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Displaying items by tag: Derry~Londonderry~Doire

#ClipperRace - Howth Yacht Club will welcome Conor O'Byrne for a special talk on his experiences in the Clipper Round the World Race on Wednesday 28 September.

In particular, the watchleader on the Irish entry Derry~Londonderry~Doire will discuss his key role in the successful recovery of a crew member who fell overboard in the Pacific Ocean during the 10th stage of the 2013-14 race on 30 March 2014.

The talk begins at 7.30pm sharp. For more details see the HYC website HERE.

Published in Clipper Race

#ClipperRace - First across the line in London wasn't quite enough for Derry~Londonderry~Doire to clinch the Clipper Round the World Race title from their rivals on LMAX Exchange.

The Oliver Cardin-skippered boat was confirmed on Friday night (29 July) as the winner of the 10th Clipper Race after losing only two points of their six-point lead to the Northern Irish challengers in the short final leg to the UK capital.

Yet despite missing out on victory honours by such a minor margin, the crew of Dan Smith's boat can hold their heads high for a race well sailed.

"We set out to win this race to London, as we have done the whole way round the world, so it is great to go out on a high," he said. "We knew our fate wasn't in our own hands so all we could do was give it our best shot and the team has proved how strong we are."

Smith added: "It's hard to believe that we have finished the race, but our aim was to be competitive, get everyone round safely and to have fun doing it. I couldn't be more proud of the crew."

Derry~Londonderry~Doire were awarded their first place pennant for their final leg win at the prizegiving ceremony in London's St Katherine Docks on Saturday (30 July).

The race village remains open for the rest of the week, giving visitors an opportunity to tour some of the Clipper 70 yachts that completed this incredible circumnavigation for Corinthians.

Published in Clipper Race

The podium is complete after the Clipper Race fleet's tough North Pacific Ocean crossing from Qingdao, China to Seattle, USA.

Northern Irish entry Derry~Londonderry~Doire won its third consecutive race, finishing the Seattle Pacific Challenge and a hat trick at 0915 local time/1615 UTC, 13 April.

The Unicef team recorded its best ever result and first podium of the race series, finishing in second place after a duel with LMAX Exchange at 2052 local time, Wednesday 13 April/0352 UTC Thursday 14 April.

The team, representing the world's leading children's organisation, managed to hold off LMAX Exchange after just a few nautical miles separated the two yachts in the final stages of the 5,400 nautical mile race.

Derry Londonderry Doire team champage in Seattle

Northern Irish entry Derry~Londonderry~Doire won its third consecutive race

LMAX Exchange crossed the finish line at 2155 local time Wednesday 13 April/0455 UTC Thursday 14 April in third place.

The professional Skippers leading each of the 12 teams have reported the worst conditions they have ever experienced on this race from China's Olympic sailing city, with the yachts pounded by huge seas and winds gusting over 80 miles per hour, causing injury and damaging the yachts.

GREAT Britain finished Race 9 in fourth position. Skipper Peter Thornton sent notification to the Race Office to say the team had finished at 1127 UTC on Thursday 14 April.

The remaining eight teams are due to be welcomed into Seattle over the next six days, including home port entry Visit Seattle.

Published in Clipper Race

Following a challenging 27 day race of endurance from Airlie Beach, Australia, in which crew faced a vast range of weather conditions, Clipper race entry Derry~Londonderry~Doire arrived victorious to a massive crowd of waiting spectators and media in Da Nang, Vietnam today, marking the end of Race 7, The Da Nang New Discovery of Asia Race.

The win marks the Northern Irish entry’s long-awaited first victory of the 14-stage Clipper 2015-16 Round the World Yacht Race, the only race of its kind that exists for amateur sailors. Garmin came second, also recording its best finish to date, and GREAT Britain came third, with the rest of the 12-strong Clipper Race fleet also arriving into Vietnam throughout the remainder of the day.

Stepping off the yacht at the Han River Port to a special Vietnamese arrival ceremony, which included lines of drummers, flag bearers and special Vietnamese wreaths, all conducted in front of a huge scrum of national media, Skipper Daniel Smith proclaimed: "It feels fantastic to finally be standing on the top of the podium, and this has been an especially huge win. It was a really demanding race, both mentally and physically.

“We led this race from the early stages and all the crew worked tirelessly on board to firstly defend, then extend our lead, and finally defend it again over the rest of the fleet. We were constantly looking over our shoulder as the eleven teams behind pushed hard to try and catch us. The competition has been really hard to beat, but now that it is over and we are finally standing here in Da Nang as the winners, it feels absolutely brilliant and we’re all very happy to be celebrating the result of our hard work.”

From a fast, downwind sprint in scorching 40+ degree heat as teams headed north from Australia, out of the Doldrums, through the tropics and across the Equator line for the second and final time; to winds that gusted over 50 knots in lumpy swells, plus uncomfortable upwind conditions and then dying winds in the final stages; the race to Vietnam really threw it all at the amateur Clipper Race crew.

On top of the twelve points awarded for a first place finish, Derry~Londonderry~Doire also won the Ocean Sprint and were the second team through the Scoring Gate, so collect a massive 16 points in total. Sitting in third place in the overall standings, Skipper Daniel added confidently:
"There will be some more great results to come from Derry~Londonderry~Doire over the coming races so watch this space."

After finally pipping long term rival GREAT Britain to second place, Garmin Skipper Ash Skett said: “Yet again we were battling with GREAT Britain, for quite a number of days and was always visible on our tracker. They did have the edge on us to begin with and north of the Equator we had quite a few miles to make up, but we pushed the boat hard and made up the ground. It still took us right up to the end of the race to squeeze out the extra miles but I think we had a slightly more favourable wind as we were coming back north.

“We played the tacking angles quite spot on and overtook GREAT Britain on the second to last day so we were absolutely thrilled with all the effort we put in. We just refused to give up and I'm proud of all the team for that. Losing out to them repeatedly was starting to feel like a curse so I’m pleased we have finally broken it!"

GREAT Britain came third and also picked up an additional three points for being the first team through the Scoring Gate early in the race, bringing the team’s total points awarded to 13. GREAT Britain sits second place in the overall Clipper 2015-16 Race standings, six points behind leader LMAX Exchange.

GREAT Britain Skipper Peter Thornton said: “This race was a lot tougher than we expected. After spending the first two weeks going downwind on the same course, it then all changed when we turned south, off the coast of Taiwan and then had to endure some really big swells and tough upwind slogs. We battled with Garmin almost the entire way and were under a mile apart at the end so of course we are slightly disappointed we didn’t finish higher but I really am very proud of how the crew coped in this long, tiring test of endurance.”

Da Nang is hosting the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race for the first time ever, and also has a Da Nang – Viet Nam team in the race, led by Australian Skipper Wendy Tuck. Arriving in the only South East Asian stopover of the 2015-16 race, the amateur crew have now raced more than half way of their 40,000 mile, eleven month-long circumnavigation. Along the way the crew has already visited Rio de Janeiro, Cape Town, Albany (Western Australia), Sydney and Airlie Beach (Queensland).

Under the backdrop of the Marble Mountains and surrounded by beautiful sandy beaches, Da Nang is a vibrant city shaping itself as a centre of culture, tourism and events. Its success to date has earned it the title of Tripadvisor 2015 Top Destination on the Rise.

The third largest city in Vietnam, Da Nang, is rich in history and culture. As a first time Clipper Race Team Sponsor and Host Port, Da Nang is using its Clipper Race sponsorship to promote the city, its people and the Vietnamese culture to the race’s international audience, in order to open up trade and enhance tourism awareness and social development for the region.

More than 220 international Clipper Race Crew, along with friends and family, will stay in the city over the next ten days for a vibrant stopover until Race 8, to Qingdao, departs on February 27.

The race positions for Race 7: The Da Nang New Discovery of Asia Race are as follows:

1st – Derry~Londonderry~Doire (+ 2 Ocean Sprint + 2 Scoring Gate points)
2nd – Garmin
3rd – GREAT Britain (+ 3 Scoring Gate points)
4th – LMAX Exchange
5th – Qingdao (+ 1 Scoring Gate point)
6th – Da Nang - Viet Nam
7th – ClipperTelemed+
8th – IchorCoal
9th – PSP Logistics
10th – Unicef
11th – Mission Performance
12th - Visit Seattle

Published in Clipper Race

Following a challenging 28 day Clipper race in which crew faced a whole range of conditions, Irish boat Derry~Londonderry~Doire has won the Da Nang New Discovery of Asia Race, taking its first race victory of the series. The team also won the Ocean Sprint and came second in the Scoring Gate so take home an overall 16 points.

Skipper Daniel Smith says: "The crew have worked tirelessly on board Derry~Londonderry~Doire to first defend then extend and finally defend again our lead over the rest of the fleet. We have constantly been looking over our shoulder as the teams behind pushed hard to catch us. The competition has been hard to beat.

"Over the last few races we've felt we've had a run of bad luck and struggled to get the boat going and the results we wanted. It’s been great to break that spell of bad luck and show that we can get the best out of the boat. The crew have done a fantastic job of getting the boat to the front of the fleet and keeping it there.

"There will be some more great results to come from Derry~Londonderry~Doire over the coming races so watch this space."

After another very close dual, Garmin finished second and GREAT Britain is third but will also pick up an additional three points for winning the Scoring Gate early on in the race. Three hours and four minutes redress was applied to LMAX Exchange's overall finish and was based on average speed, after it assisted an abandoned yacht on Day 7, though this did not change its overall position and it retains its fourth place finish position.

From starting off with a fast downwind sprint in scorchng 40+ degree heat as teams headed north through the tropics and across the Equator line for the second and final time in the series, to winds that gusted over 50 knots in lumpy swells, plus upwind conditions in cooler conditions, and then dying winds in the final stages, this race really has thrown it all at the crew.

Teams are now making best speed to Da Nang where a colurful welcome cermony awaits each team. Da Nang, Vietnam's third largest city and awarded Tripadvisor 2015 Top Destination on the Rise, boasts a stunning sandy coastline and as a first-time host port, the city is very excited to welcome the crew, along with friends, family and supporters.

The provisional race positions for the Da Nang New Discovery of Asia Race are as follows:

1st – Derry~Londonderry~Doire (+ 2 Ocean Sprint + 2 Scoring Gate points)
2nd – Garmin
3rd – GREAT Britain (+ 3 Scoring Gate points)
4th – LMAX Exchange
5th – Qingdao (+ 1 Scoring Gate point)
6th – Da Nang - Viet Nam
7th – ClipperTelemed+
8th – IchorCoal
9th – PSP Logistics
10th – Unicef
11th – Mission Performance
12th - Visit Seattle

All teams are currently expected to arrive on Wednesday 17 February, every hour between 0900 and 2100.

Published in Clipper Race

The Derry~Londonderry~Doire team is in a strong position sitting at the top of the Overall Race Standings as it starts the third leg of the 14-race global series in the latest Clipper Round the World Yacht Race. Derry~Londonderry~Doire made an energetic start from Cape Town in the 4845 nautical mile Southern Ocean crossing to Western Australia, named by host port Albany the ‘Wardan Whip’ - inspired by the traditional Noongar language which means ‘ocean of southern winds’.

“Many sailors see this leg as one of the biggest challenges of the race,” said Justin Taylor, Race Director. “The conditions are massively testing and those who get it right will see exactly what the Clipper Race yachts are made of, surfing at more than 25 knots on swells bigger than buildings.”

The fleet paraded out into Table Bay following a colourful departure ceremony from the V&A Waterfront. There was a stiff 20 knots of breeze from the south out on the start line with stronger gusts over 35 knots.

First over the line was Qingdao followed by LMAX Exchange and Visit Seattle in hot pursuit. They headed inshore towards the first mark at Paarden Eiland at which point Derry~Londonderry~Doire was first round the mark, before turning north up the bay to the Milnerton mark. From here it was back out to sea and the critical tactical decision on how far out to go to avoid becoming becalmed in the lee of Table Mountain.

Derry~Londonderry~Doire is leading the overall race along with GREAT Britain. The two teams have finished within minutes of each other in the first two races to Brazil and South Africa and both have 23 points. Before departing Cape Town Skipper Daniel Smith said: “I’m really excited. We have got the boat ready to go and we are looking forward to getting out sailing again. It’s been lovely in Cape Town and we’ve had some good rest and relaxation but we are keen to get going and do some exciting sailing.

“For me heading into the Southern Ocean is a bit of a treat because I haven’t been there before,” said the 32 year old Scot. “I’m looking forward to some windy conditions and some bigger waves which should make the boat go quite fast as well. This is known to be one of the bigger, more exciting legs but I think generally the crew is looking forward to it and feels ready for it.

“We found that Race 2 from Rio to Cape Town was a little bit breezier than we expected and we went quite far south, so as a team we have experienced some windy conditions and big waves as well. That should be good training for everyone. In actual fact it looks like it’s going to be breezey on the nose to begin with so it will probably be quite a bumpy start to the race but we’ve had that a couple of times now so fingers crossed we are ready for it.

“We are looking forward to seeing some interesting wildlife, nice skies at night and top speeds,” Daniel continued.

Race Director Justin Taylor added: “At the start of this race the crews will pass under the first of the World’s great capes, The Cape of Good Hope. At the end of the race they will pass under the second great cape of Leeuwin in Western Australia.”

The estimated arrival window into Albany is between 22 and 26 November.

Published in Clipper Race

The Northern Irish sponsored Clipper Yacht Race team narrowly missed out on a leg victory in South Africa last night. The Derry~Londonderry~Doire crew watched on as the Great Britain crew took Line Honours in a high speed battle across 3,400 nautical miles from Brazil to South Africa in the second leg of the 14-race global series that forms the 40,000 nM Clipper Round the World Yacht Race.

This leg across the South Atlantic Ocean is the Stormhoek Race to the Cape of Storms and conditions didn’t disappoint, pushing the fleet on in a fast and furious crossing with some record speeds in excess of 30 knots, with the front runners averaging a credible 10 knots across the entire 14 day dash from Rio de Janeiro to Cape Town.

British Sailor Peter Thornton, the GREAT Britain Skipper said: “It is a great sense of achievement for the crew and relief, because you really want to be first across the line if you even have that hint of a possibility.”

The final nail-biting finish played out in the dark around 2200 local time (2000 UTC) as three teams jostled for places with the massive iconic presence of Table Mountain felt, if not seen, as it cast a wind shadow across the closing stages near to the finish line. The light winds that Table Bay is renowned for created huge concern for the crew as Mother Nature played games with their prospects following a Force 7 blast with gusts well in excess of 30 knots just hours earlier.

GREAT Britain, Derry~Londonderry~Doire and Garmin battled for the lead next to each other as they converged on Cape Town. GREAT Britain took a small advantage but hit the wind shadow first, enabling Derry~Londonderry~Doire to have a chance to overtake. Just as it looked like the Northern Irish sponsored team would take the lead it also ground to a virtual halt as GREAT Britain started to accelerate again.

Garmin had gone slightly further out and looked to trump its two adversaries when it too got caught in a wind hole, not to escape until it was too late.

GREAT Britain sprinted towards the race finish off the V&A Waterfront to take Line Honours at 2030 UTC; Derry~Londonderry~Doire broke free of the wind shadow to finish at 20.40.18 UTC followed by Garmin at 2102 UTC.

Peter Thornton added: “The tension was incredible in those last few miles. I must admit I was getting very worried because we had been neck and neck with Derry~Londonderry~Doire, Garmin and Mission Performance for the last 72 hours, and as we got closer to Cape Town in the final hours it was so close. Derry~Londonderry~Doire was just yards behind us again, a little bit like the first leg so it could’ve been anybody’s race.”

The South African Western Cape based Stormhoek Wines, the Official Wine Partner of the Clipper 2015-16 Race, provided special edition magnums of sparkling wine for each team to celebrate completing the Stormhoek Race to the Cape of Storms in style.

After a closely fought battle for the finish line, Derry~Londonderry~Doire was second to cross and Skipper Daniel Smith said: "It’s been a drag race to the finish. Table Bay is renowned for wind holes, one minute one boat is doing 10 knots a minute later doing 1 knot while another boat was sailing past it. It’s very tricky. I am very proud of the whole team.

“We had the full extremes of weather, we had some very windy conditions and they dug deep and fought hard. The results seem to be getting better, I think the team has learnt a lot and is working well together.”

Having led for most of the 3,400 nM race, Garmin slipped towards the end and was the third team to cross the line. Skipper, Ashley Skett said his crew will take a lot from this race: “Although we led for a lot of the race, we never thought we had it in the bag.

“We were very confident that we had a decent enough lead to make it through until about two days ago and then we went into the high pressure that was forecast and there was no way around it at all. The rest of the fleet caught up. It wasn’t great for us but we have proved we can hold our own and be competitive so I think that is something to take forward into the next race.”

Mission Performance was fourth across the line at 0053 UTC Thursday 22 October.

This race is being run on an elapsed time basis and the final positions and points will be awarded in ascending elapsed time. The shortest time wins. This is to account for the late start of LMAX Exchange and Qingdao after repairs following damage caused outside of racing during the stopover in Brazil. They started three days 14 hours and ten minutes after the rest of the fleet.

Elapsed times for the first three arrivals into Cape Town are:
GREAT Britain 14 days 2 hours 30 minutes
Derry~Londonderry~Doire 14 days 2 hours 40 minutes 18 seconds
Garmin 14 days 3 hours 2 minutes
Mission Performance 14 days 6 hours 53 minutes

Published in Clipper Race

#clipperrace – There were emotional scenes in the UK's capital city today as the Northern Irish team competing in the Clipper 2013-14 Round the World Yacht Race returned after narrowly missing out on a podium finish having conquered Mother Nature's toughest conditions.

Thousands of spectators lined the banks of the River Thames to welcome home 270 international amateur crew on 12 70-ft yachts as they formed a Parade of Sail which concluded with Tower Bridge lifting for the top three teams.

Derry~Londonderry~Doire narrowly missed out on a podium finish after being beaten by third-placed OneDLL by just four points.

A total of 670 crew members from 42 different countries have battled hurricanes, survived a tornado, dealt with medical evacuations and the miraculous rescue of a crew member who went overboard in the Pacific.
Derry~Londonderry~Doire went onto make international news back in March after Andrew Taylor went overboard in the Pacific Ocean for 90 minutes during Race 10 from Qingdao China, to San Francisco, USA.

"This has been an incredible experience and something that I will never forget," said Derry~Londonderry~Doire skipper Sean McCarter.

"It's unbelievable to be here in London. This last race was really important to us as a team as just three points separated us and OneDLL who went onto take third place. I couldn't be prouder of the team and how they have performed. They all worked so hard. There was never a point that they just thought lets settle for what we have, they kept pushing harder and harder all the way."

The normally reserved skipper continued to reap praise on his team after claiming an impressive fourth place in the ninth edition of the Clipper 2013-14 Race.

"As a team, it's hard to ever top anything like our homeport win into Derry-Londonderry but today has been spectacular. It'll be strange leaving the team, but I know we will always be great friends and LegenDerry."

Crew members range from doctors to lawyers, farmers, housewives, sports stars and students and are aged between 18 and 74. 40 per cent had never sailed before they participated.

Round the world crew member, Conor O Byrne, an Officer of the Garda from Dublin, Ireland was overwhelmed by the rapturous reception.

He said: "It was my dream to sail around the world and today I joined that elite group of people. The race has been absolutely incredible and I am so proud to stand alongside this group of people who have made this last year truly unforgettable for me.

"It is going to be a real culture shock not travelling to a different destination every few weeks and getting out of bed in the early hours to join my watch system."

The Mayor of Derry-Londonderry, Brenda Stevenson who was there to welcome in each of the 12 racing yachts to Foyle Marina during the Northern Irish stopover last month, was once again leading the celebrations in London today as she praised the team's incredible performance.

"Today was a really proud moment for everyone of Derry-Londonderry. Just weeks ago we saw the team win their homeport race into Derry-Londonderry and here we are at Race Finish. The city is already planning what we can do for the next race, and how we can make it even bigger for the Clipper 2015-16 Race. Today the team just narrowly missed out on third place overall, but for us they're winners."

The race left the UK's capital on 1 September 2013 and since then the teams have visited 16 ports in 11 countries and six continents during the 16-race series. The circumnavigation sees people from all walks of life join together in the only race of its kind for amateur sailors.

Each team is led by one professional skipper.

The Clipper Race was created in 1996 by legendary British yachtsman Sir Robin Knox-Johnston to give people from all walks of life and ages the opportunity to experience ocean racing including the option to complete a full circumnavigation.

Sir Robin became the first person to sail solo, non-stop, around the world 45 years ago, when he completed the Sunday Times Golden Globe Race on 22 April 1969 aboard his 32ft ketch Suhaili. At 75 the grandfather of five is still sailing competitively and will take on another transatlantic solo race this autumn in his open 60 yacht Grey Power.

Published in Clipper Race

#clipperrace – Derry~Londonderry~Doire leadsthe Clipper Round the world race fleet this morning with Team Garmin in second and Switzerland in third place in frustratingly light winds for the transaltantic crossing.

Clipper Race meteorologist Simon Rowell said the wind is expected to fill in a little today but after that a low will move slowly east north easterly into the Atlantic, and a smaller area of low pressure should move off the area between Sable Island and Newfoundland behind it, like a secondary depression.

Jan Ridd, skipper of Team Garmin, said: "Well it has been an interesting first 24 hours to this race, with gains and losses made by boats choosing different tactics in some light winds.

"After the start the boats all bunched together as we could sail our course but as the wind moved aft the plots on the schedule show a clear starburst effect as boats choose different tacks.

"Here on Team Garmin we decided to stay fairly close to the rhumb line and stay with the main fleet. Earlier this morning we saw a group of boats tack early to the south and disappear over the horizon. This afternoon they reappeared after making a few miles on the rest of the fleet."

Sean McCarter, skipper of Derry~Londonderry~Doire, said he had taken a more southerly route in the hope of picking up an eddy of the Gulf Stream and seemed to have found it.

"The trick now is to milk as much from it as possible without risking being taken too far out of position and into lighter breeze."

With just under two weeks to go until the LegenDerry stopover, today the Feast Day of the Patron Saint of Derry, Colmcille, is being marked. It is believed he founded the city of Derry in 563 AD before going to Scotland to spread Christianity.

The fleet will receive a rousing welcome when they sail into the home port of Derry. For details of the festival celebrations visit

Published in Clipper Race

#clipperroundtheworldrace – Derry~Londonderry~Doire arrived in New York, the city that never sleeps in the early hours of this morning lit up by world famous city skyline. The Northern Irish team put on a competitive performance to claim fifth place in Race 13, the Grange Hotels Trophy, just one week ahead of the highly anticipated Race 14 to Derry-Londonderry.

After arriving in New York skipper, Sean McCarter was quick to heap praise on his team as they now lay just 10 points behind third placed OneDLL on the overall leaderboard. Sean commented:

"It's been an amazingly close race which gets even closer as it goes on, we are all so evenly matched at the moment so there is no room for error. We had a good race. Leaving Jamaica we came quite quickly out of the blocks and made it past the first mark quite quickly in second or third position, then we had a good run up and we decided to break a little bit from the pack. That dropped us back a little bit. Our plan was to drop out of the Gulf Stream to catch them up and we were looking good to do that for a while but we dropped out at a bad time.

Currently in a respectable fourth place on the overall leaderboard with 106 points, Sean knows that with so many points still up for grabs a podium position is still in sight for the team. With the pressure of arriving into his home port and securing a podium, Sean remains calm and unfazed:

"There are still a lot of points on the board and we have seen how Henri Lloyd came in on this one winning the extra points. If you can manage that on the next race them you can expect to jump a position or two on the leaderboard, so I can imagine there will be a lot of teams looking to do that."

The fleet is expected to arrive into Derry-Londonderry between Saturday 21 -23 June, where a week long LegendDerry Maritime Festival has been organised from 21-29 June. For more information on the programme - which includes a concert by the Grammy award-winning Beach Boys - visit

Published in Clipper Race

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