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Displaying items by tag: Derry

#News - BBC News reports that the body of a 21-year-old woman from Dublin has been recovered from the River Foyle in Derry.

The body of Alexandra O'Brien was found by the Foyle Search and Rescue Team assisted by the PSNI and Sligo coastguard on Thursday evening in an operation that began after personal belongings were found on the Foyle Bridge.

O'Brien was last seen in Derry on Thursday morning with friend Kieran McKeon, 18, who is also missing.

According to the Irish Independent, it's feared that the two may have taken their own lives in a suicide pact amid eyewitness reports that they were seen falling into the river from the bridge.

Published in News Update

#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

#LIFEBOATS - Two teens were rescued from rocks off north Co Derry on Wednesday afternoon, the Belfast Telegraph reports.

The 13-year-old boys were stranded by the incoming tide in the East Promenade area of Portstewart.

PSNI officers called to the scene around 4.30pm managed to persuade one of the boys to cross to the shore, but the coastguard was tasked to lift the other boy from the rocks by the RNLI, according to UTV News.

Police inspector Mick Wood said that the incident "serves as a reminder to us that tides are extremely unpredictable".

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#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
Tagged under

#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 – 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
Tagged under
#WATERFRONT PROPERTY - A number of prime waterside development opportunities are up for grabs in Northern Ireland and Waterford.
North of the border, Northern Ireland Electricity (NIE) is currently seeking expressions of interest for three sites.
The first of these, in Belfast, is the site of the former Belfast West Power Station. The 16-acre site on McCaughey Road, close to the city centre, is currently zoned as employment/industry.
Further north on the shores of Belfast Lough is a 45-acre whiteland site adjacent to Kilroot Power Station in Carrickfergus. Both Kilroot and Belfast West will be available for lease only due to their strategic nature.
Also available are lands adjacent to Coolkeeragh Power Station, near Derry and the mouth of the Foyle. This 28-acre site is zoned as existing industry.
All three sites are restricted to generation or other electricity industry uses.
The closing date for expressions of interest is 12 noon on 20 February 2012. For more contact Savills Belfast at +44 (0) 28 9026 7820 or [email protected]
Meanwhile, in Waterford, estage agent Purcell Properties is guiding €1.5 million for an 18-acre landbank with extensive frontage on the Suir, less than a mile from the city centre.
The site at Newrath, previously used by Smurfit for plastic production, comprises mixed warehousing developed around 50 years ago.
The landbank is close to the new bridge connecting with the Waterford-Dublin motorway. Zoning of the site would allow mixed use including retail, light industrial and warehousing.
For more details contact Purcell Properties at 051 876 514 or [email protected]

#WATERFRONT PROPERTY - A number of prime waterside development opportunities are up for grabs in Northern Ireland and Waterford.

North of the border, Northern Ireland Electricity (NIE) is currently seeking expressions of interest for three sites. 
The first of these, in Belfast, is the site of the former Belfast West Power Station. The 16-acre site on McCaughey Road, close to the city centre, is currently zoned as employment/industry.

Further north on the shores of Belfast Lough is a 45-acre whiteland site adjacent to Kilroot Power Station in Carrickfergus. Both Kilroot and Belfast West will be available for lease only due to their strategic nature.

Also available are lands adjacent to Coolkeeragh Power Station, near Derry and the mouth of the Foyle. This 28-acre site is zoned as existing industry.

All three sites are restricted to generation or other electricity industry uses. 

The closing date for expressions of interest is 12 noon on 20 February 2012. For more contact Savills Belfast at +44 (0) 28 9026 7820 or [email protected].

Meanwhile, in Waterford, estage agent Purcell Properties is guiding €1.5 million for an 18-acre landbank with extensive frontage on the Suir, less than a mile from the city centre.

The site at Newrath, previously used by Smurfit for plastic production, comprises mixed warehousing developed around 50 years ago.

The landbank is close to the new bridge connecting with the Waterford-Dublin motorway. Zoning of the site would allow mixed use including retail, light industrial and warehousing.

For more details contact Purcell Properties at 051 876 514 or [email protected].

Published in Waterfront Property
#CLIPPER ROUND THE WORLD – Derry-Londonderry has arrived in Geraldton Western Australia at the end of the 4,800-mile Race 4 from Cape Town. The team finished in ninth place, just one-tenth of a mile ahead of Celtic rivals, Edinburgh Inspiring Capital, in the latest stage of the Clipper 11-12 Round the World Yacht Race which, at 40,000 miles, is the world's longest ocean race.

After a massive high pressure system and the associated light winds held five of the yachts captive in the Southern Ocean, the Race Committee reluctantly issued a 'shorten course' instruction to the teams at the back of the fleet and finished the race for Derry-Londonderry, Edinburgh Inspiring Capital, Qingdao, Welcome to Yorkshire and Singapore at 1800 UTC on Sunday 30 October.

derry clipper

Irish supporters follow Derry into port at Geraldton

Derry-Londonderry arrived in port shortly after 1515 local time this afternoon (0715 UTC).

Describing conditions in the Southern Ocean, Mark Light, skipper of the yacht representing the UK City of Culture 2013, said, "It was very big, cold, wet and everything we thought it would be and it was such a challenge; it was incredible to cross it for the first time. We're standing here after such a long time at sea and so many challenges and that is pretty special.

"We had quite a lot of damage on this trip including a spinnaker pole that ripped a little bit of track off the mast and punctured the mainsail, which was the biggest thing for us. We had to have one reef in our main, so we were underpowered for much of the race. It was dangerous at the time – it happened at three o'clock in the morning and took more than an hour to solve, but we got over it."

Paying tribute to his crew, the Isle of Wight-based yachtsman, said, "The crew did fantastically well. Some of the conditions on deck were pretty harsh at times and we had some pretty severe sail changes. They did very well, stuck at it and I'm proud of them."

On board the ten 68-foot ocean racing yachts, each sponsored by a city, state, country or corporation around the world, are people like you – crew members from all walks of life, aged between 18 and 72 who between them represent more than 40 nationalities. Each one of them has put their everyday life on hold to take part in a unique challenge of a lifetime: racing across the world's oceans.

Michelle McCann, from Greencastle, Co Donegal, is putting her life as a teacher on hold to take part in the event as a round the world crew member.

Arriving in Geraldton she said, "It was a really enjoyable experience. The weather was really bad at the start and it was frightening but it was an exhilarating and thrilling experience and it was a highlight in a strange way!

"The worst thing that happened was when the spinnaker track came off the mast and tore into a rip about six feet (two metres) long into the mainsail. We were limping along really for most of the race and it's hard to work around that.

"We're pretty pleased though. Eighth doesn't really sound much but it was good considering what happened, so we're pleased enough."

Race 4 was won by Gold Coast Australia who scored their fourth consecutive victory of the competition and De Lage Landen also notched up their best result to date, finishing in second place. Earlier in the day, in a race to the line befitting Melbourne Cup Day in Australia, New York beat Visit Finland to third place by just 21 minutes.

The arrival of Derry-Londonderry in Geraldton marks the end of a gruelling, four-week, 4,800-mile (7,680-kilometre) race across one of the planet's most feared and forbidding expanses of ocean during which they had to dodge icebergs and had to deal with mountainous waves whipped up by winds of up to 70 knots, as well as combat the frustrations of being becalmed for long periods.

As soon as the crews had completed the customs and immigration formalities they were treated to cold beers and a good Aussie barbecue at Geraldton Yacht Club.

The entire community has come together to make the stopover possible and on Monday evening at an awards ceremony in Seoul, South Korea, the City of Greater Geraldton won first prize for Community Participation and Empowerment at the United Nations-backed Liveable Communities Awards as well as a Silver Award in the Whole City category.

Councillor Bob Hall, deputising for the Mayor, who is returning from Seoul after collecting the city's award, commented, "The Clipper Race puts us on the world map for a place of sailing and waterborne activities as well as opening up the world's eyes to what a beautiful place we've got here. We're very privileged to get our boat in this race and to show our hallmark right across the world.

"It also gives businesses here some new markets and some new dollars into the community, so it's a big boost on our economy. As to measuring the tangible dollars and cents, I don't think you can do that; I think it's the human capital, the well-being, the messages that leave here with the people who crew the boats – that's what sells the place abroad and makes people want to come here and see it."

The yachts will spend the rest of the week in Geraldton before setting sail for Tauranga in New Zealand. It is a much anticipated return visit to the West Australian port that became an instant hit with the crews when the city hosted its inaugural stopover during the last edition of the event, Clipper 09-10.

During the stopover the crews will visit the beautiful Abrolhos Islands and pay their respects in a wreath laying ceremony at the HMAS Sydney Memorial where the new reflection pool is due to be officially dedicated next month. This afternoon the teams paraded along the Foreshore ahead of the official welcome and, during a weekend of public entertainment, music and international food stalls, just before the start of the next stage of the race, on Sunday 6 November, there will be a stunning Parade of Sail which will featuring all ten yachts in formation.

In addition to the packed programme for the crew, team sponsors will be travelling to Geraldton to host events for their clients and partners. The delegation will be part of a larger international trade opportunity created by the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race which will make a significant economic impact, not just by spending hundreds of thousands of dollars in the City of Greater Geraldton and but also by introducing its destination and trade sponsors to Australia's Mid West region with longer term business building potential for local companies. The Clipper Race provides its sponsors with access to 15 markets on six continents during the 12 months of the 40,000-mile race.

Race 5 from Geraldton to Tauranga, New Zealand, will begin on Sunday 6 November.

Published in Clipper Race
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