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Clipper Round the World Yacht Race to Set Sail for Ireland

24th June 2018
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Clipper Round the World Yacht Race to Set Sail for Ireland

After more than ten months and over 35,000 nautical miles, the final of eight legs of the Clipper 2017-18 Round the World Yacht Race is set to begin with a race across the Atlantic Ocean from New York to Derry-Londonderry.

The eleven teams have battled hurricane force winds, waves up to 14 metres, crossed five oceans and visited 12 Host Ports on six different continents, but the end is now in sight, with the 3,000 nautical mile sprint from New York to Derry-Londonderry the twelfth of thirteen races that make up the 40,000 nautical mile circumnavigation.

The Clipper Race is unique in that it trains non-professionals to be ocean faring sailors, and six crew members from Ireland and Northern Ireland, plus a Skipper from Derry-Londonderry, are now preparing to come home – just in time to headline the Foyle Maritime Festival in Derry-Londonderry.

Conall Morrison, 36, Skipper of HotelPlanner.com

Becoming a Clipper Race Skipper was always a dream for Conall, and he has certainly made his mark, winning the Clipper 70 Class of the prestigious Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, which doubles as Race 5 of the Clipper 2017-18 Race. The saw Conall awarded the Rani Trophy for Most Meritorious Performance and shortlisted for the 20172017 Afloat.ie Irish Sailor of the Year Award. Before taking on the challenge of the Clipper Race, Conall was the Skipper of Tectona for the Voyage of Recovery – a twelve week, 1,500 nautical mile voyage around Great Britain to aid people in their recovery from drug and alcohol addiction. Conall says racing into his home town of Derry-Londonderry will be one of the proudest moments of his career. 

Anthony Barlow, 56, Dublin, Occupational Therapist, Leg 8, HotelPlanner.com

Anthony is an experienced and qualified sailor and sails up to three times a week out of the Royal Irish Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire, County Dublin. Anthony isn't afraid of a challenge - he worked in IT until going back to school at age of 42 to become an Occupational Therapist. This involved four years of tough study, plus hospital placements, but he worked hard to achieve his goal and has been working in his new profession since 2008. Anthony is doing the race to challenge himself and improve sailing skills.

Mary Frawley, 51, Tipperary/Dublin, Nurse, Full Circumnavigation, HotelPlanner.com

The idea of a circumnavigation has always been a dream Mary and the Nurse from Tipperary describes the ClipperRace as the adventure of a lifetime. Mary spent much of the '90s sailing, completing both her coastal Skipper and Yachtmaster qualifications, and also worked on the water, including six weeks as a cook and deckhand on board a prawn fishing trawler off the north coast of Australia.

John Gannon, 62, Parkgate, Cheshire, UK, Anaesthesia and Critical Care Medical Consultant, Legs 5, 6, 7, 8, HotelPlanner.com

John grew up sailing and his teens he crewed with the Irish STA ships ASGARD and CREIDNE on a number of voyages around Britain and Ireland. As he got older, life, and his medical training, got in the way but since deciding a few years ago to work part time as a medical consultant specialising in anaesthesia and critical care medicine, John decided to return to sailing in the most adventurous way possible - the Clipper Race. His four legs will see him race across the North Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, as he journeys 22,000 nautical miles from Qingdao in China to the Race Finish in Liverpool.

Roseann McGlinchey, 24, Lifford, Marketing Officer, Full Circumnavigation, HotelPlanner.com

Roseann has undergone a huge transformation during her time on the ClipperRace, graduating from a complete sailing novice to a Watch Leader in her teamHotelPlanner.com. Her love affair with the Clipper Race began six years ago in Derry-Londonderry when she saw the fleet arrive at the city’s inaugural Foyle Maritime Festival. After visiting the festival every year while studying in the Northern Irish city, Roseann wanted to view the celebrations from a different view this year – arriving on board a Clipper 70. Roseann's goal for the race was to grow her strength as an individual and she brings a lot of optimism and good cheer to theHotelPlanner.com team. 

April Rellis, 37, Waterford, Teacher, Full Circumnavigation, HotelPlanner.com

April, a teacher from Waterford, decided to join the Clipper Race after seeing the fleet during the Foyle Martime Festival in Derry-Londonderry in 2014. Whilst she wasn't a sailor before the race, April has always enjoyed an active life on the water - she was a national level swimmer and is now a Windsurfing instructor. April is the Team Coordinator on board HotelPlanner.com, a position she jokes that she prepared for by teaching primary school children for years. April's mother Máirín has had her own adventure over the past year, travelling to many of the Clipper Race host ports to fulfil her role as HotelPlanner.comcheerleader-in-chief.

Katherine Sheehan, 47, Dublin, Doctor, Leg 8, HotelPlanner.com

By taking part in the Clipper Race, Katherine is fulfilling a lifelong dream of crossing an ocean under sail. Katherine has been interested in sailing since she was young but switched to windsurfing in her teens. A return to sailing in recent years has only fuelled Katherine’s desire to take on an adventure like the Clipper Race and will be able to wave to her home in Dublin as she races through the Irish Sea to Race Finish in Liverpool.

Published in Clipper Race
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