Belfast Telegraph

Sean toasts Clipper success

By Steven Beacom

A Northern Ireland team ended 2013 in style by claiming a class victory and their first podium place in the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race.

The Derry-Londonderry-Doire clipper crossed the finish in Hobart on Sunday to win the prestigious Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race (RSHYR) and what was Race 6 of the Clipper Race.

In a closely fought 628 mile sprint with winds gusting in excess of 50 knots and five metre waves to cope with, Derry-Londonderry-Doire emerged victorious ahead of the Great Britain team in the classic Australian offshore race.

The Northern Ireland entry finished in an impressive 29th position for overall Line Honours in the RSHYR out of a total starting fleet of 94 boats.

It's worth noting that the 12 Clipper Race teams raced against some of the world's best professional sailors in the event which started in front of tens of thousands of spectators on Boxing Day.

Derry-Londonderry-Doire skipper Sean McCarter celebrated the success with his crew with champagne.

He said: "It was very intense and definitely lived up to its reputation as one of the toughest races. It had a bit of everything. At first there was not enough wind, then there was almost too much wind at the end.

"The last 36 hours was a real slog and it was really difficult. Hats off to all the guys who have done a fantastic job. We have been close to winning a race a few times so to make it happen in one of the most famous races in the world is unbelievable.

"We are so grateful for all the support back home, it's almost like having an extra crew member. It means so much to us."

Race 7 will start tomorrow.

Belfast Telegraph

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