Derry-Londonderry prepares for Clipper Race return with LegenDerry Maritime Festival

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Preparations are well underway in Derry-Londonderry today for the return of the Clipper 2013-14 Round the World Yacht Race as the city prepares to host one of the most exciting events of the year, a week-long LegenDerry Maritime Festival from 21-29 June 2014.

The Foyle Quay is set to transform into a summer promenade, complete with race village, marine marquees, award winning continental market and host of sea faring activities on and off shore.  With a lineup of outdoor concerts planned citywide to welcome the Clipper Race fleet, including our very own Derry-Londonderry-Doire yacht on its penultimate stopover in the world’s longest ocean race.

Deputy Mayor Gary Middleton was with local businesses to deliver the programme which combined elements of the city’s rich maritime heritage and creative musical talent, encouraged everyone to get onboard for the world class event.

“I am delighted to launch the festival programme to once again welcome the Clipper Race crews to a world class series of events, activities and opportunities.  The Maritime Festival is an excellent chance for us to build upon the superb success of our 2013 UK City of Culture year and to deliver our legacy promise for Music City 2014.”

“As the Clipper Race yachts have journeyed around the world we have been busy promoting the city and region in international markets telling our new story. With our dedicated road show in which we are targeting the Diaspora, promoting trade, enterprise and investment links in the major stop over cities worldwide, and now look forward to continuing our partnership working to deliver not only an international festival but also delivery of a business opportunities programme, education and tourism campaign with a number of key stakeholders.”

A rich musical offering, the festival launches with Music City Day on Saturday 21 June where from dawn to dusk the city will become a giant performance space for both professional and amateur artists. The Beach Boys will bring summer to Ebrington Square and Europe’s biggest dance music offering Celtronic showcases the best in electronic music.  Incorporating the multi-cultural Ubuntu festival there will be a chance to bring people together to celebrate music of all cultures.

At the centre of the weeklong festival will be the 12-strong fleet of Clipper Race yachts including Derry~Londonderry~Doire yacht which has once again been carrying the city’s story on its travels worldwide, a journey that has been both magnificent and dramatic in equal measures.

Linda Williams, Head of Economic Development and Marketing at Derry City Council said due to the phenomenal success of the Clipper Homecoming Festival in 2012, the Maritime Festival 2014 will again provide the opportunity to raise the profile of the city as a destination for world class events as well as providing local businesses the chance to benefit from a unique opportunity to link with other cities and stakeholders. 

She said: “The transformation of the city over the last few years has been amazing and the continuation of investment in the City’s One Plan sees the focus on the legacy of City of Culture year and past Clipper Race events.”

“The Derry~Londonderry~Doire Clipper Race yacht has been travelling around the world cementing the city’s story to a global audience, both during and post City of Culture 2013.  The world class event this summer is our chance to build on the confidence that 2013 has brought and positive world wide exposure, a chance to attract visitors and investment and to promote our vibrant and innovative city and for all in the city to realise benefits of this exposure and make 2014 successful and memorable for the city.”

Clipper Race organizers are looking forward to bringing the event back to the city and showcasing their new fleet of twelve new identical 70-foot ocean racers. Jonathan Levy, Global Business and Communications Director for Clipper Ventures said: “We had an outstanding experience during our first visit in 2012 and are very excited to hear the news of the excellent programme for this summer’s festivities and race village.

“The warmth of your welcome and hospitality is indeed legendary within the Clipper Race and the whole fleet is looking forward to its visit here in June. In a more tangible sense, I am confident we will again make a big economic impact on the region through our presence and the spending power of the crew, race partners, fans and visitors. Add to this the global media we reach and this will once again showcase Derry-Londonderry on an international stage.”

Whet your appetite aboard the LegenDerry Maritime Festival this June, whether you are a novice sailor, a lover of food or coming for the world class music, this event will enable families, visitors, and nautical enthusiasts enjoy a host of exciting and diverse maritime activities from visiting yachts and boats. Come meet the crews of the 70 foot yachts as they dock on the Foyle and discover the fascinating stories of the city with a series of exhibitions and creative heritage areas along the way. 

Start your summer in Derry-Londonderry Music City 2014 from Saturday 21 June until Sunday 29 June.  You will find a city full of vibrancy and talent unlike any other, a city gearing up to provide a international welcome that promises to be Legenderry.  For more information on the full programme of events or details on how to get involved, and special accommodation rates visit