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Displaying items by tag: Clipper Round The World 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

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

#clipperrace – The world-famous Red Arrows will take to the skies over the North West Coast of Ireland at the end of June with their display of daredevil aerial manoeuvres, to bring a spectacular close to the 2014 LegenDerry Maritime Festival.

Brought to the North West by a partnership between Donegal County Council, Limavady Borough Council and Derry City Council, the RAF Red Arrows will perform their thrilling flying display as the stunning send-off to the Clipper 2013-14 Round the World Yacht Race on Sunday 29th June 2014.

The distinctive red jets, which are this year celebrating their 50th display season, will execute their trademark formations, close-passes and dynamic loops and rolls at the mouth of the River Foyle between Greencastle in Co. Donegal and Magilligan/Binevenagh in Co. Londonderry.

Thousands of people are expected to descend upon the North West Coast to capture a clear vantage point of the Red Arrows' stunning performance and celebrate the official Race Start of the Clipper 2013-14 Race at Greencastle, Co. Donegal.

Mayor of Donegal County Council, Councillor Ian McGarvey said: "Along with my fellow Mayors from Derry City Council and Limavady Borough Council I am delighted to confirm the staging of this spectacular Red Arrows event. I am sure this will attract visitors from across the region and beyond to the Lough Foyle area. Their exciting air display will be an excellent way to see off the Clipper Race as the fleet prepares to sets sail off the coast of Greencastle. I hope that everyone who comes to Donegal has a safe and enjoyable time."

Mayor of Limavady, Councillor Gerry Mullan said: "I am delighted to welcome back the spectacular Clipper Race event and am looking forward to seeing the boats sailing into Lough Foyle past Magilligan Point. I wish all the crews a warm welcome to the area and hope they get the chance to explore all it has to offer when they come ashore."

Mayor of Derry City Council, Councillor Martin Reilly said: "It is a major coup to have the Red Arrows perform and their display will provide a suitably spectacular final flourish to our week-long LegenDerry Maritime Festival. We are delighted to have been able to facilitate this in partnership with our friends in Limavady and Donegal, who are bringing the world-famous Red Arrows here.

"Our stunning North West coastline will provide the perfect backdrop for the official Race Start of the Clipper 2013-14 Round the World Yacht Race. We are thrilled that thousands of local people will be able to share the celebrations and the spectacle on land, on the sea and now, also in the sky."

Derry~Londonderry is the penultimate stopover for the Clipper 2013-14 Race, the world's longest ocean race. After a gruelling journey of almost 40,000 miles, 11 month circumnavigation of the globe the City will welcome the 12-strong fleet of Clipper Race yachts back to the city, including its very own Derry~Londonderry-Doire yacht, with a weeklong LegenDerry Maritime Festival from 21st - 29th June 2014.

The LegenDerry Maritime Festival will transform the River Foyle's quayside into a summer promenade, with race village, award winning continental market, seafood festival, music extravaganza and a host of sea-faring activities on and off shore for families, sailors and land-lubbers alike.

Published in Maritime Festivals

#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

#clipper – Derry~Londondery~Doire arrived in Qingdao, China, this morning (local time) to a hero's welcome following one of the most challenging legs of the 2013-14 edition of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race.

"It is amazing to finally arrive here in Olympic Sailing Center in Qingdao, China. It has been a really tough race in many ways. In lots of ways we were luckier than some of the fleet who are still yet to arrive," added skipper Sean McCarter.

After arriving under the impressive skyline of Qingdao, the Northern Irish entry was welcomed by colourful fireworks, as the team celebrated finishing the 2,450 mile race from Singapore to China's 'Sailing City'.

Although the team was third to arrive into Qingdao, Race 9.1 is being run on an elapsed time basis following staggered start times out of Hong Kong, so the finishing order will not necessarily reflect the fastest times, which will be the basis for awarding points.

On arrival the team was greeted by a specular ceremony including hundreds of drummers and dozens of Chinese and international media who all fought to get pictures and interviews with the crew from Derry~Londonderry~Doire.

On stage the skipper and the crew met with local dignitaries before they were awarded with scarfs and mementos. Skipper Sean McCarter was presented with a red cape that symbolises nobility; in ancient China it was only worn when emperors and generals returned victorious from battle fields.

"To arrive here today in Qingdao China is a fantastic feeling. To finish Race 9.1, one of the toughest races in the entire Clipper Round the World Yacht Race in one piece with the crew in good form is just a massive relief. It also looks like we have made a good time, but GREAT Britain has also done incredibly well. We have our eyes firmly on OneDLL who are looking very promising right now, but only time will tell," added Sean.

So far GREAT Britain has the shortest elapsed time of the first three arrivals at 7 days 00 hours 35 minutes 41 seconds , but both Derry~Londonderry~Doire and Mission Performance are proud of their teams who achieved elapsed times of 7 days 7 hours 57 minutes 59 seconds and 7 days 13 hours 14 minutes 0 seconds respectively.

Race 10 from Qingdao China, to San Francisco starts Sunday, 16 March.

Published in Clipper Race

#bottlescrew – Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, Chairman and Founder of the Clipper Race, has repaired the forestay bottlescrews of nine of the 12-strong Clipper 70 fleet with the rest being completed over the next day.

Sir Robin Knox-Johnston said inevitably there are things that need adjusting with a new fleet of boats. Race 9, Singapore to Qingdao, China was halted and the boats diverted to Hong Kong so the repairs could be carried out quickly before the race restarted less than a day later.

Knox-Johnston has been lashing the forestay instead of using a rigging screw using the exact same system he does on his Open 60 racing yacht.

"There was no alternative. It wasn't just a question of possibly losing a mast, it was a question of safety so we had to take action instantly," said Knox-Johnston.

"There are always adjustments needed with new boats and little things that need looking at. It's not the end of the world because the skippers were onto it very quickly.

"The crews were all prepared when they arrived into Hong Kong so we could get on with it very quickly. There is an advantage with a one design fleet that it makes it easier for us as one solution fits all boats.

"We suspect a lack of articulation at the base of the forestay is the main reason for this type of failure. The fitting is being replaced with Dyneema cordage. Dyneema is an ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene fibre. It is known as the world's strongest fibre and weight for weight is 15 times stronger than steel wire ©.

"The boats have been through two serious storms in the Southern Ocean. This race is testing for the boats. We know the boats are tough and strong and the crews can cope with them," Knox-Johnston added.

Published in Clipper Race

#clipperroundtheworldrace – Two crew members on Mission Performance who were transferred to hospital in Hobart last night following an accident below decks have left hospital following medical assessment. 

Katherine Camilleri (50) from Sydney, Australia, suffered bruised ribs and got back on the yacht today to sail to Brisbane. Derek Furniss (44) from Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire, sustained a head injury and will rest in Hobart before flying on to Brisbane to rejoin the boat for the start of Leg 5. 

The casualties were transferred by helicopter to the Royal Hobart Hospital for assessment before Mission Performance returned to Hobart escorted by Qingdao due to an engine issue unrelated to the incident. Qingdao then left Hobart this morning and is headed back to the exact location of the incident whereby they will recommence racing. 

Deputy race director Mark Light said: 

"The whole incident was well handled by relevant skippers, crew and emergency services and we wish both casualties a speedy recovery." 

Mission Performance and Henri Lloyd left Hobart this morning at 1230 local time. Two crew members from Qingdao have joined Mission Performance to assist the crew. 

Published in Clipper Race

#rshyr – A dream came true for Lough Swilly skipper Sean McCarter (31) at 1916 hrs this evening (Sunday December 29th) when he skippered the Irish Clipper 70 Derry-Londonderry-Doire across the elusive finish line at Hobart in Tasmania to win his class in the 628-mile Rolex Sydney Hobart Race writes W M Nixon

Although the Derry boat and Sean's crew (in which Garda Conor O'Byrne of Balrothery, Co Dublin is a Watchleader) had a lead of 17 miles over the next boat at the finish, the final stages up the Derwent Estuary to the line of the Hobart waterfront as the dawn came up were tense in the extreme. Their speed fluctuated between 2 and 8 knots in the flukey night winds, and they'd nightmares of becoming totally becalmed and then watching the opposition close up with the morning breeze.

To get there in 3 days 16 hours and 42 minutes from Sydney, the crew (of all levels of sailing experience including none at all) had to cope with everything ranging from the hectic start down Sydney Harbour, through frustrating light winds off Australia's southeast coast, and then a rising southwest to west gale as they battered their way across the notorious Bass Strait towards the final hundred miles along the Tasmanian coast and the challenging and wayward approaches to Hobart.

As the gale built, DLDD was neck and neck with Henri Lloyd, until then the boat which had been setting most of the pace in the Clipper series. But a rudder bearing problem aboard HL east of Cape Barren Island led to her eventual retiral from this leg, and Derry Londonderry Doire was left on her own to make the pace, with about ten miles in hand on the next group of boats.

It was a game of cat and mouse, and at one stage they'd opened out the gap to 14 miles, but at other times the tricky headlands and islands of Tasmania saw the pace slacken and the boats astern close up.

For a while nearing the Storm Bay approaches to the Derwent, it looked as if DLDD had it made, as they opened out their lead to nearly twenty miles. But the final miles in the dark were very tricky, "a real nail biter" as McCarter reported - from time to time they seemed to be virtually stopped ,while the boats still out at sea were making full speed. But onward they crawled towards the line, and at 05:42:28 am local time, they were there, the win in the bag, the race sailed in three days 16 hours 42 minutes and 28 seconds, an average of 7.1 knots. And to add a bit of cream on the cake, this remarkable performance has placed them 7th in Division 1 IRC, competing against some of the hottest boats in the fleet.

Published in Sydney to Hobart

#clipperroundtheworldrace – A violent storm has been battering the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race fleet today as it heads through the Indian Ocean from South Africa into the notorious 'Roaring Forties' in the Southern Ocean. Winds in excess of 50 knots have been experienced by some of the fleet, punctuated by hurricane force gusts in places. Injuries have been experienced across the fleet with two crew members requiring medical evacuation. 

Michelle Porter (36) from London is to be evacuated with a suspected broken upper right arm from the yacht Derry-Londonderry-Doire which is sailing for Port Elizabeth, where she will be transferred to hospital via the South African Coast Guard; this is a precautionary measure as the fleet has a tough two and a half week race ahead. Another yacht has just completed a similar transfer following Australian crew member David Griffin (40) suffering a calf puncture aboard Mission Performance. 

The twelve identical British registered 70 foot ocean racing yachts are carrying 240 international amateur crew, each under the command of a professional skipper, on the world's longest ocean race; it is now 10,000 miles out of London on its 40,000 miles, 11 month marathon. The fleet left Cape Town on 4 November and is expected into Albany, Western Australia towards the end of the month. The unique event ends back in London in July next year.

Published in Clipper Race

#clipperroundtheworldrace – After two weeks of close racing Derry~Londonderry~Doire crossed the finish line into Cape Town at 18:00:00 UTC Saturday evening (26 October) claiming seventh place in Race 3 of the Clipper 2013-14 Round the World Yacht Race.

Sean McCarter, skipper of the Northern Irish entry, said, "The last leg was unbelievable it was so close, at times we were in hours of each other. It was very close racing a little bit of everything, including the roaring forties. Each boat some went further north on the Rhumb Line and some of us went further south in more extreme conditions."

The remainder of the fleet are expected to arrive in Cape Town by Monday. Leg 3 Race 4 to Albany Western will start on Monday, 4 October. Their progress can be tracked through the Clipper Race Viewer at

Published in Clipper Race
Page 7 of 11

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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