By Brendan McDaid
The biggest welcome was reserved for the Derry-Londonderry-Doire crew, and particularly local man Danny Bryce.
Danny (40), who has been involved in youth work in Derry for 17 years and is currently manager of youth charity Extern, was nominated for Clipper Council bursary by local woman Helena Coyle for his contribution young people.
Eagerly anticipating his arrival on the dock on Wednesday was his wife Leeann and their two young daughters, Aine (7) and three-year-old Aoife.
Leeann told the Journal: “It’s three weeks today since he left. He left on the Wednesday and didn’t go on the boat until the Monday.
“At the start it flew in but then as the days went on it got longer. Me and the bigger girl Aine, whose seven, were tracking them every hour, where they were and what they were doing. It has been exciting but I’m just glad this day has come. I’m just so glad to have him back home in Derry.”
Danny himself said he was “buzzing” to be reunited with his family, and said the crew was delighted with their performance and the reception.
“It’s been absolutely mind blowing. There’s thousands of people lining the quayside and there’s been fireworks and music and the atmosphere is absolutely electric. It is utterly overwhelming. I’m absolutely delighted to be back in Derry.
“We did our best to come in first in this one but unfortunately the winds didn’t go in our favour. We still got second place which was awesome and we won the Ocean Sprint too. Just being part of that crew is a privilege. The skipper Dan was amazing.
“It’s been fantastic; it’s unbelievable,” he added. “It was 15 days of really hard work. We were lucky we had a really good crew, enthusiastic, positive, strong, and they just gelled from day one.”