Derry~Londonderry~ Doire celebrates LegenDerry performance

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Although an overall podium finish alluded the Northern Irish team, Derry~Londonderry~ Doire’s performance during the Clipper 2013-14 Race was nothing short of LegenDerry as the team celebrated its victories in style at Race Finish, London this weekend. 

Losing out to third-placed OneDLL by just four points would be frustrating for most, however throughout the 2013-14 edition of the Clipper Race the crew of Derry~Londonderry~ Doire went onto achieve far more than they could have dreamed. In Race 6 the team proved how much of a threat they had become after winning their class in the prestigious Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race from Sydney, Australia to Hobart, Tasmania. 

However, the team left the best till last when the Northern Irish team secured their place in history last month winning their 2,800 mile homeport Race 14, from New York, USA to Derry-Londonderry, Northern Ireland; the first team to win their homeport race since New York back in the Clipper 2007-08 Race. 

As thousands of spectators gathered in London  at St Katharine Docks to watch the teams complete their global challenge, skipper Sean McCarter reflected on the last 11 months: 

“This has been an incredible experience and something that I will never forget,” said Derry~Londonderry~Doire skipper Sean McCarter.

“It’s been unbelievable to be here in London. This last race was really important to us as a team as just four points separated us and OneDLL who went onto take third place. I couldn’t be prouder of the team and how they have performed. They all worked so hard. There was never a point that they just thought ‘let’s settle for what we have’, they kept pushing harder and harder all the way."

The normally reserved skipper continued to reap praise on his crew after claiming an impressive fourth place in the ninth edition of the Clipper 2013-14 Race.

“As a team, it’s hard to ever top anything like our homeport win into Derry-Londonderry, that for us was a dream come true. However, the reception in London was stunning and although I know it’ll be strange leaving the team once we take the boat back to Gosport, I know we will always be great friends and truly LegenDerry."

Round the world crew member, Conor O Byrne, an Officer of the Garda from Dublin, Ireland was overwhelmed by the rapturous reception.

He said: “It was my dream to sail around the world and on Saturday I joined that elite group of people. The race has been absolutely incredible and I am so proud to stand alongside my team who have made this last year truly unforgettable for me. 

“It is going to be a real culture shock not travelling to a different destination every few weeks or getting out of bed in the early hours to join my watch system.”

The Mayor of Derry-Londonderry, Brenda Stevenson, who was there to welcome in each of the 12 racing yachts to Foyle Marina during the Northern Irish stopover last month, was once again leading the celebrations in London as she praised the team’s incredible performance.

“Race Finish in London was a really proud moment for everyone of Derry-Londonderry. Just weeks ago we saw the team win their homeport race into Derry-Londonderry and here we are at Race Finish. The city is already planning what we can do for the next race; we're the pressure to make the Clipper 2015-16 Race stopover even bigger and better than this year's. Although  the team just narrowly missed out on third place overall, for us they’ve always been winners.”