Clipper Round the World Race and Maritime Festival
You can just imagine the party that the world’s longest yacht race would merit. If not, listen to what happened in Londonderry in July 2012. The arrival of the Clipper Round the World Race in Londonderry, the UK City of Culture 2013, kicked off a nicely nautical four-day Maritime festival. The crews celebrated their success at the Derry-Londonderry prize giving on 3 July while around 50,000 people attended the festival. Even the city’s own yacht, Derry-Londonderry, had been busy promoting Londonderry’s well-earned title as UK City of Culture 2013 to an audience of around 460 million people worldwide. Now isn’t that a nice and unusual way to spread the word?
The festival was fun-and-frolics galore and the place to rub shoulders with these incredible sailing folk who undoubtedly have a barrel of tales to tell about their trip.
The Derry-Londonderry team
You can understand the ‘Derry-Londonderry’ sailing all over the world boasting the city’s title as UK City of Culture 2013. And, considering these hardy nautical souls have sailed six seas and two capes you can also see why their arrival in Londonderry was worth a spot of fanfare. Did you manage to pop down to see the boat and chat with the crew?We’re sure that, after an adventure like that, they had a story or ten to tell.
Founded in 1995 by Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, the 40,000-mile (crikey!) race circumnavigates the globe. Around 450 determined sailors take on this rather daunting challenge that can take up to 11 months. All boats are identical and all budgets equal – meaning no one has a head start and there is everything to play for. Every location the crew stops in erupts in joyous festivities but we’re guessing that the party in Londonderry may have left a more potent memory than most!
Avast me hearties and walk the plank all ye landlubbers… or something along those lines. Excuse us, the Maritime Festival has gotten us a little excited. The city boasts cracking sailing history and what better way to celebrate than by wacky street performances, arty parties and live tunes. 2011’s festival in Belfast saw the reenactment of a pirate battle on the River Lagan and Londonderry outdid her big sister by going one better. Party, ho!