Clipper Round the World Yacht Race puts Londonderry on crest of a wave

Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster is pictured in Singapore with the Great yacht, which was among the first part of the Clipper fleet to arrive in Singapore. The arrival of the rest of the fleet including the Derry-Londonderry branched yacht, was delayed due to adverse weather conditions.
Left to right: Mayor of Derry, Cllr Martin Reilly; Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster and Alastair Hamilton, Chief Executive, Invest Northern Ireland.

Londonderry will once again be in the media spotlight when the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race returns to the city later this year, Enterprise Trade and Investment Minister Arlene Foster has said.

Speaking in Singapore, where the Derry-Londonderry branded Clipper is due to stopover along with the rest of the fleet, Arlene Foster said: “The Clipper Race is the world’s largest ocean race, covering 40,000 miles and visiting 15 ports on six continents.

“We may be 7,000 miles away but the Londonderry brand will be very much to the fore when the whole of this tremendously impressive fleet arrives in Singapore. It is a breathtaking sight, which attract thousands of spectators keen to get a close up look at the yachts.

“In Northern Ireland, we had our first experience of how beneficial being involved with the race would be in 2012, when Londonderry hosted the Clipper Festival.

“The proportion of sponsorship media coverage achieved by the Londonderry yacht was the highest of all sponsors, with 31.7% share of all Clipper Race media coverage. In addition, the Clipper event generated £3.7million benefit to Northern Ireland businesses, with over £267,000 being spent on local accommodation.”

Londonderry will mark the Clipper Race’s arrival this year with the Foyle Maritime Festival, which takes place from June 21-29.

Arlene Foster added: “Raising international awareness of what Northern Ireland has to offer tourist is vital if we are continue to attract more visitors from overseas. Last year, Londonderry was the first UK City of Culture and delivered a very successful cultural programme. It has put itself firmly on the map as a premier tourist destination and one which is very much open for business, having attracted key investors like Seagate and Fujitsu.

“The city’s continued participation in the Clipper Race is providing an unrivalled opportunity to raise the international profile of the city around the world. I very much hope that sailing enthusiasts will consider coming to Northern Ireland to enjoy the Foyle Maritime Festival and see for themselves how great our tourism offering is.”

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