​LegenDerry Welcome for HotelPlanner.com

10 July 2018

After almost eleven months and 40,000 nautical miles, Derry-Londonderry born Clipper Race Skipper Conall Morrison and Round the World Crew Member Roseann McGlinchey have returned home.

The pair and their HotelPlanner.com teammates were cheered on by locals, supporters, family, and friends, who had lined the banks of the Foyle as the 70-foot ocean racing yacht joined the other Clipper Race teams at Derry-Londonderry’s Foyle Port Marina.

Conall says: “To arrive back in Derry-Londonderry is a big thing for me. I really couldn’t believe the welcome. A couple of boats came out to meet us at Greencastle and there were people lining the river.

“Some of my family were in Greencastle and my Mum and Dad were at Culmore Point and had banners which was really good. I can’t believe we are here to be honest. It’s a strange feeling to me and it will take a few days for it to sink in I think.”

Roseann, a 24-year-old Marketing Officer from Lifford, also had family to welcome her and admits it was an emotional homecoming, saying: “It was a really cool experience coming down the Foyle and my friends and family were there on the water.

“We had a great celebration when we crossed the finish line and it’s a stopover that means a lot to the whole team, not just myself and Conall. Everyone on board feels like they are coming home so it was just a great feeling.”

Conall, Roseann, and their HotelPlanner.com teammates crossed the finish line at 14:56:10 UTC, finishing the sixth and final ocean crossing of the circumnavigation in a touch over 14 days.

"It was a bit slow going in the final hours but we knew that so were prepared," says Conall.

"As a crew we are pumped to be here. There will be so much to do and everyone’s really looking forward to seeing the sights and sharing our experience with the people of Derry-Londonderry.”

The early arrival into Derry-Londonderry means the HotelPlanner.com crew will be able to have a good rest before the Foyle Maritime Festival begins on Saturday. Roseann says: “The Foyle Maritime Festival always brings a lot of excitement to the city. The council always goes all out for it and make the city look beautiful. The city has adopted the Clipper Race as part of the festival and it’s really nice to be such a big part of that.”

It was also a homecoming of sorts for the six crew members from Ireland, including round the world crew members Mary Frawley from Tipperary and April Rellis from Waterford.

Mary says: "It's great to be here. It was quite emotional which I didn't expect. I was really excited but this morning during our early morning watch when we saw the first glimpse of Ireland it was quite emotional."

To follow the progress of the rest of the fleet to Derry-Londonderry, keep an eye on the Clipper Race Viewer. The ETAs will also be regularly updated here.

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