The Northern Irish entry competing in the Clipper 2013-14 Race joined iconic monuments around the world today as it bathed in green light in honour of the traditional Irish holiday of St Patrick’s Day.
Before the 12- strong fleet left Qingdao, China yesterday ahead of the 5,800 mile race to San Francisco, Derry~Londonderry~Derry lit up the spectacular skyline of Qingdao, China’s ‘sailing capital’ as it turned a deeper shade of green.
Mayor of Derry-Londonderry, Councillor Martin Reilly was thrilled the team were already in the party spirit as the city gears up to host the Clipper Race fleet in June 2014. He said: “I am delighted that the crew from our very own Derry~Londonderry~Doire Clipper Race yacht have had a chance to relax and get into the St Patrick's Day spirit. We wish them and the entire fleet a happy St Patrick's Day from us and on behalf of their families when so far away from home.
“Preparations are well underway here in the city to welcome the 12-strong Clipper Race fleet in June during a stopover as they race around the globe. The expectations are high for the Foyle Maritime Festival in June and I have no doubt the welcome will indeed be Legenderry."
Among the sites that will turn green for St. Patrick's Day in 2014 are the Holmenkollen ski jump in Oslo, Norway and the archaeological city of Petra in Jordan. Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: “This is the fifth year of Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative and each year I am delighted to see even more attractions and landmark sites wishing to get involved and join our St Patrick’s celebrations.
“The addition of the Derry~Londonderry~Doire Clipper Race yacht in Qingdao this year is great news indeed – joining the Great Wall of China, the Oriental Pearl Tower, the Mercedes-Benz arena and the Pudong Shangri-La Hotel old and new towers, all in Shanghai, as well as the Canton Tower in Guangzhou, in the important emerging tourism market of China.”
The Clipper Race fleet will arrive in Derry~Londonderry~Doire between 21-13 June where a packed programme of events has been organised including a week-long Maritime Festival.