They might not have achieved a podium position but for two crew aboard Switzerland, sailing home as part of the Clipper 2013-14 Round the World Yacht Race after nearly three decades away was a very proud moment.
For crew member Richard Greer, 45, who now lives in France, the opportunity to sail home was the reason he had signed up to compete in the race. As well-wishers and supporters lined the Quayside, there was one moment that Richard was sure he would never forget.
“I was at the helm as the sun was coming up when we were making our way here and we got the first glimpse of Ireland. I just cried out to everyone – land at 2 0’ clock. Everyone let out a huge cheer.
“It’s been nearly 25 years since I’ve been back and it is a very different city to the one I left. I’m so pleased to be a part of something that is very positive for the city.”
Richard - who grew up in Knockloughrim, County Derry - left the city to study engineering in Salford before then backpacking around the world. He then took up a position within Occupational Safety with Kimberley Clark, producers of Huggies and Kleenex.
Also on board was fellow crew member Samantha Tosh, 42, also originally from County Derry. She currently lives in Brighton where she works as an engineer. She joined Switzerland in New York for Leg 8.
As she sailed under the Foyle Bridge, the realisation that she was finally home became all too much:
“Arriving into Derry-Londonderry with my mum waiting on the quayside to see me was the most amazing feeling. I’m so proud of Derry-Londonderry for putting on what truly is the biggest party this town has ever seen. It’s incredible.”
For those eager to find out how they can take part in the Clipper 2015-16 Race, the Race’s Crew Recruitment and Development Director, David Cusworth will be in the city in search of the next LegenDerry crew. Dave will be holding presentations at:
Wednesday 25 June – Corporate Marquee (next to Clipper Race Dome) - 1830.
Saturday 28 June – The Guildhall at - 1400.
If you are unable to make either of these event, but you’d like to find out more you can reach David on +44 (0) 7884 490 645.