Belfast Telegraph

Clipper's skipper leads race into Derry

By Donna Deeney

The sun beamed down on the throngs of people gathered along Queen's Quay in Londonderry, all straining their eyes towards the Foyle Bridge to catch the first glimpse of the victorious Derry-Londonderry-Doire Clipper.

Just before 11am and slightly ahead of schedule the roar went up from the crowd marking the arrival of the homecoming and winning boat of the New York to Derry part of the race being escorted up the River Foyle by a flotilla of vessels.

The fireworks seemed a bit redundant given much of their effect was lost in the clear bright sunshine, but a blast of purple ticker tape coupled with popping champagne corks were appreciated by the 22-strong crew on board.

Skipper Sean McCarter was given a true hero's welcome and his pride and pleasure at being able to bring his winning crew to his home town was plastered all over his face.

All of the crew were incredibly patient as the media vied for interviews when all they really wanted to do was race up the gangplank as fast as their weary legs could take them and be with their families, friends and well-wishers.

The festival mood made it look as if a national holiday had been declared rather than being a Monday morning.

Among those eager to catch a glimpse of the boats were Jennie and Emily Bell from Eglinton.

Jennie said: "There was no way we were going to miss this, the sun is shining, everyone is happy and we are going to have a great week where the whole world will see just how wonderful our city is."

Belfast Telegraph

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