The search for Ulster men and women who want to be part of the region’s Derry-Londonderry-Doire team in the next Clipper Round the World Yacht Race has been launched this week.

Organisers of the world famous Clipper Round the World Yacht Race have announced they will visit Derry-Londonderry and Belfast next month to meet prospective local crew members and Derry City Council has revealed it wants business partners to get behind the Derry~Londonderry~Doire team for the 2015-16 series and help make its third race campaign the most successful to date.

Clipper Race organisers, including former crew members, are touring Ireland and will host a free talk at Derry-Londonderry’s Guildhall on Friday 6 February at 6.30pm, and then Belfast’s Odyssey Complex on Saturday 7 Feb at 12.00pm, for those interested in finding out more about getting on board the world’s longest and most unique ocean challenge.
Huge crowds lined the Foyle to welcome home the Derry~Londonderry~Doire yacht and the international Clipper Race crew members last June. During the stopover, more than 250,000 people also attended the city’s 2014 LegenDerry Maritime Festival which was held in conjunction with the race fleet’s arrival.

Seventeen Irish crew members took part in the last Clipper Race. One of those was University of Ulster nurse, Breidge Boyle, 52, from Newtonabbey, who was a crew member on board  the Derry~Londonderry~Doire yacht during its journey across the North Atlantic in the last race.

Breidge says: “If you want to push your limits and do something truly amazing that will change your life forever, the Clipper Race is it. When I look back at what I have done I know I have accomplished something truly extraordinary. It’s given me some really, really good core values, strength to dig deep when times are tough and real ability to work in and lead a team. I urge anyone to take on the challenge.”

80 per cent of crew places for the 2015-16 race are now filled but there are still places available on most legs. Founded by legendary sailor Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, the first man to sail single-handed and non-stop around the world in 1968/9 and is truly unique. It is the only event where people from all walks of life, regardless of previous sailing experience, can race around the world under sail. Crew can sign up to complete either the full circumnavigation or one or more of the eight race legs.

The Clipper 2015-16 Race will be the tenth edition of the biennially held event. It sets sail on Sunday, 30 August 2015 from the South of England and will arrive in Derry-Londonderry in July 2016 during the final, homecoming leg of its 40,000 nautical mile circumnavigation.
The full recruitment tour dates and locations are as follows:

-Saturday 31 January – Dublin – National Yacht Club, 10.30am

-Monday 2 February – Cork – Royal Cork Yacht Club, 6.30pm

-Wednesday 4 February – Galway – Harbour Hotel, 6.30pm

-Friday 6 February – Derry/Londonderry – Guildhall, 6.30pm

-Saturday 7 February – Belfast – Odyssey Complex, 12.00pm

To attend the event, please RSVP to Della Parsons, Clipper Race Recruitment Manager at dparsons@clipper-ventures.com.