The Foyleside area of Inishowen is gearing up to help host the local stage of the prestigious Clipper Around the World Yacht Race when the ten strong fleet arrives in Lough Foyle this week for the week long Clipper Homecoming Festival.
The fleet will sail down the Foyle and into Derry City this Friday to mark the start of the festivities where the Moville and Greencastle areas will play a key role as they host the 'Foyle Inishowen Clipper 2012 Festival' as part of the celebrations.
Highlights will include a 'Clipper Family Celebration Day' in Greencastle on July 1 to mark the arrival of the yachts into Derry with boat trips, music, food, markets and lots of family fun. Between July 2 and 6 there will be traditional sessions, a funfair, pub tours, traditional boat races, archers and much more.
The Moville Regatta will take place next Wednesday July 4th and, crucially, the official Clipper Race stage will start in Greencastle on Saturday July 7th with expert commentary keeping spectators up to date with the action as the boats begin the final leg of their 11 month voyage to Southampton.
The race is just one stage for the ten 68-foot Masthead Cutters, including the Derry~Londonderry Yacht, who are taking part in the 40,000 mile race.
The 200-crew members will have visited 15 different countries when they arrive in Lough Foyle, having set out from Southampton on their round the world trip in August 2011.
By Johnny Craig
To keep up to date with the Clipper Festival check http://campaign.derrycity.gov.uk/Clipper-Homecoming-Festival/Welcome
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