Northern Ireland

Clipper Round the World Yacht Race: NI-based crew takes second place

The crew of the Derry-Londonderry-Doire celebrate their second place in a closely fought finish to this year's Clipper Round the World Yacht Race. Image copyright Clipper Ventures
Image caption The crew of the Derry-Londonderry-Doire celebrate their second place in a closely fought finish to this year's Clipper Round the World Yacht Race.

The crew of the Derry-Londonderry-Doire have taken second place in a closely fought finish to this year's Clipper Round the World Yacht Race.

It was a close finish, with the Derry team just four points behind winner LMAX Exchange, another UK-based crew.

Some of those involved in the competition have spent 11 months at sea, as the race spans six continents.

Thousands of spectators lined the banks of the Thames in London on Saturday as the teams celebrated the final result.

Many of the 690 competitors are amateurs and some of them had little or no previous sailing experience before they embarked on the global challenge last August.

Double tragedy

The organisers said this year's entrants "endured some of the most extreme conditions ever experienced in the event's 20-year history".

The amateur sailors had to cope with hurricane force winds, giant waves, freezing conditions, injuries and for the IchorCoal team - a double tragedy.

IchorCoal crewman Andrew Ashman was fatally injured by the yacht's boom last September, and Sarah Young was swept overboard in the Pacific Ocean in April.

Clipper Race founder Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, who was first person to sail solo non-stop around the world, acknowledged that this year's event was "extremely tough".

'Remarkable achievement'

"The conditions encountered in the Pacific were the worst we've seen in 20 years of running the race," he said.

"I am proud of all of the crew; they have taken on all the world's most challenging oceans and have been very resilient.

"They should be justly proud of themselves - whether crossing a single ocean or circumnavigating the entire planet. It is a remarkable achievement."

Image copyright Clipper Ventures
Image caption The Derry-Londonderry-Doire crew sailed through Tower Bridge in London after securing second place

The competition is spread over 14 individually scored races.

The Derry-Londonderry-Doire won four of the individual races and finished with a total of 148 points.

'Herculean effort'

LMAX Exchange was crowned the overall winner with 152 points.

The victorious yacht is owned by the British financial technology firm LMAX Exchange, whose chief executive, David Mercer, is from Belfast.

He said: "I'd like to thank all 58 crew who contributed to this herculean effort with special mention to our eight round the worlders - the glue that kept our team bond strong throughout."

The final results were:

  • LMAX Exchange 152 points
  • Derry~Londonderry~Doire 148 points
  • GREAT Britain 126 points
  • Garmin 125 points
  • Qingdao 79 points
  • Mission Performance 78 points
  • Da Nang - Viet Nam 77 points
  • Visit Seattle 76 points
  • ClipperTelemed+ 74 points
  • Unicef 65 points
  • IchorCoal 54 points
  • PSP Logistics 48 points

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