The Derry entry in the Clipper Round the World Race has narrowly missed out on a podium finish in a dramatic leg that saw four sailors on a rival boat rescued by the US coastguard.
The Derry boat narrowly lost out on third place in the trans-Pacific Qingdao to San Francisco, China to the US, leg of the race, finishing fourth behind the New York, Singapore and Gold Coast Australia boats.
Skipper Mark Light said the Derry crew were delighted to reach the US after battling the horrific conditions.
“This race is long. We prepared mentally for it in the beginning – it’s all about effort and motivation. At times you almost want to give up, but none of the crew on Derry-Londonderry did; we worked very hard and I’m very proud of all of them and myself.”
The crew were met in Oakland Bay by a horde of Derry ex-pats, Paul McKeever among them.
“The crew are all well but exhausted. I spoke to crew member Michelle McCann from Rosemount, originally from Shroove. She said the crossing was very tough with a few scary incidents, but the crew worked well together and ended up in fourth place on this leg of the race,” he says.
The expat community are now planning a series of celebratory events while the crew are docked on the west coast. Meanwhile, the US coastguard had to rescue four sailors on board the Geraldton Western Australia clipper were injured after being hit by a storm on Saturday. The four suffered a range of injuries after a wave hit their boat some 400 miles off the coast of California.