The clippers arrive: Derry~Londonderry's Foyle Maritime Festival

The local favourite: Derry~Londonderry~Doire
The local favourite: Derry~Londonderry~Doire

Question: where in the world will you find the following: the Beach Boys, twelve 70-foot ocean racers, a walled city and a fiddle convention this summer?

Answer: The Foyle International Maritime Festival (21-29 June), Derry~Londonderry city.

It doesn’t take much for Derry~Londonderry to throw a party, but in this case, the celebrations are warranted. For the second time in two years (they’ll be returning in 2016, too) the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race (the arrival of which can be viewed from the Magilligan Martello Tower in Limavady) will sweep into Foyle Marina in true clipper style.

Speeding into the North Atlantic, the vessels will ease into the narrow mouth of Lough Foyle (home, if you should believe it, to its very own monster), before scooting through the broad lough and into the city’s marina via the River Foyle, spanned by the elegantly curved Peace Bridge.

And, should the sight of twelve 70-foot racing yachts (including the local favourite Derry~Londonderry~Doire) racing each other into Derry~Londonderry not prove enough to float your boat (pardon the pun), there’s plenty more to get excited about.

The Foyle International Maritime Festival (21-29 June)

For an entire week the city will serve up a staggering collection of festivals, concerts and seafaring puns.

On the menu is (deep breath):

The Beach Boys in concert at Ebrington; Flavours of the Foyle Seafood Festival; the North Atlantic Fiddle Convention; the Urbuntu festival of World Cultures; Music City Day; and the chance to mix with the crews and visit the yachts.

Impressed? We sure are.

Read on for some fabulously fascinating facts about the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race. You’ll be glad you did!

10 facts about the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race

The Clipper Round the World Yacht Race is the world's longest ocean race at 40,000 miles.

Points are accumulated in a Formula 1-style scoring system. The yacht with the highest total points at the finish wins the Clipper Race Trophy.

There are 224 different types of medical supplies on board each yacht.

The Clipper 2013-14 Race is sailed by ‘people like you’. More than 230 different professions are represented from nurses to GPs, pilots to farmers, film directors to surfing instructors, head teachers to students and the whole range of occupations in between.

The skippers are the only professional sailors in the Clipper Race. They guide their amateur teams (up to 24 on a boat) around the world as fast and safely as possible.

The fastest boat speed recorded on the Clipper 2013-14 Race to date is 30.7 knots by Henri Lloyd in Race 2 across the Atlantic.

Offshore each yacht uses at least 1000 wet wipes per week which are then disposed of in port.

On each yacht, Round the World crew members spend on average at least 504 hours of their life standing behind the wheel during the race.

Whilst racing, each crew member burns around 5000 calories a day.

In the Clipper 13-14 Race there are 448 male crew members and 230 female crew members. The average age on board is 46

Don’t know much about Derry-Londonderry? You’re missing out. Read about the walled city here and explore the county here.