'˜Encouraging' talks on possible return of Clipper fleet to Derry Festival

The Chief Executive of Derry City Council has said that 'positive' talks are currently taking place around the possibility of bringing the Clipper fleet back to Derry.

Friday, 30th September 2016, 4:59 pm
Updated Tuesday, 4th October 2016, 2:01 pm
The crews of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race pictured before their departure from Derry-Londonderry in Northern Ireland as they start race 13. Picture Martin McKeown/Clipper-ventures. 17.07.16

John Kelpie was speaking after the matter was raised at the Council’s Full monthly meeting in the Guildhall on Thursday.

SDLP Councillor Martin Reilly had asked for an update on whether or not the Clipper can be brought back.

Mr Kelpie said that a “large number of meetings have been held since the very successful event in the summer”.

He said that these included talks between Council representatives and Tourism NI and Invest NI, and also “very encouraging” meetings with potential commercial partner organisations. He said that while the talks were at a “very sensitive stage”, he added, “I can say they are quite positive at this moment in time.”

The man who founded the Clipper Yacht race, Robin Knox Johnston, speaking during the Maritime Festival this summer, said he would love to see it return to the city, paying tribute to the “great reception” the fleet had received in Derry.