Northern Ireland news

Tall ships and jazz lined up for Foyle Maritime Festival

More than 160,000 people visited Derry during the last Foyle Maritime Festival in 2016. Picture by Margaret McLaughlin

TALL ships, cruisers and a massive 42-foot catamaran complete with jazz band will greet the Clipper Round the World yacht race when it arrives in Derry for the fourth time this summer.

The ocean-going yachts will end the transatlantic leg of the race from New York to Derry during the week of July 14 to 22.

As they arrive, crews will be greeted by the city’s Foyle Maritime Festival, details of which were unveiled yesterday.

More than 160,000 people visited Derry when the Clipper race last stopped over in 2016.

This year Derry City and Strabane District Council plan an even bigger welcome for the yachts.

Derry mayor Maolíosa McHugh said the theme for this year’s event would be “Voyages” focusing on Derry’s strong maritime history.

The festival will feature visiting tall ships, “merchant and maritime markets” and a programme of musical and entertainment events at Ebrington Square.

The council's head of events, Jacqueline Whoriskey, said the Clipper yachts would also be greeted by a range of other craft, including a 42-foot catamaran.

“The highlight of the festival will be a spectacular Voyages showcase event on and alongside the river that encompasses land, water and air with the Clipper race yachts joining tall ships, cruisers, yachts and punts from across the region and beyond as part of a live theatrical performance that will culminate with light and fireworks on the water,” she said.

There will also be boat tours on the Foyle, while the festival will coincide with the annual Foyle Cup youth football tournament which attracts teams from all over Europe.

Details of all events are available at www.foylemaritimefestival.com.

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