Derry to host fleet and sponsor boat

Northern Ireland will make its first appearance in the Clipper Round the World Race with Derry-Londonderry to be both a host port and a boat sponsor in the 2011-2012 race.

The city joins Uniquely Singapore and Chinese entry Qingdao, who both took part in the 2009-2010 race, as the only entries confirmed so far.

Race chief Sir Robin Knox-Johnston said: ‘We are delighted to welcome on board the UK’s first City of Culture, Derry-Londonderry, as a yacht sponsor and host port for the Clipper 11-12 Race.

‘The race offers a unique platform to showcase the city around the world, both for business and tourism. We hope that, as other cities and countries have discovered, participation in the race will enable (the city) to build a unique legacy that will last for years to come.

‘We hope people from Derry-Londonderry and across Northern Ireland will sign up to take part in the race and that everyone in the city and, indeed, across the country will get behind the team and support them all the way around the world.’

The city will welcome the fleet in July 2012, one of the final ports in the race.

Mayor Colum Eastwood (above with Sir Robin) said: ‘We’ve partnered with Clipper as we believe it provides a world-class opportunity to showcase the city internationally while supporting business, education and cultural links ahead of the UK City of Culture 2013.

‘It’s an important building block in developing the city’s reputation as a location for international events and brings fully into use the full urban quayside of the River Foyle.

‘This is the catalyst project that will bring together public, private, education, sports and community interests to build a legacy for the maritime, tourism, business and cultural interests of the city.’

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