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While the Robin Knox-Johnston-led Clipper Fleet Round the World Race organisation is a remarkably effective body, even its most experienced executives can only give a ball-park figure as to when the leading boats are going to complete a transoceanic leg.

As already reported in Afloat.ie, the most recent stage from Bermuda to Derry/Londonderry saw the winning Bermuda boat (and other front runners) get in rather earlier than expected, as the nine-day Foyle Maritime Festival - which doesn't officially start until tomorrow, Wednesday, July 20th - was still in process of assembly.

Racing to Derry - had driving aboard WTC Logistic during the Transatlantic leg from BermudaRacing to Derry - had driving aboard WTC Logistic during the Transatlantic leg from Bermuda

In the middle of all that, on July 24th, the Clipper fleet will take their departure for the final leg to London in their pandemic-interrupted 2020-2021 World-Girdling Race. The complex Clipper
operation is now on such a scale that it has become a sort of parallel sailing universe, best glimpsed through their own high-powered communications system

The Clipper Fleet will be in Foyle Marina in Derry/Londonderry until July 24thThe Clipper Fleet will be in Foyle Marina in Derry/Londonderry until July 24th

Published in Clipper Race

This week the Loughs Agency welcomed Europe’s top marine scientists to the Northwest for the European Tracking Network’s (ETN) annual meeting, with delegates from across the continent attending the three-day event in Derry.

The conference, which is funded by the EU’s COST Action programme, took place in the City Hotel Derry from Tuesday 5 to Thursday 7 April, with attendees taking part in a range of informative workshops and activities.

The Loughs Agency is a member of ETN, an initiative devoted to furthering knowledge and management of aquatic species around Europe.

The network has six strategically placed large marine fish counters — known as ‘arrays’ — situated across the continent’s waters, with various member organisations involved in the long-term project.

During the conference delegates discussed a range of issues, including the current status of the project, new funding opportunities, key species for research and new projects in the pipeline.

Those in attendance have also embarked on site visits to Lough Foyle and rivers in the Foyle catchment. Over the course of these visits, they were able to observe the agency’s fish counters as well as estuary arrays which are deployed as part of SeaMonitor, the Loughs Agency-led project which has been described as “Europe’s largest fish counter”.

Graham Warke, the Mayor of Derry and Strabane was in attendance at the City Hotel Derry on Wednesday 6 April to meet delegates, and the party also had the opportunity to sample some of the region’s finest food and drink at the Walled City Brewery.

Sharon McMahon, acting chief executive of the Loughs Agency said: “We are delighted to have the opportunity to welcome so many esteemed scientists, academics and environmentalists from across Europe to the Foyle catchment area in Ireland’s scenic Northwest.

“The agency is proud of the incredible work carried out by our science function on a daily basis, and as lead partner on the SeaMonitor project, we are fortunate to be right at the cutting edge of fish tracking technology.

“Through continuous collaboration with our European colleagues, this ETN annual meeting will enable us to increase our knowledge of aquatic species, which in turn will help us preserve marine life throughout Europe.”

ETN coordination Dr Jan Reubens explained that the network’s mission “is to track aquatic animals across Europe to better understand, protect and manage them. This meeting is an important milestone to boost our objectives by creating network opportunities, strengthening collaborations, sharing knowledge and advancing the science.”

Published in Marine Science

You can always be sure Derry will put on a good show, whether it be a Jazz Festival, Halloween or a Light Show. And this year will be no exception when the City hosts the Clipper Race stopover in July during the Maritime Festival.

The news about the official return of the Clipper 2019-20 Round the World Yacht Race recently announced by Derry City and Strabane District Council was greeted with excitement and optimism when the dates for the Foyle Maritime Festival were confirmed as July 20-24. This will be the fifth consecutive time that the City of Derry has acted as a host port and the crews will once again enjoy a fabulous welcome to the Foyle

The race resumed on Sunday 20th March from Subic Bay in the Philippines after a two-year delay due to the pandemic. Race crew from 21 different countries are currently taking part in the first point-scoring race, which will take the fleet across the North Pacific Ocean.

Mayor of Derry and Strabane, Alderman Graham Warke said he was delighted at the news, and the much-anticipated return of the sailing fleet to the Foyle, where they will take centre stage at the Maritime Festival. "This is fantastic news; we are thrilled to be able to confirm that the Clipper Race Crew will be arriving in the City on time to join us for the Foyle Maritime Festival. There will be so much excitement as the first yachts appear on the Foyle. It will mark a real milestone in the journey of the crew but also very significantly in terms of the slow journey towards recovery that we have all been on”.

Foyle Maritime FestivalFoyle Maritime Festival

The festival draws hundreds of visitors including many who come by boat to the city centre marina where crews enjoy being in the midst of the festivities.

Highlights of this year's event include the Legenderry Street Food Festival, live music events, on-street animation, marine-themed installations, and much more still to be confirmed as the final touches are put to the programme.

Head of Culture with Council, Aeidin McCarter, said that excitement was already building ahead of the event. "There's a great sense of anticipation about the Foyle Maritime Festival, it's the flagship summer event for the City and District, and one that always generates an incredible buzz of excitement many months before the first sails are sighted on the Foyle”. She continued, “We are delighted that the Clipper Race fleet will once again be central to our festivities, with all the colour and comradery that the crew bring to the Quayside”.

Mark Light, Clipper Race Director is no stranger to the Foyle. He skippered the inaugural Derry-Londonderry team in the 2011-12 edition, the race start of which is still one of his favourite memories. He said “ This has been the longest Clipper Race edition in our history and so we are looking forward to returning to this wonderful city more than ever. As a Skipper who has previously had the honour of representing Derry-Londonderry I have experienced first-hand the exceptional welcome our teams always receive from locals. And for our fleet to be the centre point of the Foyle Maritime Festival is a real honour. We can't wait to be back!"

The fleet is expected to arrive in Derry around 16th July after the 3000nm Race 14 from New York to the Foyle which is estimated to take approximately 15 -19 days.

Chairman of Clipper Events, Sir Robin Knox-Johnston said: “This will have been the longest edition in our 25-year history. We appreciate it has been a long wait for our crew competing in the outstanding stages of this circumnavigation, but we can’t wait to get our teams racing again and continuing the Clipper 2019-20 Race.”

City of Derry doesn’t have a boat in this race but nevertheless has a considerable international following for the event built up over the years. This year the theme is 'What Lies Beneath' focusing on the natural beauty of our oceans, rivers and lakes, and the onus on all of us to protect and preserve marine life.

Published in Clipper Race

East of the City of Derry on the River Foyle are the Foyle Bridge and Culmore Point and it is here on the northern banks of the river that the Eden Project Foyle will be located.

The project, developed by the Foyle River Gardens charity, is an ambitious plan to transform the banks of the river, linking the Boom Hall and Brook Hall estates and giving the public access to previously inaccessible land. Boom Hall, derelict now, was a grand house built in 1779 where the boom was anchored during the 1689 Siege of Derry. Brook Hall dates from around the same time and is currently a well-maintained demesne.

This exciting development was officially launched this week and promises to be a new riverside cultural and environmental tourist attraction which will transform the waterfront. Eden Project Foyle would be a beacon of cultural tourism and a community asset helping to drive social, economic and environmental regeneration in the city.

The artist’s impressions of the proposed project centrepiece show a spectacular building inspired by Neolithic architecture and connected with a network of walkways. Inside the building would be a performance area and play spaces. Visitors would be able to walk on the roof and take zipwires down to the walkways. The structure would be nestled within the trees and inspired by the forest, with a timber and thatch construction which is light, efficient and low-carbon.

Eden Project Foyle 3

The development intends to rejuvenate the site extending from the Foyle Bridge towards Culmore Point and plans include walled gardens, tree-top and floating walkways, a water activity centre and play areas. The 100-hectare (250-acre) site includes 2.5 kilometres (1.5 miles) of the River Foyle’s bank.

Eden Project International and Foyle River Gardens estimate that the project will cost £67m and will open in summer 2023, with construction beginning in the next 18 months and is projected to directly create more than 170 jobs onsite and within the local supply chain, supporting a further 2,057 from off-site visitor spend, and inject £62m into the regional economy every year.

A charitable trust, the Foyle River Gardens, will own the project which will be operated in partnership with the award-winning environmental and educational charity the Eden Project. The partners were encouraged by the UK and Irish Governments including the project in the recent New Decade, New Approach deal on restoring powersharing to the Northern Ireland Executive.

Eamonn Deane, Chair of the Foyle River Gardens charity, said: “Eden Project Foyle brings together a network of local partners and supporters from universities, businesses, statutory and social organisations to address issues which affect each of us. The relationship with the Eden Project has been built up over the last three years and we are delighted to be able to move this project forward together.”

Sir Tim Smit, Co-founder of the Eden Project, said: “We are hugely excited to be working with the Foyle River Gardens in the creation of Eden Project Foyle and believe completely in its transformative capacity to draw visitors to the North West and become a global must-see destination. “Having our project named by the Irish and UK Governments in their New Decade, New Approach document is a huge vote of confidence for the team and we are looking forward to working with our partners in Derry and Donegal to bring this project forward.”

Eden Project is an educational charity and its main goal is to educate the public about the natural world. Eden Project International is the global division of the Eden Project, a landmark attraction in Cornwall which has welcomed more than 21 million visitors and contributed more than £2bn to the regional economy in south-west England.

Tagged under

#MaritimeMuseum - A decision by the Department of Infrastructure (Dfi) to finally approve plans for a Maritime Museum at Ebrington will hasten the completion of a major tourist draw in the heart of Derry, according to local politicians who have hailed the move.

As The Derry Journal writes, DfI (last week) finally approved planning permission for the Maritime Museum, which is expected to open in Spring 2020. It also gave the green light for new vehicular/pedestrian access off Limavady Road via a new signalised junction.

Both applications are part of the wider ongoing regeneration at Ebrington. Local politicians said the progress was welcome and that the museum would ultimately showcase Derry's unrivalled nautical heritage and attract hundreds of thousands of tourists to the city. SDLP Foyle MLA Mark H. Durkan: “I welcome this planning decision as another piece in the Ebrington jigsaw.

On the back of other recent developments and approvals on the site, it is becoming clear that the huge potential of this key site can be realised. "Before I established a Department of Environment North-West Headquarters there a few years ago, there were no jobs and precious little activity in Ebrington.

Local businesses have now set up there and in the future, with careful planning and adequate investment, the place will be awash with activity. "The Maritime Museum itself has been talked about for a long time. It is fitting that we celebrate the rich maritime history of our City in a way that will enhance our ever –improving tourism product.’"

For more on this story, click the newspaper's report here.

 

 

Published in Coastal Notes

An independent report commissioned by the Clipper Race with a Northern Irish research company into the economic and social impact of last July’s stopover and Foyle Maritime Festival on Derry-Londonderry has revealed the biggest impact of its six-year partnership.

The results, which have been published today, include a record-breaking injection of £3.5 million to local business. Clipper Race CEO William Ward said: “The partnership between the Clipper Race and Derry-Londonderry has always felt incredibly special, but to read this report and hear exactly how the city, and its local community, has benefited both economically and socially, provides a clear and measurable achievement.”

“Whilst Derry-Londonderry may not be on the same geographical scale as other Clipper Race destinations, such as New York, Sydney, and London, its strong community pride and infectious sense of hospitality has consistently made it one the most popular stopovers across all six continents we visit, which makes it one of our biggest success stories in the twenty years of working with global destinations.”

Key findings from the independent report produced by the CARD Group, a Belfast based analysis firm, showed a growth in visitor spend of 16%, a significant increase on the £3 million recorded in 2014, with 83.4% of this directly resulting from the Clipper Race fleet visit.

There was a significant boost to the local hospitality industry. The report found July 2016 was the best performing month for hotel room sales ever recorded in the city, peaking at 97.89% on July 16, the night before the Clipper Race fleet departed Derry-Londonderry. An estimated 22,096 bed nights were purchased during the festival, with average hotel occupancy at 85.55% during the nine days.

The Clipper Race has been instrumental in highlighting the waterfront as a major asset and incorporated the new high quality Foyle Marina pontoons to host the fleet - a major legacy. The 2016 Foyle Maritime Festival, which ran for nine days between July 9-17, included 300 performers, 86 trade stands, and 60 water based activities for public participation over a 1.5 mile long festival zone along the waterfront, and recorded its highest ever festival attendance of 163,576 visitors.

A record 24,960 people visited the festival on the Clipper Race fleet’s departure day on July 17, to wave both their home team and the rest of the twelve strong fleet off in a fitting finale to the third and final fleet visit of the original six-year partnership created around the UK City of Culture 2013. The second highest attended day was July 16, on which the festival’s grand finale event, ‘The Voyage of Sunniva’, took place. The grand finale event concluded with an impressive night parade featuring the Clipper Race fleet and a firework display, orchestrated by local landscape theatre company LUXe.
A quarter of all festival visitors came from outside Northern Ireland, a 25% increase from 2014, fulfilling another partnership objective of increasing tourism levels to the region. 93% of additional visitors stated the inclusion of the Clipper Race had influenced their decision to visit the festival.

There has also been a significant social impact. Two bursary projects named ‘Your Next Chapter’ and ‘Voice of a Community’ aimed at providing life changing experiences for local people who were unemployed or working within the community sector, gave a number of Derry-Londonderry residents a berth on board the Derry~Londonderry~Doire yacht for a leg of the Clipper Race. As well as providing a positive experience which helped develop life skills such as confidence, team work and resilience, bursary candidates previously unemployed are now in full-time employment, two within the marine industry.

In terms of boosting global awareness and image, which was a major objective behind the city’s decision to partner with the Clipper Race, 90% of visitors felt the global image of Derry-Londonderry had been improved as a direct result of the festival. The Clipper 2015-16 Race partnership also generated over 3,585 individual media stories about Derry-Londonderry and its Derry~Londonderry~Doire team entry, which finished a best ever second place overall, and reached a unique potential global audience base of 942 million, translating into a PR value of £10.3 million (Source: Kantar Media).

Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Hilary McClintock, said: “The Clipper Race has given us an incredible opportunity to welcome visitors from all over the world and it has been fantastic to see Derry-Londonderry profiled in such a positive way on its significant global platform.”

“Once again we have demonstrated our ability to stage an international event generating substantial revenue for the local economy and enhancing the region’s profile as an exciting and unique visitor destination. Thank you to all the local businesses and community members who came together to make this such a memorable experience, both for the city and all those who visited us from afar.”
The original partnership with the Clipper Race officially came to an end in 2016. The Host Ports and Team Partners for the Clipper 2017-18 Race and future editions are currently being negotiated. The next race will depart the UK in August this year.

Published in Clipper Race
Tagged under

Today marks 50 days until the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race fleet arrives in Derry-Londonderry, Northern Ireland, to conclude a 3-race, 6-year, relationship which has seen its transformation as the UK’s first City of Culture to being positioned alongside the world’s most famous destinations as part of a sustainable legacy of trade, tourism and community development.

Before the Clipper 2015-16 Race even got underway, there was already chatter and excitement about the popular stopover in Derry-Londonderry scheduled for July 2016 as part of the Homecoming Leg. Among well-renowned and impressive stopover destinations around the globe such as Rio de Janeiro, Cape Town, Sydney and New York, this Host Port holds its own, as the Northern Irish city throws its arms open wide to welcome the Clipper Race crew and supporters.

This is the third time the race has visited Derry-Londonderry and the hospitality and warmth exuded by the locals has made it an exciting and fitting climax after the final ocean crossing in the 40,000 nautical mile circumnavigation. The Foyle Maritime Festival which is centred around the stopover will run from 9 – 17 July and promises to be even bigger and better than ever before.

Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, the Host Port and Team Sponsor, Cllr Elisha McCallion says: “We are hugely excited about the arrival of the Clipper Race fleet in just 50 days’ time and are putting the final touches to our exciting programme of events for the Foyle Maritime Festival. Everyone in the city is thrilled to see our Derry~Londonderry~Doire yacht blazing a trail by winning the last three races and up there in the front pack in the PSP Logistics Panama Cup. We are all looking forward to giving the crew a hero’s welcome when they arrive in the city for what promises to be a spectacular week of celebration.”

When the fleet begins to arrive around 7 July, the banks of the River Foyle will be lined with well-wishers, happy to share their historic city with our international crew. The festival kicks off in earnest on 9 July inside the Walled City, before moving down to the Quayside from 13 July. Showcasing all the city’s finest assets, there will also be a food festival at Ebrington Square called Clipper Race Kitchens where celebrity chefs will host live cook offs and food vendors will tempt you with tasty local produce.

There will be free public open boat tours on the quayside but you can also go one step further and register for a free motorsail on board a Clipper 70 on certain days throughout the festival. For more information on dates and times, visit the What’s On page on the Foyle Maritime Festival website.

As the stopover has been a huge success in the past, local businesses are keen to support the festival and some are working with the council to be Team Hosts for the Clipper Race crew. All twelve teams have a local business there to support them and hold an event in their honour during the stopover.

The Team Hosts are:
ClipperTelemed+ - The City Hotel
Da Nang – Viet Nam - RoCo
Derry~Londonderry~Doire - The Everglades Hotel
Garmin - Da Vinci’s
GREAT Britain - The Blackbird
IchorCoal - The Bentley
LMAX Exchange - Bishop’s Gate Hotel
Mission Performance - Pyke ‘N’ Pommes
PSP Logistics - Walled City Brewery
Qingdao - Browns in Town
Unicef - The Sandwich Co
Visit Seattle - Granny Annie’s

More details of what they have planned for the teams will be revealed in due course.

The Clipper Race fleet leaves New York on 20 June and is expected to arrive in Derry-Londonderry between 7-11 July. For more information on the festival, places to stay and what to do in Derry-Londonderry visit the Foyle Maritime Festival website.

To download press releases, images and media background information, please register for immediate access to our media portal http://mediaportal.clipperroundtheworld.com/auth/login

The crew will be available for interview in New York, Derry-Londonderry and during their crossing from America to Northern Ireland. Print interviews can be carried out with the crew while racing via email through the Clipper Race communications team. Broadcast interviews may also be possible via Skype or satellite phone. If you would like to follow their journey across the Atlantic Ocean then please contact the us to set up live, as live and print interviews.

Published in Clipper Race

#clipperrace – Organisers of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race have gifted Derry City and Strabane District Council with a unique opportunity for two community workers or volunteers to win a place on board the Derry~Londonderry~Doire yacht for the 2015-16 race.

Entitled 'Voice of the Community', the bursary invites organisations across the city and district to nominate someone they believe has made a notable contribution to the life of their community, with the ultimate prize of sailing a leg of the famous Clipper 2015-16 Race.

Explaining his reasons for awarding the bursary to Derry City and Strabane District Council, Clipper Race founder and chairman Sir Robin Knox-Johnston said: "The Voice of the Community bursary allows us to give something back to the people of Derry-Londonderry and Strabane as means of saying thank you for the incredible hospitality and support the community has given to us over the last five years.

"This bursary is designed to reward those who spend their time trying to better the lives of others. Selflessness and commitment are important qualities we encourage among all of our Clipper Race crew."

Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Cllr Elisha McCallion, is urging community groups to put forward their nominations. She added: "We are hugely thankful to Sir Robin and the Clipper Race for gifting us this unique Voice of the Community bursary.

"Our community is full of people who dedicate their time and effort to making our city the successful, thriving place we are all so proud to be part of. The Clipper Race is hugely popular here so this is a great opportunity for our local community heroes to represent the city around the world whilst having a truly memorable life experience on board our Derry~Londonderry~Doire yacht."

The Clipper Race is the longest ocean race in the world. Divided into eight individual legs which cross six different continents, it is an extraordinary adventure. Over 650 crew experience the power and beauty of the world's oceans when they race in teams to exciting destinations on this epic journey of a lifetime.

Established by Sir Robin to give everyone, regardless of previous sailing experience, the chance to experience the exhilaration of ocean racing, 40 per cent of Clipper Race crew have never sailed before they sign up. Full race training is provided.

Community groups are invited to nominate someone they believe has made a real difference to their local area by filling out a nomination form. All nominees must live within Derry City and Strabane District Council. They must also be over 18 years old, have a great sense of adventure and be committed to sharing their knowledge and skills with others as a 'Voice of a Community' ambassador on the Clipper 2015-16 Race. Winners must also be available to complete four weeks of training ahead of joining the race.

The deadline for nominations is Monday 8 June at 12 noon. Submissions will be shortlisted for public voting on Wednesday 10 June with the successful candidates decided by the highest combined scores achieved through public vote and leadership assessment training.

This is the third consecutive race to feature a Derry~Londonderry~Doire entry and the city will once again welcome the race fleet with its award winning Foyle Maritime Festival next summer.

Community groups interested in finding out more about applying or the process involved should contact Derry City and Strabane District Council via email [email protected]

Published in Clipper Race

#clipperrace – The Clipper Round the World Yacht Race has helped one of its Host Ports and Team Sponsors to scoop a prestigious travel industry award for an outstanding contribution to tourism by creating a highly successful week-long festival which attracted over 140,000 visitors and a £3m boost to the local economy.

Derry-Londonderry's 'LegenDerry Maritime Festival' took the top tourism honour by picking up the Best Event/Festival Experience title at the prestigious 2015 Northern Ireland Tourism NITA Awards.

"Congratulations to everyone in Derry-Londonderry who made this such a success. The accolade is richly deserved," said Clipper Race founder and chairman Sir Robin Knox-Johnston. "This is another excellent example of how the Clipper Race works with its partners and host ports to boost tourism and make a significant economic impact. The local Council and its partners richly deserve this prestigious accolade."

The LegenDerry Maritime Festival was based around the arrival of the twelve-strong Clipper 2013-14 Race fleet of 70-foot ocean racing yachts, including local entry Derry-Londonderry-Doire, which visited the city on its epic global journey after crossing the Atlantic from New York. The crew received a rapturous reception and the celebrations continued throughout the stopover which culminated in a stunning aerial display by the Red Arrows.

Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District, Councillor Elisha McCallion, explained, "It's been hugely significant in terms of promoting the North West region and brought tens of thousands of visitors to Derry. The city will be a stopover destination for the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race for the third time in 2016 and, as we prepare to host the Foyle Maritime Festival next year, we are looking forward to welcoming visitors from around the world for an even more spectacular celebration."

The Clipper Race works with its Team Sponsors and Host Ports around the world and the tenth edition of the unique biennial global sailing series will start in spectacular style from London on 30 August and visit major destinations on six continents in Brazil, South Africa, Australia, China and North America before returning to Europe and finishing back in London in July 2016.

"The fact that Derry City and Strabane District Council organise their maritime festival around our stopover in Lough Foyle is testament to the strength of our partnership. It is a shining example of how to maximise the benefits of hosting the Clipper Race. I am looking forward to returning to the city next summer very much," added Sir Robin.

The 40,000 mile race is the longest around the planet and takes almost a year to complete. Its amateur crew are led by professional skippers on twelve identically matched 70-foot yachts which compete in one of the most gruelling sporting challenges in the world.

Published in Clipper Race

#Clipper - Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council Elisha McCallion joined Clipper Round the World Yacht Race founder and chairman Sir Robin Knox-Johnston earlier today (Friday 1 May) for the naming ceremony of the Derry-Londonderry-Doire yacht entry in the 2015-16 edition.

The ceremony at the race’s Gosport headquarters in Portsmouth Harbour also saw the yacht's skipper named as 31-year-old Daniel Smith from Scotland.

Smith is an experienced yachtsman and instructor and will lead the team on its 40,000-mile, 11-month ocean race series, which gets underway on Sunday 30 August from London.

Today's event was also attended by the four winners of the council’s ‘Your Next Chapter’ bursary scheme.

Jilly St John, David Pollock, Keelin O’Kane and Conor Shortland start their race training tonight and will each sail a leg of the Clipper 2015-16 Race aboard Derry-Londonderry-Doire.  

“They are all about to embark on a journey that will change their lives," said Sir Robin. "I founded the Clipper Race in 1996 to give people the chance to sail around the world, experience the wonders and challenges of Mother Nature, and the satisfaction that comes from the achievement of crossing the world’s oceans.

“As the bursary winners begin their four weeks of race training, they will be tested like never before but the confidence and skills they will glean from the experience will stand by them for the rest of their lives and provide them with unforgettable memories.”

Derry-Londonderry will be a host port for the third consecutive time and will welcome the whole Clipper Race fleet after its final Atlantic Ocean crossing next summer.

Mayor McCallion said she was happy to be part of the naming ceremony and to meet the skipper.

“The city and district is hugely excited to be participating in the Clipper 2015-16 Race and to welcoming the race back to the city next summer," she said.

“The LegenDerry Maritime Festival was a significant celebration for us, it captivated our entire city and left a lasting legacy. We are very pleased to have skipper Daniel Smith on our team and delighted that he will be involved in the training of our four local bursary scheme winners.”

Smith is taking a career break from his role as senior yachting and Watersports Instructor for SportScotland’s National Centre at Cumbrae to lead his amateur crew around the world.

Speaking about his appointment for the first time, he said: “I’m really excited to be named the Derry-Londonderry-Doire skipper. There are strong sailing links between Scotland and Northern Ireland and that is a relationship we hope to share with our international crew as we sail around the world.

“I’ve heard that there is always a warm welcome in Derry-Londonderry for the Clipper Race fleet and I’m already looking forward to sailing up the River Foyle in front of the home crowd.

"It’s also great that I will be taking Jilly, Keelin, David and Conor for their level-one training this week because it means we have got lots of time to get to know each other too."

The ‘Your Next Chapter’ bursary scheme was open to people aged 18 and over who are currently unemployed, participating in an employability programme, or in receipt of benefits, and living in the Derry City and Strabane District Council area.

It follows the success of a previous bursary project organised by Derry City Council in partnership with the Clipper Race in 2011-12 in which four out of the five participants secured full-time employment through Derry City Council’s KickStart to Work Intermediary Labour Market Programme.

The Clipper 2015-16 Race marks the tenth edition of the world famous event. It sets sail from London on 30 August 2015 and will visit the Foyleside city next summer, marking its third team entry and hosting of the international sporting competition.

Published in Clipper Race
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