A majestic tall ship which has starred in countless films and television series is setting sail for Derry.
The ‘Earl of Pembroke’ will be on the banks of the Foyle from June 30 – July 1 as part of the 10-day Clipper Homecoming Festival. One of many ships to visit the city during the festival, it has appeared in The Hornblower TV series; Mel Gibson’s Apocalypto; Disney’s The Count of Monte Cristo; and the upcoming ‘Cloud Atlas’ starring Tom Hanks, Halle Berry and Jim Broadbent.
The tall ship is commissioned as a magnificent three-masted barque of the 18th century, and at 145ft overall in length with a beam of 24ft, the ship will have only a few metres to spare as she sails under the Foyle Bridge. Booking is not required to get on board and visit the ship, but queues are expected – so come early!
The Clipper Race Homecoming Festival (June 29-July 8) will welcome a ten-strong fleet of 68-foot yachts to the Foyle, as part of the final transatlantic leg of the world’s longest ocean race. During the festival visitors will have the opportunity to visit the Clipper yachts and meet the crews.
The event will include a programme of activities and maritime themed attractions and sights; from marine taster sessions that will bring the River Foyle alive with water based fun.
Look out for the Viking boats too!
As part of the arrival weekend, visitors will be able to taste the exquisite Flavours of the Foyle Seafood Festival, enjoy the finest musicians from the North Atlantic Fiddle Convention, whet your creative appetite in a creative zone and be part of the official welcome event.
The finale weekend, from Thursday, July 5 to Sunday July 8 will be a Legenderry Festival. Highlights include a marine environment zone with visiting boats, the thrilling and fearless Zapcats micro powerboats display, a heritage zone telling the story of the River Foyle, Northern Ireland’s largest continental market and sizzling musical entertainment and creative family events every day.
The long summer evenings will provide a perfect backdrop for the Legenderry concert on Thursday, July 5. On July 6 the Clipper Connections musical evening will be followed by a colourful River Foyle fireworks display.
Town Clerk and Chief Executive with Derry City Council, Sharon O’Connor said Clipper was a unique opportunity to raise the profile of the city as a destination for world class events as well as providing local businesses with an opportunity to maximise this unique opportunity to link with other cities and showcase the city.
She said: “The city is physically changing thanks to investment in the public realm, the opening of Ebrington Square, the Peace Bridge and the significant investment in the Foyle Events Marina.
“The scale and pace of this investment is building real confidence and opportunity for local businesses and communities.
“The Clipper Round the World Yacht Race will be a chance to showcase all of these developments to a worldwide audience, and will be one of the most exciting events the city will ever host.
“This world class event is an opportunity to attract visitors and investment, and promote our vibrant, innovative city in the lead up to City of Culture 2013.
“It is our chance to tell our story to a global audience and to reap the benefits of that exposure”.
For more information on how you get involved go to www.derrycity.gov.uk/clipper and like it on Facebook derrylondonderryclipper11-12.