10 Aug 2022

Clipper Round the World Yacht Race fleet sets sail bound for Derry

The countdown for the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race fleet’s arrival in Derry-Londonderry is on, following the commencement of the final Leg of the 40,000 nautical mile ocean adventure in New York. Leg 8 is formed of two races, with the first being Race 12: The LegenDerry Race - a 3,000 nautical mile race across the North Atlantic Ocean to Derry-Londonderry, Northern Ireland. The 232 non-professional crew members representing 22 different nationalities, including nine from Ireland, waved goodbye to the Big Apple to rendezvous offshore for a Le Mans start at 1800 local time on Tuesday 26 June. One of the crew on their way home was Roseann McGlinchey, a 24-year-old Marketing Officer from Lifford, who despite beginning as a complete sailing novice, has spent the past ten months racing more than 35,000 nautical miles on board team Roseann said: “I can’t believe that we have reached the final Leg of the circumnavigation already. There is still a long way to go across the North Atlantic, which will probably bring some very tough conditions to race in, but I cannot wait to get into my home port. It is going to be incredible!” Roseann’s Skipper Conall Morrison also hails from Derry-Londonderry and said: “This is a race I’ve been looking forward to for the last ten months. “There’s a lot of pressure that goes with racing to your home port but to arrive in front of my family and friends will be a moment to remember. “But there’s a big ocean to cross first. The Atlantic won’t be easy but the team is ready and we’re confident of getting a good result.” This will be the fourth time the Clipper Race has included Derry-Londonderry in its global route, with the eleven teams to again headline the award-winning Foyle Maritime Festival, which runs from Saturday 14 to Sunday 22 July. Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council John Boyle said: “Derry-Londonderry is eagerly awaiting the arrival of the Clipper 2017-18 Race fleet where they can expect yet another warm welcome and endless entertainment during Foyle Maritime Festival which will take place for the duration of their stopover at Foyle Port and Marina. Having met with the crews in New York before they set off, I look forward to the arrival of the Clipper Race yachts at the end of the LegenDerry Finale leg across the Atlantic.” The Sanya Serenity Coast team is going into the final Leg of the Clipper 2017-18 Race with a 19-point lead over the second placed Qingdao. However, third placed Visit Seattle, led by the youngest ever Clipper Race Skipper Nikki Henderson, 24, is only four points behind in third, meaning there is a strong possibility of the first female one-two finish in the 22-year history of the Clipper Race. Race 12: The LegenDerry Race will be a tough 3,000 nautical mile race which is set to take up to 19 days and will feature the sixth and final ocean crossing of the circumnavigation. In the North Atlantic each of the eleven teams may encounter weather as heavy as it was in the North Pacific. Swirling depressions can result in high winds and big swells, whilst teams will also need to be on the watch for icebergs, though the strict ice limit will protect the fleet from getting too close to ice fields. Clipper Race Director, Mark Light, said: “Taking a popular route across the North Atlantic, the fleet will initially head towards Canada. The Grand Banks, at the southern tip of Newfoundland, is renowned for thick fog patches and light winds as the Labrador Current brings cold water down from the Arctic, demanding vigilance from crew and Skippers.” The final stage should be an enjoyable rollercoaster ride, with fast downwind sailing on offer in the prevailing westerlies. And all the effort will be worth it, when the teams arrive to the LegenDerry warm welcome in Derry-Londonderry, and all the fun and excitement of the Foyle Maritime Festival. Following one final race, and after the teams have crossed six oceans and visited thirteen stopover ports on six continents, the fleet will return to Royal Albert Dock, Liverpool almost a year later for Race Finish on Saturday 28 July 2018, where one of the eleven teams will be awarded the illustrious Clipper Race trophy. Pictured above: The Clipper Yacht Race departs from New York to set sail to Derry.

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