Clipper yachts bid Derry bon voyage

Published Sunday, 08 July 2012
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Londonderry has bid bon voyage to the round the world Clipper Race.

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The boats taking part performed a parade of sail on Saturday.

They then left the Foyle to resume the last leg of their round the world race.

The amateur crews had travelled 40,000 mile to reach the city and the Clipper Festival.

Organisers said it has been a huge success, attracting up to 200,000 visitors and far exceeding expectations.

"Absolutely brilliant," one man told UTV. "I came up from Belfast for it, very, very good."

A woman said: "It's wonderful, really good to see the city so vibrant." And another woman added: "It's great for the city."

The Derry-Londonderry Clipper yacht sailed across the finish line near Greencastle, Co Donegal, last Sunday, ending the trans-Atlantic leg of the race.

Its crew came ninth in the trip from Nova Scotia to the north-west coast of Ireland.

The festival has been organised to coincide with Derry's year as City of Culture in 2013.

Sir Robin Knox-Johnston - the first man to sail the globe single handed - says the clippers should return to the Foyle.

The Clipper Ventures representative told UTV: "If the council asked us to bring this back we would look at it very seriously indeed.

"This has been successful and we like successful places.

"Crews have enjoyed themselves, facilities have been very good and I don't think we'd think too long about it."

© UTV News
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