Derry’s clipper crew have arrived in China to a heroes welcome after completing the one of the toughest legs so far of their gruelling round the world race.
Although the team set out to emulate or even better their podium finish in the race to Singapore, the crew were positive about a respectable sixth place on arrival in Qingdao in Eastern China.
Following the tough conditions experienced at sea during the preceding 19 days the sailors were more than happy to set foot on dry land once again.
And what a welcome it was for the ‘LegenDerry’ team as they arrived at the Qingdao Olympic Sailing Centre a spectacular ceremony including fireworks, drums and, not least, dozens of Chinese and international media who jostled to get pictures and interviews.
The crew members were visibly overwhelmed by the spectacular welcome, including round the world crew member Michelle McCann. The 58 year-old a Thornhill College teacher from Greencastle, Co Donegal, said the greeting made her feel like a celebrity. “What an amazing arrival into Qingdao. I feel like such a super star and have never had so many photographs taken of my in my life. It was so bitterly cold out on the sea and then to arrive into the sunshine and experience such a beautiful welcome was so fantastic.” Skipper Mark Light, said: “That was the first red carpet I’ve ever walked on. We knew it was going to be a good welcome here in Qingdao, but how fantastic. So much colour everywhere and they were so pleased to see us.”