First Clipper yachts sail in heralding launch of homecoming festival

Fri, 29/06/2012 - 17:52 -- Editor

THE Clipper race has sailed into the city today to a great fanfare. 
The ‘Gold Coast’ and Singapore yachts have already landed - with more arriving throughout the weekend and right up until the 8th July.  Not only can you come down to the quay to see the yachts but there’s lots on the quay to keep everyone entertained, from music, to amazing sights, delicious food, and an array of wonderful free entertainment.

SDLP Foyle MLA Mark H Durkan says the forthcoming week of festivities surrounding the Clipper Race, Maritime Festival and the North Atlantic Fiddle Convention will provide something for everyone.

He said: “It was a stunning sight this morning to see the first of the clippers – the Gold Coast, from Australia – make its way into Derry, winning the latest leg of the race.

“Not only does this event celebrate all that is good about international boat-building, for Derry it marks the start of an exciting week of celebrating all that Derry has to offer the world.

“Watching the boats utilise the Foyle – one of our most prized, but underdused, assets, is fantastic, but the benefit to our local economy from this truly international maritime festival will be a big boost.

“Boats are arriving from all over the world and tourists are coming from all over too – to see the clippers, to enjoy the free concerts in Ebrington next week and also, elsewhere in town, to enjoy the rich variety of music coming to us via the North Atlantic Fiddle Convention which, it can rightly be said, is another string to Derry’s bow.

“Once again, we have a key opportunity to show off the best of the city, prove that we are a city committed to peace and prosperity and I call on all citizens of Derry to put forward the best face we can to the thousands of tourists who will pass through this week – our people and our economy deserve the boost that these festivals have to offer us.”

Highlights this weekend at Clipper

·         The Clipper Yachts will be coming in at various times over the weekend – to keep up to date, and to view three hour notice, go to Facebook Derry~Londonderry Clipper 11-12

·         Flavours of the Foyle Seafood Festival: Saturday (12pm – 8pm), Sunday (1pm – 6pm)

·         Tour boats: Friday – Sunday (10am – 8pm)

·         Ardglass Vikings: Saturday – Sunday (10am – 6pm)

·         Foyle Paddlers: Saturday – Sunday (and during the week) (10:30am – 5:30pm)

·         Try Sailing: Saturday – Sunday (and during the week), (10am – 8pm)

For more information on the huge range of free entertainment, food, performance, water and land-based activities which are on offer, click on www.whatsonderrylondonderry.com or www.derrycity.gov.uk/clipper.

The Clipper Homecoming Festival is organised by Derry City Council in partnership with Londonderry Port with funders Northern Ireland Tourist Board, Loughs Agency, Ilex, FG Wilson, Invest Northern Ireland and Malin Waters. The event is made possible with the support of many partners including Translink, Tourism Ireland, Chamber of Commerce, Department for Social Development and local business.

For full details of when each activity will be on offer and for more details of other activities, go to our programme at www.derrycity.gov.uk/clipper