Published on : Sunday, June 22, 2014
As the crews of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race battle the Atlantic Ocean, the city is planning a homecoming party to remember for the Derry-Londonderry-Doire boat, which has been blazing a trail in the epic global journey. Adverse weather conditions have added to the challenge in recent days, with the leading boats not expected to reach the Foyle until Sunday or Monday, but Clipper watchers can chart the 12 crews’ progress and expected arrival times online via the Clipper website and Facebook pages.
A packed nine day programme of events kicks off on Saturday June 21, as the River Foyle takes centre stage for a summer celebration of live music, sailing, good food and plenty of fun in the sun.
Speaking ahead of the opening events, Mayor of the city, Councillor Brenda Stevenson, said she was looking forward to a busy week.
‘When the city hosted its first Clipper stopover event in 2012, we received tremendous feedback from both the crews and organizers about the outstanding welcome and incredible atmosphere,’ she said.
‘I know that Derry will certainly rise to the occasion once again and with an even bigger and better line up for 2014 the LegenDerry Maritime Festival promises to be an exceptional event.
‘Thousands of people will be thronging the streets over the coming days, so this is a real opportunity to showcase the very best of the city – our stunning riverfront, our renowned hospitality and our ability to stage world class events.
‘I would urge everyone to come along and join in the fun, and give the Clipper crews, including our own Derry-Londonderry-Doire, a very warm Derry welcome.’
This weekend the river will be buzzing with activity, with a whole host of family friendly events taking place. Young buccaneers can visit the Pirate’s Promenade and the ghostly galleon ship, or float their own boat and join in some of the many water based activities, including water skiing, paddle boarding, kayaking and keel boat sailing.
Take a stroll along the quay and take in all the thrilling action on the river courtesy of some top water sports experts, or why not sample some of the exotic flavours of the Continental Market.
Clipper Project Manager with Derry City Council, Aeidin McCarter, said she was delighted to see the event finally coming together. ‘The team from Derry City Council has been working around the clock to put the final preparations for the festival in place after many months of planning.
‘We are delighted that the Clipper Race organisers have selected Derry once again as a stopover city, and after the fantastic welcome they received in 2012 they are extremely enthusiastic about their return.
‘As we approach the opening day of the festival everything is finally falling into place for what promises to be yet another outstanding international event for the city – and if the sun keeps shining it will be extra special.’
Music will also be in the Derry air on Saturday as Music City 2014 stages a massive all-day outdoor music spectacular, featuring the very best local musical talent spanning all age groups and genres.
Sunday offers the chance to learn more about the diversity of cultures within the city with the Ubuntu Festival, a colourful global celebration featuring performances, live music and interactive activities in the Maritime Festival Village between 1pm – 10pm.
You can get a bird’s eye view of all the action throughout the festival on the LegenDerry Eye, which will be in action throughout the event.
And the fun, fun, fun continues during the week with the Beach Boys bringing some sunshine to Ebrington Square on Thursday evening, June 26. A few tickets are still available for this fantastic al fresco event, available from the Millennium Forum Box Office and also at information points located along the Quay.
With all the outdoor activity taking place over the course of the LegenDerry Maritime Festival a number of traffic restrictions will be in operation throughout the week – particularly around the quayside area – to accommodate both pedestrians and motorists, and minor delays are to be expected.
Where possible, the public are strongly advised to use the public transport system or to consider walking to the event.
The LegenDerry Maritime Festival is organised by Derry City Council with funding support from NITB and Diageo and delivery support from Foyle Port, the Loughs Agency, Visit Derry and Ilex.
Source:- Derry Londonderry