Derry’s Mayor, Councillorr Martin Reilly is travelling to San Francisco this weekend to join members of the Derry~Londonderry~Doire crew participating in the Clipper 2013-14 Round the World Yacht Race.
While the Mayor will not be there to greet the team as it crosses the finish line later today (Friday), he will meet up with them next week.
Speaking ahead of the visit, the Mayor said he was keen to meet the crew and offer support following the incident last week involving crew member Andrew Taylor when he went overboard off the Pacific Ocean.
“I am looking forward to meeting with the skipper Sean McCarter and the crew member Andrew next week when I am in the US and offering them my support. The skipper and crew were amazing in the way they dealt with incident and I am sure they will get a hero’s welcome when they arrive in port in San Francisco. The efforts of the skipper Sean McCarter and his team and their quick thinking and professional response ultimately saved the life of their crew member. I am delighted that Andrew is making a full recovery and that the incident has not deterred the team taking part in the race.
“I am looking forward to meeting with Sean and the team to extend the best wishes of the people of the city and to relay how very proud we are of the team and are looking forward to welcoming to their home port in June this year as part of our Foyle Maritime International Festival celebrations on 21-29 June, ” he said.
During the one week visit, the Mayor will attend a number of engagements including an Invest NI investment lunch with potential investment companies, a Corporate Sail event and a NI Bureau reception for Derry/NI diaspora. The Mayor will also meet with Mayor Bates of Berkeley and the Irish Consul General Philip Grant.
He said the visit was a good opportunity for him to link in with business and tourism connections in the United States, network with the Irish diaspora to help forge links that will encourage people to visit the city and be part of the stopover and Foyle International Maritime Festival taking place in June.
He added: “As Mayor of the city it is a huge honour to be travelling to San Francisco to represent the city and to meet and meet the crew of the Derry~Londonderry~Doire boat following what has been a very challenging and eventful race. It’s an opportunity for me to meet with key Irish diaspora and forge long-term business and cultural links that will promote the city for investment and tourism and allow me to promote the city’s competitive business costs, digital connections, super talented labour market and excellence in research. It is also a perfect opportunity to invite people to come and visit Derry when we are a stopover port in June.”
Norman Houston, Northern Ireland Bureau Chief Executive said: “The Northern Ireland Bureau is delighted to host an event for the NI business diaspora that will promote the economical, educational, cultural and community benefits the area has to offer potential US investors. We are delighted to join Mayor Reilly in encouraging the NI diaspora to visit the city and be part of the Foyle International Maritime Festival that is being announced as part of the Clipper Round the World Race official stopover in the city.”