Old Derry's Walls provide backdrop for Clipper prizegiving

Mayor, Hilary McClintock with Clipper prize-winners on Wednesday night.
Mayor, Hilary McClintock with Clipper prize-winners on Wednesday night.

The historic City Walls and the Guildhall formed a spectactular backdrop for last night’s prizegiving ceremony for the winning teams of the Legenderry Finale leg of the Clipper Round the World Race.

Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council Alderman Hilary McClintock said the event was a “spectacular and momentous occasion” for the city and district and one of the highlights to date of the Foyle Maritime Festival celebrations.

Crowds gathered on and below the walls with the Clipper prize-winners on Wednesday night.

Crowds gathered on and below the walls with the Clipper prize-winners on Wednesday night.

Crews from the 12 yachts participating in the 2015-16 Clipper Round the World Yacht Race were led from the Playhouse and down through the historic City Walls by members of the Colmcille Pipe Band to an outdoor prize-giving event held in Guildhall Square.

Paying tribute to the home team Derry~Londonderry~Doire who secured second place, the Mayor said she was hugely impressed with the warm welcome for the teams and felt very proud to host them in the city centre.

“It was a fantastic occasion and a great celebration of cultural heritage with music, drumming and dance performances that really showcased local talent and providing us with a forum to show the teams how proud we are of their achievements and how much we are enjoying their participation in the Race. ”

Chart topping band Seo Linn performed as part of the event that was delivered in partnership with the Council’s European Youth Capital 2019 bid supported by An Culturlann that brought young people from across the city and district together to perform a series of well-known tracks in Irish.

The first prize of the night was the Stormhoek Social Spirit Award. Voted for by supporters of the race via Facebook, this award celebrates the team spirit on board. The winner is usually kept under wraps until the Prize Giving ceremony but with the number of nominations this time around, it was unsurprising that the local team Derry~Londonderry~Doire was the recipient. Third placed ClipperTelemed+ was next on stage for its third consecutive podium prize. The home team returned to the stage to collect second place after a hard fought battle withLMAX Exchange for the line. Winning its sixth race of twelve in the overall Clipper 2015-16 Race, LMAX Exchange had the honour of being the final team on stage to collect its winner’s pennant.

LMAX Exchange continues to lead the overall Clipper Race standings with two races remaining. Derry~Londonderry~Doire is nine points behind in second place with GREAT Britain a further eleven points back in third place.

Race 13 to Den Helder starts on Sunday 17 July as part of the Parade of Sail event along the River Foyle with the teams scheduled to start slipping lines from 1.00pm before the official race start at Greencastle in Co Donegal later that evening at around 6pm.

The Foyle Maritime Festival is supported by Tourism Northern Ireland, Foyle Port, Loughs Agency, Diageo, DuPont Kevlar and Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs.

For more information about the festival visit www.foylemaritimefestival.com