Goodbye to Rio as crew prepares to head south

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Having soaked up the thrilling atmosphere of one of the party capitals of the world, Derry’s clipper crew will today zip up their foulies for another gruelling 3,600 miles of ocean racing.

With the dreaded Doldrums - which saw the Derry~Londonderry~Doire team’s impressive first place lead chewed up and transformed into a respectable fifth place finish in Rio - now a fading memory, the crew are looking forward to everything the Southern Atlantic can throw up in the race to Cape Town in South Africa.

With more than 5,000 nautical miles now under their life belts, the crew are all too aware what’s expected in ocean racing.

The stage is set for part two of the battle of the Atlantic with all the clipper 70s restocked with supplies and the crew members - at least most of them - well rested after a few days taking in the sights, sounds and much else that Rio has to offer.

The city’s branded yacht will set sail from Marina Da Gloria in Rio de Janeiro tomorrow morning and skipper Sean McCarter is very hopeful of starting out in much the same way as in the beginning of Race 2 from Brest in France.

Having arrived in Rio on Sunday night last, Sean said this week he was very proud of his crew for pulling out all the stops as the Derry yacht attempted to claw back the race lead lost in the windless and unforgiving Doldrums and hold on for a fifth place finish.

“It has been a long race and its phenomenal how close it was the entire way, especially at the end.

“I’m sure there is no other race fleet in the world with this many boats, that is so long and so close.”

“I’m so proud of the crew. Their enthusiasm and true grit has shown no bounds.

“Also we are very aware of the support from friends and family at home.

It felt like we had an extra crew member so it is certainly a bonus that has been very much appreciated by the whole team, “ he added.