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#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 - Derry-Londonderry's newly elected Mayor Brenda Stevenson will travel to New York this week to join members of the Derry-Londonderry-Doire crew participating in the 2013-14 Clipper Round the World Yacht Race.

The crew will arrive at the stopover port in the Big Apple ahead of their departure for the next leg of the race that will bring them to their home port in time for the LegenDerry Maritime Festival celebrations.

Mayor Stevenson will be accompanied on the trip by Derry City Council’s town clerk and chief executive Sharon O’Connor along with Des Gartland, Invest Northern Ireland’s north west regional manager, to engage with businesses and key members from the Northern Ireland diaspora in New York.

Speaking ahead of the visit, Mayor Stevenson said: “I am really looking forward to meeting the skipper Sean McCarter and his crew and helping to promote details of our fantastic maritime festival celebrations that are planned to coincide with the arrival of the Clipper Race fleet when they arrive in the city at the end of the month.

“We are hugely excited about being in New York and getting an opportunity to showcase our city, network with local business people and encourage them to be part of our celebrations and our new legacy story since our City of Culture status success."

The Derry-Londonderry-Doire crew are expecting a huge welcome on arrival in New York, with many family and friends travelling to the stopover location as well as large numbers of Irish diaspora who are following the team’s success in the race and are keen to show their support.

The mayor added: “It’s a huge honour for me as the newly elected mayor to travel to New York to represent our city and to meet and greet the crew as well as meet with business people to forge business and trade links that will help us attract investment and new business opportunities to the city and wider north west region.

“It’s a great opportunity for us to encourage New Yorkers to come to Derry for our LegenDerry Maritime Festival celebrations and to update them on the city’s progress and legacy promises we are currently delivering on.”

During the trip, the delegation will attend a number of engagements including a UK Trade & Investment event to celebrate the Clipper Round the World Race stopover; an event organised by Clipper Ventures at the NASDAQ stock exchange; the Origin Theatre event honouring the Irish Consul General; and a corporate lunch event organised and funded by the NI Bureau, Invest NI and Tourism Ireland.

Mayor Stevenson will also visit the New York Irish Centre to launch the visiting exhibition from the Foyle Civic Trust, ‘Derry Londonderry Goes Global’. held last year as part of the Foyleside city's City of Culture programme. The visit will also include an opportunity to meet members of the New York Derry Society.

Gartland added: “This event offers a tremendous opportunity to promote Derry-Londonderry and the north west region both to potential investors and as a tourism location.

"Invest NI is working closely with Derry City Council to maximise the opportunities that the Clipper Round The World Race presents.”

Details of the LegenDerry Maritime Festival, which will take place in Derry~Londonderry on 21-29 June to welcome the Clipper Race fleet to the city, are available at www.legenderrymaritimefestival.com.

Published in Clipper Race

#clipper – The Olympic Sailing Center in Qingdao, China provided the perfect backdrop today as the Northern Irish entry competing in the Clipper 2013-14 Round the World Yacht Race started Race 10 from Qingdao, China to San Francisco, USA .

Thousands of well-wishers lined the quayside eager get one last glimpse of the 12-strong international fleet during an epic departure ceremony which attracted a large media presence and was broadcast live on TV. The ceremony featured hundreds of performers in a carefully choreographed programme which featured VIP guests including local officials and the British Ambassador to China.

After a tense start Derry~Londonderry~Doire was the first boat to cross the start line of the 5,800 mile race which started at 1345 local time (0545 UTC) as Mission Performance and Qingdao were in hot pursuit.

"We are in pretty good shape; we all know this is a long leg but the crew are all looking forward to arriving in San Francisco, we would have broken the back of the race, we're on our way home." Added skipper of Derry~Londondery~Doire Sean McCarter before his team set off.

The first key milestone in Race 10 will be off the Southern tip of Japan when tactics start come in to play again as skippers are faced with the age-old dilemma; take the shortest route and risk light airs or head north for a colder but stronger ride east.

"This will be a tough leg in lots of ways. I think the length of this race is going to be a challenge. We should have a fairly easy start with light winds, so hopefully we will get into a rhythm then. Once we head off the south of Japan it's going to get a lot heavier and more difficult, which will be the first big hurdle."

"The teams are really looking forward to this race. Once you get on the move the better, all the nerves disappear as soon as you start sailing."Added Sean.

Sea Cadet Volunteer, Keith Bisson from Jersey joined the Northern Irish team in Qingdao after winning a national competition to compete in Leg 6 of the Clipper Race. However, when it came to deciding which boat he would sail on, there was only one option:

"As my wife is from Derry-Londonderry I knew immediately that I had to be on the Northern Irish entry, Derry~Londonderry~Doire. We have a huge family back there; so much so that we have already booked our holiday to coincide with the Derry-Londonderry stopover.

"This race is going to be a fantastic experience, it all feels very surreal at the moment but I can't wait to get started. I know this will be a test of endurance, but I'm well prepared and ready for the challenge. Just knowing that the Golden Gate Bridge will be waiting for us at the end, makes it all worthwhile."

The twelve-strong fleet is expected in San Francisco between 8-12 April where they will be berthed until the start of Race 11 to the Panama Canal on 19 April.

Published in Clipper Race

#IRISH MARINAS - Five months after hosting the Clipper Round the World yacht race this summer, the new marina at Derry-Londonderry has been officially opened to much fanfare.

The Belfast Telegraph reports on the weekend's celebrations, which welcomed the return of the city's entry in the world-renowned yacht race.

Derry-Londonderry's challenge will soon be featured in the Discovery Channel TV documentary series Against the Tide, according to the Derry Journal.

Speaking at the launch event, Foyle Port CEO Brian McGrath hailed its "state-of-the-art facilities for hosting maritime events".

The new marina is a joint initiative by the Loughs Agency and Cruise Initiative and is maintained by Foyle Port.

Published in Irish Marinas

#ClipperAfter nine days of activities, exhibitions and concerts the Clipper Festival draws to a close today but not before an array of water based displays and boat tours and visits.

Today the River Foyle will be at its busiest yet with boat tours, ship visits, racing and jet skis with a variety to whet everyone's appetite.

Before the stunning Earl of Pembroke Tall Ship set sails at 9:30pm this evening it will be open for public viewing 10:00am-5.30pm while the impressive naval vessels lining the quay will be open from 10:00am – 1:00pm and 2:00pm – 4:00pm.

Boat tours for the Maid of Antrim and the Wee Blue Boat will be taking place from the Marine Event Pontoon throughout the day and the RNLI Seth Bell, one of the largest lifeboats in the RNLI fleet, will be open for public viewing. Opening times are from 10:00am – 5:00pm.

Experience Derry~Londonderry's first ever Zap Cat Grand Prix as these small and speedy catamarans will make you dizzy with their high octane performance. They guarantee a high octane fuelled show that's not to be missed. Racing starts at 11:00am and concludes with a prize giving ceremony at 3:00pm.

Look out for a display of speed defying stunts and tricks from some of the top water sports experts in the world. The shows feature 'Edge Water Sports' (water-skiing and wakeboarding) and Freestyle jetski displays taking place from 4:00pm – 6:00pm and includes a show every 15 minutes. The shows will be set to live commentary and film footage taken from the water will be relayed to the quayside screens.

The Continental Market and Creativity Zones will also continue throughout the day from 11:00am– 6:00pm.

Come and enjoy a spectacular farewell to a Legenderry Clipper Homecoming Festival that has seen record numbers visit Derry~Londonderry.

A Park 'n' Ride service will be available today, from 1pm – 6pm every 20 minutes taking you to where all the fun and events are located on the Quay. Pick-up/Drop off points will be at Templemore Sports complex, going to Sainsbury's Strand Road, and return. Event Park n'Stride is available at Magee College, event car parking is also available in all city centre car parks.

The 'Clipper Connection Route shuttle service', will operate from 11am – 7pm every 15 minutes today. Pick-up/Drop-off route: Foyle Street - The Diamond - Orchard Street - Strand Road - Back of the Quay (bus lay-by opposite Quay West restaurant) - Foyle Street

The Clipper 11-12 Maritime and Home Coming Festival is organised by Derry City Council in partnership with Londonderry Port. It is supported by Northern Ireland Tourist Board, MalinWaters as part of the Sail West Project marine tourism initiative, part financed by the European Union's European Regional Development Fund through INTERREG IVA Cross-Border Programme, Invest Northern Ireland, Loughs Agency, Ilex URC, FG Wilson, Diageo and event partners Translink.

Published in Clipper Race
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#clipper – The river will be the arena this weekend for a maritime spectacle never before seen in the city, as the flotilla of Clipper Round the Yacht vessels say their final farewell to the River Foyle and the host post of Derry~Londonderry.

The ten yachts will depart the city on Saturday in a spectacular Parade of Sail, before heading to Greencastle, where they will begin the penultimate race in their 40,000 mile journey. Thousands are expected to turn out to watch the Clippers line-up for their spectacular Parade of Sail with activities commencing on the Quay from 12noon as the yachts prepare to sail from the Quay at 1pm, in what will be an emotional journey for the Derry~Londonderry team as they once again set off from their home port.

The yachts will sail down the River Foyle for the official race start at Greencastle, with live links to the city over the duration of the day so that you can watch the official race start live on quay at 5pm.

The crews have enjoyed a homecoming welcome to remember since their arrival last weekend, with 1,000's along the quay daily enjoying the celebrations and there are still two days to go!! Although the Clippers might be moving on, the party will continue in full swing until Sunday. After the Parade of Sail on Saturday, the Zapcats will be making waves with some high speed action on the river. Reaching speeds of 50mph, these little boats will be performing some breathtaking stunts, with 3G turns and six foot jumps.

"Zapcats go where most other boats dare not," said Mike Sanford, race organiser. "It's fast, it's furious and it's great fun for all the family. Safety is paramount, but I admit that we really do push things to the limit!

"We have 16 competitors coming from all over England, joining teams from Belfast and the Republic. We've already scoped out the lough and are looking forward to two days of challenging racing, after the Clipper fleet departs."

The Zapcat Grand Prix has been compared to motorcross on water, and promises to keep audiences glued to their death defying antics as the two man crews battle it out over short circuits near the Peace Bridge on Saturday from 3pm, and on Sunday from 12noon-3pm.

Throughout the day visits to the stunning Earl of Pembroke Tall Ship as well as the impressive naval vessels lining the quay, will be running from 10am-5.30pm. The Continental Market will be thronged with foodies throughout the weekend with an exciting array of dishes and goods from home and abroad on offer.

The Quayside itself will be buzzing with activity, with music, song and dance at the Quayside stage. And youngsters can get arty in the Creativity Zone, where there will be a full programme of art workshops, magic shows and documentary screenings.

The festival will also feature a series of fascinating environmental exhibitions, as well as the opportunity to trace your family roots and explore the city's maritime heritage in the Environmental and Heritage Zone. And don't forget the festival finale and water display between 4-6pm on Sunday 08th July.

For ease of access, don't forget we have the Clipper Event Park n'Ride at Templemore and event park n'stride at Magee College, event car parking is also available in all city centre car parks.

The Clipper 11-12 Maritime and Home Coming Festival is organised by Derry City Council in partnership with Londonderry Port. It is supported by Northern Ireland Tourist Board, MalinWaters as part of the Sail West Project marine tourism initiative, part financed by the European Union's European Regional Development Fund through INTERREG IVA Cross-Border Programme, Invest Northern Ireland, Loughs Agency, Ilex URC, FG Wilson, Diageo and event partners Translink.

Published in Clipper Race

#CLIPPER COVERAGE - To mark the stopover in Londonderry of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race, BBC 1 Northern Ireland will present an hour-long programme tomorrow evening at 7pm.

The show presented by Claire McCollum and Gavin Andrews, will bring viewers a flavour of the north-west city where celebrations are expected to attract thousands of families and sightseers.

The homecoming celebration is one of the biggest events to be held in preparation for Derry-Londonderry's year as UK City of Culture in 2013, as the city welcomes the racing yachts to the Foyle including a very special boat bearing the city's name.

Published in Maritime TV

#clipper – Crossing the finish line off Greencastle on the north Irish coast at 0237 GMT this morning, Gold Coast Australia secured its eleventh win in the Clipper 11-12 Round the World Yacht Race after a 2,350 mile tough upwind battle across the North Atlantic.

In the early hours of the morning the Australian entry made its way from the finish line at Greencastle, County Donegal, through Lough Foyle before arriving into Derry-Londonderry in Northern Ireland this morning where hundreds of spectators awaited them.

Upon arrival, Tasmanian skipper, Richard Hewson said, "The worst part for us as a team was the lack of sleep and we didn't see sunshine for about two weeks. It was all worth it though as we had head winds behind us the whole way up here and before we knew it we were in Northern Ireland being welcomed by a flotilla of ships. Incredible!"

Reflecting on the tough conditions of the North Atlantic, Richard continued, "As tropical storm 'Chris' developed, the tough conditions really tried to batter the fleet, but I saw it as an opportunity for us to take advantage of the strong winds and head to the south. Once we managed that, we put the kite up and we were flying along ahead of the rest of the fleet, especially those who chose to go to the north. "

Singapore is expected to finish in the next few hours, with the rest of the fleet still fighting the final miles to secure the best possible finish in this tough final ocean crossing.

Despite bad luck early on in the race, diverting to gain medical attention for an injured crew member, Qingdao managed to win the Ocean Sprint overnight, subject to verification by the Race Committee. The Chinese entry completed the sprint in 11 hours 38 minutes 09 seconds, beating De Lage Landen's time by just under 20 minutes, securing them a vital additional point.

Welcome to Yorkshire currently remains in third place, while Geraldton Western Australia played its 24 hour Stealth Mode card at midnight, in a final tactical battle, hiding from its competitors until midnight tonight.

The rest of the fleet is expected in Derry-Londonderry over the weekend with the final yacht arrival expected Monday afternoon.

Published in Clipper Race

#CLIPPER – An ecstatic Derry-Londonderry crew has secured their first podium position of the Clipper 11-12 Round the World Yacht Race. The team, nicknamed the 'LegenDerrys' finished in second place while Gold Coast Australia has claimed victory in Race 7 after the Race Committee made the decision to shorten the course in the stage from the Gold Coast to Singapore.

Extremely light winds which would have prevented the race management team from setting a fair course for the second stage of Race 7, combined with an increased threat of piracy in the Singapore Straits in the light conditions over the Chinese New Year, led to the tough decision. The positions of the yachts at the Celebes Sea Gate, which marked the end of the first phase of the race from Australia, will be taken as the final standings for Race 7.

Race Director, Joff Bailey, told the teams at 0700 UTC today, "Race 7 to Celebes Sea Gate from the Gold Coast was certainly long enough at 3,200nm to qualify as a serious race. It was run fairly, you all had chances to make gains and losses and see your tactics play out and I believe it was one of the most interesting races we have run."

During the race the lead changed hands a number of times as the ten internationally-backed yachts fought for supremacy with Derry-Londonderry, Geraldton Western Australia, and Qingdao all taking their turn to lead the fleet. Gold Coast Australia's tactic of heading much further north than the other nine teams before hooking in to a favourable current allowed them to swoop into the lead in the final miles before the Celebes Sea Gate, which has now become the Race 7 finish line.

They beat Derry-Londonderry into second place by just an hour and 19 minutes, and Geraldton Western Australia claimed third place three hours and 15 minutes behind the Northern Ireland entry. Both teams have recorded their best results of the campaign.

Reacting to news of his team's sixth victory of the Clipper 11-12 Race, Tasmanian yachtsman, Richard Hewson said, "Although the race from Gold Coast to Singapore was cut 'short' I believe it was one of the most mentally challenging and frustrating races to date where any number of tactical decisions could have won the race for any of the ten yachts in the fleet. Crewmembers on Gold Coast Australia are ecstatic about their victory and we will celebrate in style on arrival in Singapore.

"I would like to thank the other yachts in the race, particularly Derry-Londonderry and Geraldton Western Australia who sailed extremely well and made the race very close and exciting."

Mark Light, skipper of the entry representing the UK City of Culture 2013, said, "What a fantastic result for us! I am so proud of each and every one of my crew. We have worked so hard as a team and although a long time coming, we always believed we had a podium finish within us. This gives us huge belief for the next race that we can push on and remain one of the front runners. For me personally it is a brilliant result: a very close second place only 80 minutes behind the overall leader.

"These races are incredibly hard to win and I would like to give massive credit to Gold Coast Australia for another huge result.

"I will be very proud to lead my team up on to the podium in Singapore to represent the good people of Derry-Londonderry and all who have supported us. Thank you very much."

The city's Mayor, Maurice Devenney, congratulating the team said, "We're very proud of the team and they deserve this achievement after their challenging sail. Their global sailing journey helps the city on its journey to tell the world about the many opportunities that exist for tourism, cultural and business connections as we get ready for becoming the inaugural UK City of Culture in 2013. We would like to send the teams our best wishes and we look forward to welcoming them all to the city as part of the race in July 2012".

It was a closely fought race, with both Qingdao and Singapore, who were aiming to be on the podium when the fleet arrives in Marina at Keppel Bay, both in contention for one of the top three places. They finished fourth and fifth respectively; Qingdao's result is a campaign-best result for the Chinese team.

Completing the finish order, De Lage Landen finished sixth, followed by New York, Visit Finland, Welcome to Yorkshire and Edinburgh Inspiring Capital.

The result means Derry-Londonderry moves up the overall table from eighth to seventh place while Gold Coast Australia's win consolidates their dominance of the competition and the team is now 20 points ahead of closest rivals, Visit Finland. Dutch entry De Lage Landen remains in third place overall.

The fleet will now proceed to Batam, Indonesia, where they will muster ahead of a spectacular ceremonial arrival in Marina at Keppel Bay, Singapore on Saturday 28 January.

Ms Wang Look Fung, Director, Group Corporate Affairs at Keppel Corporation, Singapore's Team Sponsor and Host Port Sponsor for the Singapore stopover, said, "Many Keppelites and Singaporeans are all eagerly awaiting the arrival of the Clipper Race fleet into Marina at Keppel Bay. The international event will certainly lend colour and vibrancy to Keppel Bay's appeal as a waterfront lifestyle hub with our luxurious homes, a marina playground, and a host of other waterfront amenities including Singapore's only RYA-accredited Keppel Bay Sailing Academy."

Published in Clipper Race

#CLIPPER–There was a traditional Maori kapa haka farewell in Tauranga Bridge Marina and a blast of the horn as a passenger liner at Tauranga's cruise terminal saluted Derry-Londonderry and the other nine teams sailing out into the lively waters of New Zealand's Bay of Plenty for the start of the sixth stage of the Clipper 11-12 Round the World Yacht Race. They were accompanied during the parade of sail and at the start of the race by a huge flotilla of local boating enthusiasts who were thrilled to be part of the send-off.

In fairly murky conditions and a stiff north easterly breeze, the yachts crossed the start line off the Mount Main Beach when the gun fired at 1430 local time (0130 UTC). With no distinct advantage at either end of the line, the fleet was divided equally on port and starboard tack and Welcome to Yorkshire was first across, followed in short order by De Lage Landen, Visit Finland, New York and Gold Coast Australia. Geraldton Western Australia, was mid-fleet at the start but seized the advantage and was first to round the windward turning mark before heading back towards Mount Maunganui. Qingdao, Derry-Londonderry, Singapore and Edinburgh Inspiring Capital completed the order over the start line.

At the first turning mark, Derry-Londonderry, who'd moved up to fifth place, let their advantage slip away when they stalled, allowing five other boats to slide past them. As they race towards New Zealand's North Cape with Geraldton Western Australia in the lead, the yachts' positions are expected to change many times before they begin crossing the Tasman Sea. The 1,300-mile race to Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia, is expected to take the ten internationally backed teams between seven and ten days to complete.

Derry-Londonderry will be hoping their fourth place finish in the last stage, where they just missed out on a podium position, is a precursor to an even better result in this next race.

Skipper, Mark Light, said, "We did have a good result on the last race. We worked very hard to get that and things are moving in the right direction for us so I'm looking forward to a podium very soon.

"We've got 1,300 miles to race here and it's going to be more of a sprint compared to any of the others. We're geared up for it; we know what we have to do to get our boat moving fast now. There's less room to play tactics than in all the other races so this is a sprint to the finish line."

With five out of five wins under their belts already, Gold Coast Australia's crew desperately want to win this next race. If they do they will be the first team in Clipper 11-12 to secure a coveted home port victory, and only the third in the history of the event to do so. Victory in this race would also equal the most consecutive wins in the Clipper Race, a record set by Alex Thomson in Clipper 98 and held for more than a decade.

Richard Hewson, skipper of Gold Coast Australia said, "If I want to win a race out of this whole series around the world, it's this one. I don't want to put myself or the crew under any more pressure than they're already under. We're just been sailing how we normally sail, sailing safe and obviously trying to keep it at the back of our minds but trying to sail hard."

Other teams have proven themselves just as fast as the Gold Coast Australia crew, with Edinburgh Inspiring Capital, Visit Finland and Welcome to Yorkshire all scoring bonus points in the Ocean Sprint time trials to date in the world's longest ocean race.

During the stopover the crew enjoyed a live video link catch up with some of their supporters and team mates waiting to talk to them back home at the Nerve Centre, the multimedia arts hub in the Derry-Londonderry, the UK City of Culture 2013.

As well as talking to the folks back home, while they have been relaxing in the Bay of Plenty, the crews, who come from all walks of life and represent more than 40 nationalities, have been enjoying the multitude of activities on offer. White water rafting, fishing, sky diving, paddle boarding, hiking, land yachting, sampling the excellent local seafood and wines have all been on the agenda. Groups of crew have visited the stunning volcanic White Island and climbed Mount Maunganui in the company of a Maori guide, before soaking in the geothermal salt water hot pools at its base.

They were farewelled from port with a kapa haka from Tuwairua Performing Arts whose members are all from Ngaterangi Iwi.

Michelle McCann, from Greencastle, a round the world crew member on board Derry-Londonderry said, "I've really enjoyed it, it's been a fabulous stopover. The people have been very welcoming and friendly, it's been brilliant."

"I'm looking forward to getting going again, though – they say the conditions won't be as bad as the last race!" continued Michelle, who is anxious to get to the Gold Coast for another reason. "I've a nephew who lives in Brisbane and I'll meet up with him as I haven't seen him in a good few years."

Glenn Ormsby, Tourism Bay of Plenty's General Manager, said, "The Clipper Race has been a great opportunity to showcase Bay of Plenty to the world and show our water's clean, the beaches are open and we're ready for summer. The race has been great for the local economy too – the hotels, bars and restaurants have been booming, there's been plenty of work for the local marine industry doing maintenance and repairs on the boats, and we've had fantastic exposure to international media as well."

This is the first time the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race has visited New Zealand since its inception in 1996 and during the stopover organisers have met with local businesses and government representatives to strengthen links with the region and demonstrate how partners use the event as a global platform to promote trade, tourism, culture and social inclusion.

Each yacht is sponsored by an international city, region, country or company, with many visiting Tauranga to host events and engage with New Zealand businesses, trade contacts and media.

Hundreds of Tauranga residents have visited the yachts during the stopover, meeting crew and discovering for themselves what life is like on board. Presentations in Wellington, Auckland and in Tauranga for those interested in taking part in Clipper 13-14, when the new fleet of 12 70-foot yachts will be introduced, have also been well attended and several Kiwis have been offered berths on the race.

More presentations will be held in Australia, in Sydney, Brisbane, Gold Coast, and there will be a Clipper Race stand at the ISAF Sailing World Championships in Fremantle, WA, from 3 to 18 December.

Those who prefer to take part in ocean racing can pit their sailing skills against the crews racing to Gold Coast by taking part in the Virtual Clipper Race. Unlike the real thing, where the top prize is the glory, the Virtual Race offers a prize pot of €30,000, along with Rotary Aquaspeed watches and Henri Lloyd gear. Registration is free at www.clipperroundtheworld.com/virtualrace.

The fleet is expected to arrive in Southport Yacht Club between 11 and 13 December.

Published in Clipper Race
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About boot Düsseldorf: With almost 250,000 visitors, boot Düsseldorf is the world's largest boat and water sports fair and every year in January the “meeting place" for the entire industry. From 18 to 26 January 2020, around 2,000 exhibitors will be presenting their interesting new products, attractive further developments and maritime equipment. This means that the complete market will be on site in Düsseldorf and will be inviting visitors on nine days of the fair to an exciting journey through the entire world of water sports in 17 exhibition halls covering 220,000 square meters. With a focus on boats and yachts, engines and engine technology, equipment and accessories, services, canoes, kayaks, kitesurfing, rowing, diving, surfing, wakeboarding, windsurfing, SUP, fishing, maritime art, marinas, water sports facilities as well as beach resorts and charter, there is something for every water sports enthusiast.

At A Glance – Boot Dusseldorf 

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Messe Düsseldorf GmbH
Messeplatz
40474 Düsseldorf
Tel: +49 211 4560-01
Fax: +49 211 4560-668
Web: https://www.boot.com/

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