Derry’s Clipper crew are guaranteed one of the top two podium places in the Round the World Yacht race this weekend, it has been confirmed.
An epic battle between the Derry-Londondonderry-Doire yacht and current race leaders LMAX Exchange is now under way as the fleet race towards London after departing from Den Helder in the Netherlands on Thursday in the Final Sprint.
Clipper Ventures has confirmed that Derry will cross the finish line in at least second place in the overall circumnavigation because the third placed team, Great Britain, is too far behind to catch them.
LMAX Exchange has a six point lead which means Derry’s crew must finish at least seven places above them to take the title.
The Derry team have been buoyed by the massive welcome they received in the city after leading the 12-strong pack across the Atlantic Ocean earlier this month.
A major finale celebration is now planned for the crews at London’s St Katharine Docks tomorrow.
The Derry crew and their competitors will return to a welcome fit for heroes with Clipper promising “pageantry, live commentary, big screens and a main stage”.
Thousands are expected to turn out to witness the fleet reach Tower Bridge on Saturday morning, with the final prize giving for this, the tenth edition of the race, to take place later in the afternoon.
Relatives and the Mayor of Derry are making their way to London to lead the cheers as the Derry Clipper crew prepares to drop anchor following their race around the world.
Mayor of Derry City & Strabane Hilary McClintock will be among the thousands of people expected to witness the yachts arrive to a triumphant finish, having departed from the same port at the race start 11 months ago.
The Derry team have earned their sea legs during the 40,000 nautical mile race around the globe, after a hugely successful campaign which has resulted in six podium finishes so far – three wins and three second places, including a second place into its home port earlier this month.
Speaking ahead of the visit, Mayor McClintock said: “I am extremely proud of the local team and I am really excited about being there when they arrive.
“The team are a credit to the city and district and are wonderful sports ambassadors.
They should be very proud of their achievements and the excellent work they have done promoting our city.”