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Derry’s Maritime Festival & Clipper Race Stop Over Are Victims of Covid-19

27th March 2020
The maritime scene in Derry during the last Clipper Race visit The maritime scene in Derry during the last Clipper Race visit

The postponement of the Clipper Race 2019 – 20 will have a huge effect on the City of Derry where the fleet was due to have its penultimate stop-over at the end of July. Derry City and Strabane District Council say the decision by Clipper Ventures to postpone the Clipper 2019-20 Race is “disappointing news but understandable” considering the current COVID-19 situation being faced across the globe.

As Afloat reported previously, crews were quarantined in the Philippines in mid-March.

The Mayor, Councillor Michaela Boyle said the decision to postpone the Race is the right one in the current climate. This postponement will have an impact on the timing of future races. As the 2019-20 edition’s remaining three legs will be resumed in approximately ten months when the circumnavigation will be completed, the next full edition of the Clipper Race will start in the summer of 2022.

And, again in light of the COVID -19 crisis, the Foyle Maritime Festival of which the Clipper event was a huge part, has also been postponed. Councillor Boyle commented “By working together and looking out for one another we can all do our bit to limit the spread of this virus and protect our local community by taking the necessary precautions to stay safe,”

The economic value of the Festival would have been expected to be substantial, with the 2018 event attracting 220,000 people and bringing in £2.20 for every pound invested by the Council. There were over 84 craft and eleven Clippers on the pontoons and quays in the heart of Derry.

Betty Armstrong

About The Author

Betty Armstrong

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Betty Armstrong is Yachting Life's Northern Ireland Correspondent. Betty grew up racing dinghies but now sails a more sedate Dehler 36 around County Down.

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About the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race

The Clipper Round the World Yacht Race is undoubtedly one of the greatest ocean adventures on the planet, also regarded as one of its toughest endurance challenges. Taking almost a year to complete, it consists of eleven teams competing against each other on the world’s largest matched fleet of 70-foot ocean racing yachts.

The Clipper Race was established in 1996 by Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, the first person to sail solo, non-stop, around the world in 1968-69. His aim was to allow anyone, regardless of previous sailing experience, the chance to embrace the thrill of ocean racing; it is the only event of its kind for amateur sailors. Around 40 per cent of crew are novices and have never sailed before starting a comprehensive training programme ahead of their adventure.

This unique challenge brings together everyone from chief executives to train drivers, nurses and firefighters, farmers, airline pilots and students, from age 18 upwards, to take on Mother Nature’s toughest and most remote conditions. There is no upper age limit, the oldest competitor to date is 76.

Now in its twelfth edition, the Clipper 2019-20 Race started from London, UK, on 02 September 2019.

 

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