Derry-Londonderry-Doire clipper arrives in River Foyle

The crew received a rapturous welcome after arriving in the Foyle The crew received a rapturous welcome after arriving in the Foyle

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The Derry-Londonderry-Doire yacht has arrived in the River Foyle after taking part in the Clipper Round the World Race.

Thousands of people lined the quay from 10:00 BST on Monday to welcome the crew, who won the home leg of the race.

The crew left Greencastle in County Donegal at 08:00 BST and arrived at the Foyle marina at 11:00 BST.

Fireworks and cheers welcomed the crew to Derry for the penultimate stopover on the world's longest ocean race.

A nine-day maritime festival began in Derry on Saturday.

Thousands of people lined the quay to welcome the clipper crew Thousands of people lined the quay to welcome the clipper crew

The Red Arrows will fly over Lough Foyle on 29 June to close the festival.

The 2,800-mile leg from New York to Derry was the 14th stage in the 16-series race.

Proud

The win puts the crew in fourth place and in contention to challenge for the third spot on the podium.

Sean McCarter, from Derry, is one of the skippers on the Derry-Londonderry-Doire yacht.

The Derry-Londonderry-Doire yacht sailed up the River Foyle on Monday morning

"I couldn't be any prouder of how this team has performed," said Mr McCarter.

"We have always said this is our race and there was no way we were going to let anyone else stand on that podium in Derry ahead of us.

"We've waited a long time for this moment and we can't wait to celebrate with everyone.

"It's so nice to be home. There were a lot of tears.

"You find different motivations for each race but the past week was definitely about coming home to Derry in first position.

"There were difficult times out at sea and it was intense but it's an amazing experience.

"I'm looking forward to putting my feet up for a while and not having to worry about weather reports."

clipper Sean McCarter said he is "proud of the Derry people coming out"

Mayor of Derry, Brenda Stevenson, said: "It is a fantastic achievement for everyone involved.

"We are extremely proud of Sean McCarter and his team.

"Derry has been put on the map once again and this will create a fantastic financial and tourism boost.

"The Legenderry maritime festival has already been a huge success to date attracting thousands of families over the weekend."

Organisers have said the race will come back to Londonderry in 2016.

Sir Robin Knox Johnston, founder of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race, said: "The enthusiasm in Derry is fantastic.

"The amount of people coming out to see the yachts is unbelievable.

"Sean McCarter was a great leader on the clipper.

"When Andrew Taylor went overboard, Sean reacted very very well."

'Best welcome'

Andrew Taylor, from London, went over the side of the Derry-Londonderry-Doire yacht in March and was rescued almost two hours later.

"It's a pleasure to be in Derry," said Mr Taylor.

"What a welcome we got. It was pretty special. It really was the best welcome.

"Everyday is a bonus for me now ever since I went overboard.

"I did think it was all over at one stage. I lost sight of the boat and thought I was gone.

"The suit I was wearing kept me alive. I love what I do."

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