Be a part of it: City prepares for return of Clipper Race with the LegenDerry Maritime Festival

Preparations are well underway for the return of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race with one of the most exciting events planned for the year, a weeklong LegenDerry Maritime Festival from 21-29th June 2014.

The Foyle Quay is set to transform into a summer promenade, complete with race village, marine marquees, award winning continental market and host of sea faring activities on and off shore.  With a lineup of outdoor concerts planned citywide to welcome the Clipper fleet, including our very own Derry-Londonderry-Doire yacht on its penultimate stopover in the world’s longest ocean race.

Deputy Mayor Gary Middleton was with local businesses to deliver the programme which combined elements of the city’s rich maritime heritage and creative musical talent, encouraged everyone to get onboard for the world class event.

“I am delighted to launch the festival programme to once again welcome the Clipper Race crews to a world class series of events, activities and opportunities.  The Maritime Festival is an excellent chance for us to build upon the superb success of our 2013 UK City of Culture year and to deliver our Legacy promise for Music City 2014.”

“As the Clipper Race yachts have journeyed around the world we have been busy promoting the city and region in international markets telling our new story.  With our dedicated road show in which we are targeting the Diaspora, promoting trade, enterprise and investment links in the major stop over cities worldwide, and now look forward to continuing our partnership working to deliver not only an international festival but also delivery of a business opportunities programme, education and tourism campaign with a number of key stakeholders.”

A rich musical offering, the festival launches with Music City Day on 21st June where from dawn to dusk the city will become a giant performance space for both professional and amateur artists.   The Beach Boys will bring Summer to Ebrington Square and Europe’s biggest dance music offering Celtronic showcases the best in electronic music.  Incorporating the multi-cultural Ubuntu festival there will be a chance to bring people together to celebrate music of all cultures.

At the centre of the weeklong festival will be the welcome of the 12-strong fleet of Clipper Race yachts including Derry~Londonderry-Doire yacht which has once again been carrying the city’s story on its travels worldwide, a journey that has been both magnificent and dramatic in equal measures.

Linda Williams, Head of Economic Development and Marketing at Derry City Council said due to the phenomenal success of the Clipper Homecoming Festival in 2012, the Maritime Festival 2014 will again provide the opportunity to raise the profile of the city as a destination for World Class events as well as providing local businesses the chance to benefit from a unique opportunity to link with other cities and stakeholders.

She said: “The transformation of the City over the last few years has been amazing and the continuation of investment in the City’s One Plan sees the focus on the legacy of City of Culture year and past Clipper events.”

“The Derry-Londonderry-Doire Clipper Yacht has been travelling around the world cementing the city’s story to a global audience, both during and post City of Culture 2013.  The world class event this summer is our chance to build on the confidence that 2013 has brought and positive world wide exposure, a chance to attract visitors and investment and to promote our vibrant and innovative city and for all in the city to realise benefits of this exposure and make 2014 successful and memorable for the city.”

Alan Clarke, Northern Ireland Tourist Board, Chief Executive, said, “The city’s reputation for hosting this event has certainly gathered momentum.  It is a great opportunity to build on the legacy of activity through the ni2012 our time, our place campaign and Derry~Londonderry’s mantle as the UK City of Culture in 2013.  I believe it will not only help increase the international profile for the city but also support economic and tourism growth, continue with job creation, develop creative industries and create awareness of the city’s maritime and cultural heritage.  NITB is please to provide financial support for this event through its International Tourism Events Fund.”

Clipper Race organizers are looking forward to bringing the event back to the city and showcasing their new fleet of twelve new identical 70-foot ocean racers. Jonathan Levy, Global Business and Communications Director for Clipper Ventures said: “We had an outstanding experience during our first visit in 2012 and are very excited to hear the news of the excellent programme for this summer’s festivities and race village.

“The warmth of your welcome and hospitality is indeed legendary within the Clipper Race and the whole fleet is looking forward to its visit here in June. In a more tangible sense, I am confident we will again make a big economic impact on the region through our presence and the spending power of the crew, race partners, fans and visitors. Add to this the global media we reach and this will once again showcase Derry~Londonderry on an international stage.”

Bill McCann, Foyle Port Harbour Master said:  “The Port is delighted to be working in partnership with Derry City Council, Clipper Ventures and all the stakeholders involved in the LegenDerry Maritime Festival 2014.  The return of the Clipper Race offers us the opportunity to utilise the £1.4m of infrastructure invested during 2012 and the chance to build on this legacy.”

“Foyle Port now has over 800m of pontoon space to offer including new pontoon facilities at Meadow Bank and Fort George to accommodate the 100+ visiting boats expected over the duration of the weeklong event.  Our marine team has already demonstrated our capacity to stage and manage all the marine and technical aspects of the Clipper Race arrival and start. We look forward once again to offering the marine and berthing support that the Clipper Race crews will rely on when they are here and to playing our part in facilitating what is sure to be an amazing event for the City and North West Region.”

Whet your appetite aboard the LegenDerry Maritime Festival this June, whether you are a novice sailor, a lover of food or coming for the world class music, this event will enable families, visitors, and nautical enthusiasts enjoy a host of exciting and diverse maritime activities from visiting yachts and boats.  Come meet the crews of the 70 Foot yachts as they dock on the Foyle and discover the fascinating stories of the city with a series of exhibitions and creative heritage areas along the way.

Start your summer in Derry-Londonderry Music City 2014 from Saturday 21st June until Sunday 29th June.  You will find a city full of vibrancy and talent unlike any other, a city gearing up to provide a international welcome that promises to be Legenderry.

The LegenDerry Maritime Festival is being organised and lead by Derry City Council with support from NITB, Foyle Port, Ilex, Loughs Agency, DCC Legacy Fund, Diageo, Tourism Ireland, Donegal Co.Co and Limavady Borough Council.

For more information on the full programme of events or details on how to get involved, and special accommodation rates visit Keep up to date with the Clipper race on Facebook Derry-Londonderry-Doire Clipper.