Prizegiving takes centre stage in Derry~Londonderry

20 July 2022

The Foyle waterside was alive with joyous festivities this evening, as the penultimate prizegiving ceremony of the Clipper 2019-20 Race was held on the opening day of the Foyle Maritime Festival in high spirits.

Image: A LegenDerry prizegiving gets underway

Hosted by BBC Radio Foyle Presenter, Mark Patterson, the ceremony, which celebrates the abundance of achievements made on Race 14: The LegenDerry Finale, took place in the heart of the festival village, making its debut at Dopey’s Den for the fleet’s fifth visit to Derry~Londonderry.

Race 14: The LegenDerry Finale was an action-packed race of over 3,000nm of great sailing across the North Atlantic Ocean from New York. Over the two week race, the yachts surfed down large waves at speeds over 25 knots with over 50 knots of wind recorded.

The performances on the race have broken records as the fastest ever crossing of the North Atlantic Ocean in Clipper Race history, even with an added course extension up to Rockall and St. Kilda which offered a bumpy ride of extreme weather and a chance for teams to get tactical.

The Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Cllr Sandra Duffy, who greeted every team last week when they arrived into the city, joined the proceedings on the Prizegiving stage.

Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, Clipper Ventures Chairman and Founder and founder of the Clipper Race, welcomed everyone, saying: “We've had 5,000 people take part in the Clipper Race, and it's given each person something very special in their lives. I am so proud of what the crew have achieved- to circumnavigate the globe is an incredible achievement.

“On behalf of the entire Clipper Race I would like to extend our sincerest thanks to our hosts here at the Foyle Maritime Festival, especially to Council who have worked tirelessly to make this stopover a reality. You have provided such a warm welcome to our international race crew and their visiting friends and families already. With your stunning location, tourism activities that are planned and an abundance of Guinness I know this stopover is a firm favourite! Derry~Londonderry has hosted us for ten years, and we are proud to bring the Clipper Race back for this fifth time. We look forward to continuing this partnership for many years to come.

“The end to this race is bittersweet, because the crew and staff will be saying goodbye to this amazing city- wow, Derry~Londonderry knows how to put on a good show! It's a memory they'll never forget, the warmth of this city."

An integral part of the Clipper Race is raising awareness for and fundraising for Charity Partner UNICEF UK. Each team has creative in the ways they have encourage donations and the total amount raised in this edition to date was announced as £351,860.76, with the top three teams, Visit Sanya, China raising £37,425.07, Dare To Lead raising £38,143.41 and the charity’s team boat Unicef topping an incredible £105,007.71. A special mention went to Sara McBride and the team on Seattle for arranging an outstanding charity quiz night during the stopover, where over £7,500 was raised for Unicef.

Image: Unicef team

The much-anticipated Media Prize, to award the crew for their fantastic blogs, photos and videos that capture the action and emotion of the race, went to Trevor Thurlow on Zhuhai for his photo: ‘Shower Time’- perfectly summing up the fast and furious conditions.

Image: Trevor Thurlow receives the Media Prize

Unique to the Derry~Londonderry stopover, Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Cllr Sandra Duffy, presented the ‘Spirit of a Derry Girl Awards.’ A member of each Clipper Race team was recognised as someone with the qualities of a Derry Girl, in honour of the much-loved TV show Derry Girls.

The winners of the accolade, making them ‘Honorary Derry Girls’ for their positivity, good humour and resilience were:

Imagine Your Korea - Natasha O Brien

GoToBermuda - Martin Luke

Seattle - Tom Hubbard

WTC Logistics - Jasmine Morris

Punta Del Este - Anne Hough

Ha Long Bay Viet Nam -Gerrard Doherty

Dare To Lead -Dorothy Bell

Zhuhai - Magnus Irving

Visit Sanya, China- Afshin Ahmadian

Qingdao -Bertrand Hould

Unicef - Kirsty Maguire

Image: The Clipper 2019-20 Race Honorary Derry Girls

Onto the racing and it was time to celebrate the fastest teams in The Dell Latitude Rugged Ocean Sprint. In third place, Ha Long Bay, Viet Nam secured one bonus point, in second place Dare to Lead scooped the two points on offer and the fastest time recorded was from Punta Del Este, adding three points to its total. The race also featured a Scoring Gate - an opportunity for teams to collect valuable points to add to their race tally. Third to reach the gate, picking up a point was Unicef, adding two points to its total was WTC Logistics and Race 14 winners, GoToBermuda secured 3 points to top off a fantastic race for the team.

Image: Dare To Lead celebrating a great Ocean Sprint Result

Marking the huge achievements of this legendary race from New York to Derry~Londonderry, the podium positions were celebrated. Mark Patterson announced the third placed team - Unicef with Mayor Sandra Duffy presenting Skipper Ian Wiggin, AQP Daniel Bodey, and the crew with their coveted pennant.

Image: Third placed Unicef

Dan Jones, Skipper of WTC Logistics took to the stage with AQP, Ineke Van Der Weijden and their intrepid crew, to celebrate second place.

Image: WTC Logistics celebrate second place

Receiving the biggest cheers of the evening for sailing its way to first place, (a first first place for the team) GoToBermuda was invited to the stage to revel in the team's well-deserved glory. Skipper David ‘Wavy’ Immelman, AQP Max Rivers and their buzzing Race Crew were presented with their winning pennants.

Image: GoToBermuda take the win

Next up, each circumnavigator on the Clipper 2019-20 Race was called to the stage. After crossing every line of latitude on the globe - a bucket list achievement for the resilient non-professional sailors, who come from all corners of the globe and walks of life.

Image: The Clipper 2019-20 Race Circumnavigators

The final thank you of the evening went to Race Crew Supporters. As their loved ones cross oceans, many miles from home, Race Crew Supporters cheer them on from the side lines and are ready with a much needed hug when they arrive into port.

With so many reasons to party, Seo Linn, the Irish group that became an internet sensation for its cover of Avicii’s ‘Wake Me Up’, led the after-party celebrations in true festival style.

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