THE DONEGAL born skipper of the Clipper Round the World Race yacht, Derry-Londonderry-Doire, Sean McCarter, who won the race into his home port of Derry yesterday (Sunday), was ecstatic.
Thousands of people are expected to line Lough Foyle today as the 70 foot racing yacht makes its way into the pontoon in the city having won the leg from New York.
The course was shortened with a time limit placed on the race on Sunday after unusual weather patterns caused by a persistent high pressure system centred just west of Ireland threatened to hamper the progress of the fleet.
The Derry~Londonderry~Doire yacht was the closest boat to the original finish line off Greencastle County Donegal at 155.1 miles, with Team Garmin and Old Pulteney in second and third places at 163.9 and 165.8 miles to the line respectively.
Local ‘hero’ skipper of Derry~Londonderry~Doire is Sean McCarter who was born in Donegal and brought up in Derry-Londonderry who put on a spectacular performance, leading the fleet for the majority of the race. After the race office verified the fleet’s results, the normally reserved skipper couldn’t hide his pride after breaking the notorious homecoming race curse, to come in first place into his homeport. The last time that happened was six years ago in New York.
“We inherited the title of LengenDerry crew, but now it’s official. I couldn’t be any prouder of how this team has performed. We have always said this is our race and there was no way we were going to let anyone else stand on that podium in Derry-Londonderry ahead of us.
“To everyone back in Derry-Londonderry – we’ve waited a long time for this moment and we can’t wait to celebrate it with you. See you tomorrow.”
The 12 points now places Derry~Londonderry~Doire just five points behind OneDLL on the overall leader board. The Northern Irish team is now in serious contention for an overall podium place in the Clipper 2013-14 Round the World Yacht Race, as just two races remain in the 16 race series.
Derry~Londonderry~Doire is estimated to arrive at Foyle Marina in Derry around 11 am today (Monday) where thousands of local supporters and Clipper Race fans are expected to line the quayside, eager to get a glimpse of the winning local team.
The rest of the fleet is due to arrive at Foyle Marina throughout the day, with the last boats expected by Tuesday morning.
For those eager to get a taste of life at sea on board a Clipper 70 racing yacht, open boat tours will be running from Wednesday to Friday 25-27 June at 2-7 pm.
The 12-strong fleet will be berthed at Foyle Marina until Sunday 29 June when they will set off from Derry-Londonderry to start the next race from Greencastle. The RAF Red Arrows will provide a spectacular aerial display along the coastline ahead of the Race 15 start to Den Helder in the Netherlands for the OneDLL Cup.