Newly elected Mayor, Councillor Brenda Stevenson, will travel to New York this week to join members of the Derry~Londonderry~Doire crew participating in the Clipper 2013-14 Round the World Yacht Race.
The crew will arrive at the stopover port in the ‘Big Apple’ ahead of their departure for the next leg of the race that will bring them into the home port of Derry for the LegenDerry Maritime Festival celebrations.
The Mayor will be accompanied on the trip by Derry City Council’s Town Clerk and Chief Executive Sharon O’Connor along with Des Gartland, Invest Northern Ireland’s North West Regional Manager, to engage with businesses and key members from the Northern Ireland diaspora in New York.
Speaking ahead of the visit, the Mayor said: “I am really looking forward to meeting the skipper Sean McCarter and his crew and helping to promote details of our fantastic maritime festival celebrations that are planned to coincide with the arrival of the Clipper Race fleet when they arrive in the city at the end of the month.
“We are hugely excited about being in New York and getting an opportunity to showcase our city, network with local business people and encourage them to be part of our celebrations and our new legacy story since our City of Culture status success,” she said.
The Derry~Londonderry~Doire crew are expecting a huge welcome on arrival in New York with many family and friends travelling to the stopover location as well as large numbers of Irish diaspora who are following the team’s success in the race and are keen to show their support.
Mayor Stevenson said: “It’s a huge honour for me as the newly elected Mayor to travel to New York to represent our city and to meet and greet the crew as well as meet with business people to forge business and trade links that will help us attract investment and new business opportunities to the city and wider North West region.
“It’s a great opportunity for us to encourage New Yorkers to come to Derry for our Legenderry Maritime Festival celebrations and to update them on the city’s progress and legacy promises we are currently delivering on.”
During the trip the delegation will attend a number of engagements including a UK Trade & Investment event to celebrate the Clipper Round the World Race stopover, an event organised by Clipper Ventures at the NASDAQ stock exchange, the Origin Theatre event honouring the Irish Consul General and a corporate lunch event organised and funded by the NI Bureau, Invest NI and Tourism Ireland.
The Mayor will also visit the New York Irish Centre to launch the visiting exhibition from the Foyle Civic Trust, ‘Derry Londonderry Goes Global’. The exhibition was held last year in Derry as part of the City of Culture programme and focuses on Derry around the world and the Derry diaspora. The visit will also include an opportunity to meet members of the New York Derry Society.
Des Gartland, Invest NI’s North West Regional Manager said: “This event offers a tremendous opportunity to promote Derry city and North West region both to potential investors and as a tourism location. Invest NI is working closely with Derry City Council to maximise the opportunities that the Clipper Round The World Race presents.”
Details of the LegenDerry Maritime Festival, which will take place in Derry~Londonderry between June 21- 29 to welcome the Clipper Race fleet to the city, are available at www.legenderrymaritimefestival.com