

The 14th race sets off from there to Derry Londonderry Northern Ireland next Saturday [June 7].

The race is organised by Gosport-based Clipper Ventures with the competition skippered by professionals but crewed by novices.

It finishes in London in June where it set off from in September.