Derry-Londonderry, UK City of Culture 2013, who last month announced a two race deal as a Team Sponsor of the Clipper Race, officially unveiled their Derry~Londonderry~Doire team entry today, just two days ahead of the Clipper 13-14 Race start in London, St Katharine Dock.
The chairman and founder of the Clipper Race, Sir Robin Knox-Johnston and Mayor of Derry-Londonderry Councillor Martin Reilly, were on hand to officially unveil the 70ft ocean racer and formally mark the city's participation in the race. Sir Robin said at today's event, “I am extremely pleased to be here today along with the Mayor of Derry-Londonderry, former crew members and friends of the city to officially mark the city's participation in the Clipper 13-14 Race.
“Last year we had the privilege of taking the fleet to Derry-Londonderry during the Clipper 11-12 Race. It was one of the most popular stopovers for the crew, and everyone is thoroughly looking forward to returning again in June 2014 with the brand new fleet”
The Clipper 13-14 Race will be the second time the city has been represented in the biennial event. Derry-Londonderry was a team sponsor in the Clipper 11-12 Race and hosted the hugely successful Clipper Homecoming Festival in July 2012, which attracted over 120,000 spectators over the 10-day celebration. The City's continued participation in the race marks a growing optimism about its future.
Mayor Cllr Martin Reilly said: “There is a growing ambition to share the city's new story internationally and showcase the region as an attractive place to visit, study and do business. The city is confident about its future and it is timely to share this new confidence with a global audience.
“As the inaugural UK City of Culture 2013 we have enjoyed a growth in tourism, cultural engagement and community pride and the city looks forward to building upon this legacy. We aim to tell our new story and the Clipper Race partnership will help us achieve this.
“The city also looks forward to welcoming Clipper Race crew, friends and family to be part of a unique maritime festival experience in June 2014.
“On behalf of the city, I would like to extend our best wishes to our team and skipper, Sean McCarter and we look forward to sharing their experiences on this fantastic adventure”.
Representatives from Derry City Council, Derry Visitor and Convention Bureau, Honourable the Irish Society, Tourism Ireland and Invest Northern Ireland attended the official welcome ceremony in London.