Community, Destination / Host City, Economic impact, Experiential / Engagement, Legacy, Tourism

  • Plan and deliver a successful event which creates civic pride, regenerates the waterfront area, and produces substantial economic impact to the city.
  • Promote trade and investment between the USA and Derry-Londonderry.
  • The Foyle Maritime Festival recorded a footfall figure of 220,000 [July 14-22]
  • 4,212 people [tourists and locals] took a tour of the Clipper Race Open Boats
  • 240 people went on board Clipper 70 Motor experiences
  • 427 tourism experiences were had by Race Crew
  • The average length of stay for visitors needing accommodation was 11 nights
  • 73% would return to Derry-Londonderry
  • 81% had never been to Derry-Londonderry before the Clipper Race
  • The campaign generated 2,631 individual media items [online, print and broadcast]
  • The campaign generated 3,146 social media items
  • AVE at £4.7M


  • Derry City and Strabane District Council (DCSDC) utilised the Clipper Race stopover in New York to promote itself as a ‘City and Region of Opportunities’ across both the leisure and business tourism industries. In partnership with Invest NI, Tourism Ireland and the NI Bureau, the event’s audience consisted of businesses, investors, travel and trade operators from the tri-state area, travel media and Ireland NI diaspora.
  • The objective of the event was centered around tourism promotion and development, building upon DCSDC’s association with the Clipper Race where by Derry-Londonderry is a Host Port Partner. Attended by the city’s new Mayor, John Boyle, who was part of the delegation that traveled to New York in conjunction with the race, the event also provided an opportunity for potential investments and engagement with New York businesses in order to promote DCSDC as an investment location. The event also aimed to strengthen international relations, raising the profile of DCSDC and building its diaspora network in New York.
  • Guests were formally welcomed to the event by Alison Metcalfe, Executive Vice President, USA & Canada at Tourism Ireland. Norman Houston, Director at Northern Ireland Civil Service then provided a valuable insight into the work the NI Bureau does before the Mayor of Derry City and Strabane spoke about his new role and the global impact the Clipper Race has provided Derry-Londonderry. Clipper Race skipper Conall Morrison, who is local to Derry-Londonderry, was invited to speak about his experience as a Race Skipper and his feelings around sailing into his home town on board a Clipper Race yacht during the Foyle Maritime Festival. The event raised the profile of the Walled City of Derry-Londonderry where the Atlantic Way meets the Causeway Coast, promoting the city region as a connected, competitive and cohesive region, positioned as a gateway to the UK, Republic of Ireland and numerous European markets.


  • Race Village - Derry-Londonderry demonstrated its hosting capabilities by organising a comprehensive Race Village in partnership with the Foyle Maritime Festival. Nestled in amongst the Foyle Maritime vendors, the Clipper Race stand received a huge level of visitors and interest from both locals and visitors to the city. With a record number of visitors attending the Foyle Maritime Festival, the atmosphere during the week-long festival was positively buzzing. The Clipper Race dome was manned by Clipper Race staff and alumni crew [who had represented the Derry-Londonderry-Doire yacht entries in previous years], who could therefore talk positively around the special relationship between Clipper Race and the city of Derry-Londonderry.
  • Open Boat Tours - 4,212 tourists and locals got on board the Clipper 70 sailing yachts for tours and had the opportunity to meet some of the intrepid Clipper Race Crew members who had already sailed some 38,000 nautical miles around the globe. The Clipper Race held one public open boat per day between 1200 - 2000 to work with the peak time of visitors to the Foyle Maritime Festival.
  • Clipper 70 Motor Experiences - In conjunction with the Foyle Maritime Festival, the Clipper Race hosted daily motor experiences where a total of 240 members of the public paid a small fee to meet a Clipper Race Skipper and their crew, and experience an hour-long motor trip up and down the River Foyle on a Clipper 70.
  • Foyle Maritime Festival - The fourth consecutive Clipper Race Stopover in Derry-Londonderry was another huge success with record numbers experienced across the ten-day Foyle Maritime Festival (July 14 - 22). The festival finished in a blaze of colour on Sunday 22nd July as hundreds lined the River Foyle to bid farewell to the Clipper Race teams as they set sail for Liverpool for the final stage of their global adventure. It was an emotional send off after ten days of celebrations, with the city of Derry-Londonderry delighted to announce that up to 220,000 people were estimated to have enjoyed the packed programme of nautical themed activities, with a daily record breaking 32,000 people having turned out for the opening day.
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It was a sad moment as we waved farewell to the Clipper Race fleet after an eventful week of celebration. We have welcomed visitors from all over the world over the past week and it has been fantastic to see Derry and the wider North West region profiled in such a positive way on a global platform. Once again, we’ve demonstrated our ability to stage an international event generating substantial revenue for the local economy and enhancing the region’s profile as an exciting and unique visitor destination.

Councillor John Boyle, The Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council