Derry ~ Londonderry ~ Doire arrives home in a blaze of glory

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The winning Northern Irish team arrived in Derry-Londonderry in a blaze of glory today as thousands of spectators and well-wishers lined the quayside, eager to get a glimpse of the winners of the 2850 mile transatlantic race from New York to their homeport of Derry-Londonderry.

As the team approached the picturesque setting of Greencastle, County Donegal, a flotilla of boats was already in place to escort the champions up the River Foyle to Foyle Marina. On arrival the Mayor, Councillor Brenda Stevenson was on hand to congratulate the team on behalf of the city for their spectacular achievement.

Skipper of Derry~Londonderry~Doire, Sean McCarter, was overwhelmed by the reception as thousands of people  gathered along quayside from the marina all the way up to Peace Bridge in the heart of the city.

Sean said: “After almost 40,000 miles it's unbelievable to be sailing into Derry- Londonderry and even more-so in first place. We have had several boats come out to meet us at 0600 this morning and the flotilla has been growing ever since. 

“Thank you for the amazing support and look forward to seeing you very soon!” 

Round the world crew member Conor o’ Byrne, an Office of the Garda from Dublin, was relieved to be on dry land after a challenging few weeks at sea:

“When we found out yesterday that we had won it was just a huge feeling of relief. It's been a rough two and a half weeks.

“We’ve been so anxious watching our lead whittle away from 100 miles plus to slipping to second place the day before yesterday - it was heart-breaking. In the end we made the right decision to move north and go around the high pressure system and here we are – it’s the best feeling in the world.”

The rest of the fleet is expected to arrive throughout today apart from Mission Performance which is expected to arrive at 0800 BST tomorrow morning. For the latest ETAs click here.