Clipper fleet delayed until later today as winds slacken

Flags lining the quay ahead of the Clipper fleet arriving.
Flags lining the quay ahead of the Clipper fleet arriving.

The Clipper fleet have been delayed after slackening winds put a dent in the planned arrival at the quayside this morning.

It has now emerged that the first of the competing crews are now not expected in to Derry until 5pm, although this may be subject to change dependant on weather and sea conditions today.

Tents erected along the quay today ahead of the Clipper fleet arrival

Tents erected along the quay today ahead of the Clipper fleet arrival

The first crews had been predicted over the last few days to arrive between 8am and 9am this morning.

A drop in the wind has meant the crews were at this time this morning still rounding Rathlin Island as the race continues towards the finish line near Greencastle in Inishowen.

The boats will then proceed up the Foyle into Derry.

The quayside has been prepared with several welcome and information tents set up alongside some market and food vendor stalls.

The pontoon is ready for the arrival of the Clipper fleet.

The pontoon is ready for the arrival of the Clipper fleet.

Colourful tall flags and banners have also been erected along the quayside, while the pontoon has been cleared ahead of the fleets docking there.

Jacqueline Whoriskey, Marketing Officer with Derry City & Strabane District Council, speaking at the quayside this morning, said: “They have had a change in weather. The winds brought them over the Atlantic much quicker than expected and now the winds have stopped.

“They are going round Rathlin at the moment and as they headed towards Rathlin the winds changed. “They are at the mercy of the weather- we did expect it in earlier today but now it is 5pm expected arrival time.

“The excitement will build up throughout the day. We know the local people and we know they will support it anyway and we would ask people to keep an eye on the Clipper Facebook page and our own and Derry City & Strabane District Council Facebook page as things could still change.”