Belfast Telegraph

City to enter yacht in clipper race

Derry is to enter a yacht in the longest ocean race on the planet.

The Clipper Round the World Yacht Race covers 40,000 miles and visits 15 ports on six continents.

A skipper from the city will lead the crew of the Derry-Londonderry vessel in the next two races, in 2013/14 and 2015/16, Derry City Council said.

The fleet will visit the city as part of a biennial maritime festival planned for July next year and in 2016.

Chairman of the clipper race Sir Robin Knox-Johnston said: "This will enable the city to capitalise on its many achievements during the last clipper race, which will continue to provide an international platform for Derry-Londonderry to promote and build upon trade and tourism around the world.

"With our brand new fleet of 12 matched 70 foot ocean racing yachts, the 2013-14 edition of the clipper race will be the largest we have ever produced."

Sean McCarter, 31, has been chosen to skipper the Derry-Londonderry. "It's such an honour to be here today in my home town of Derry-Londonderry. In my career I have had the privilege of achieving so many of my personal goals, but to be named as skipper of my home entry in the Clipper Race is one of the greatest honours I have ever received," he said.

"I'm looking forward to leading my team around the world while helping to place Derry-Londonderry firmly on the global map."

The city participated for the first time in the 2011/12 edition of the race and hosted a Clipper Homecoming festival last year attracting more than 120,000 spectators.

Derry City Council Mayor Martin Reilly said: "This further commitment with Clipper Ventures (the firm behind the race) will form an integral part of the city's international campaign to market the city's business, tourism and cultural offering as well as forming a key element of the legacy of City of Culture and help us further develop the city's international profile."

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