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Clipper Yacht Race bids Foyle farewell 23.07.18

THE River Foyle was a blaze of colour on Sunday as hundreds lined Derry’s Quay to bid farewell to the Clipper Race teams as they slipped lines and set sail for Liverpool for the final stage of their global adventure.
It was an emotional send off after 10 days of celebrations as the city played host to the crew of the 11 visiting yachts during their stopover in the city. Up to 220,000 people are estimated to have enjoyed the packed programme of nautical themed activities during the Foyle Maritime Festival which took over the city from July 14-22.
The festival finale event on Friday night included a spectacular Voyages and Parade of Light Showcase, an atmospheric performance featuring aerial performers, an illuminated flotilla of boats on the Foyle, fireworks and animation.
Derry bids farewell to the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race as the teams set sail for Liverpool for the final stage of their global adventure.
On Sunday the city turned out en-masse to give the fleet a final send-off after a memorable week for both the crew and the thousands who shared in the welcome celebrations, as they took part in a stunning Parade of Sail before their final departure to Liverpool to the race finale.
The Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Councillor John Boyle, led the city in waving off the fleet as it made its way back up the Foyle to the official race start at Greencastle.
Speaking after the event Mayor Boyle said “It was a sad moment as we waved farewell to the Clipper Race fleet today 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".
This is the fourth time the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race has included Derry as a stopover city, and the celebrations around the visit have now become an established highlight of the city’s events programme, with plans currently being developed to host the Foyle Maritime Festival biennially.
Roseann McGlinchey, Donegal native and HotelPlanner.com crew member said: “The stopover has been incredible. To sail into my home city and see my family for the first time in a year is something I will always remember. We almost felt like celebrities during our time in Derry, everyone made us feel so special and welcome. The Walled City Brewery adopted the HotelPlanner.com team and even named a cocktail and a beer after me! How incredible is that. One more race to go and I will be home for good.”
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