Invigorated by winning Race 14 in the Round The World Yacht race, the crew from the Derry-Londonderry-Doire Clipper returned home to a heroes welcome on Monday morning.
Along the entire route of the Foyle Estuary the crew were greeted by shouting, cheering and waving hoards all eager to welcome the crew ‘home’.
On the approach to the city, from Quigley’s Point and up to the Peace Bridge the route was lined with thousands of well wishers all eager to catch a first glimpse of the Clipper make its triumphant return.
At Thornhill College the pupils and staff came out to cheer the crew home and a flotilla of small boats went out to meet her and escort her for the final few miles of the journey to Foyle Marina.
At the Clipper sailed under Foyle Bridge a canon saluted the crew from a barge, discharging one volley as the crowd at the marina began to cheer. As the Clipper neared the marina for a lap of honour that would take them down towards the Peace Bridge fireworks greeted them overhead. At the crew moored and got their first taste of solid ground after over two weeks at sea they were showered with purple confetti as hundreds of well wishers, including family and friends cheered and applauded their return. A little red tape followed in the form of passport checks and paperwork before the crew could find their family and friends; ahead of them a week-long celebration, special appearances and events that beckoned before Sunday’s Parade of Sail at 12pm will see them leave once more.
In the meantime there is the spectacular Continental Market and a full week of events showcasing Londonderry for the influx of visitors.
LegenDerry Maritime Festival-goers with a disability or mobility issue can avail of a special viewing area provided at the front of the Foyle View apartments along the quay. Derry City Council event stewards and volunteers are also on hand to assist during the nine-day international festival.