Foyle Maritime Festival
Ten days of live entertainment, food and nautical fun as Derry~Londonderry welcomes home its Round the World Clipper Race yachts
DatesSaturday, 09 July 2016 to Sunday, 17 July 2016
When the Clipper Race teams set sail for the Pacific Ocean, for many crew members they finally felt they were heading for home, and waiting for them at the end of the final ocean crossing in the Homecoming Leg is a huge welcome at the Foyle Maritime Festival in Derry~Londonderry.
The stopover continues to exceed expectations, becoming a firm favourite among crew and supporters and even winning the Best Event/Festival Experience at the Tourism NI Awards following the 2013-14 edition’s visit.
This year's packed from features land and water based activities designed to entertain sea farers and landlubbers alike for ten days from July 9 – 17.
Top of the bill are Irish rock sensations The Riptide Movement who head up an impressive array of entertainment, food, animation and high octane water sports in this eclectic maritime celebration on the Foyle.
The river will be right at the centre of all the action, providing the stage for a whole host of nautical activities and providing a stunning backdrop to the bustling riverside markets, concerts and events set to draw tens of thousands to the city in July.
The festival events are based around the dramatic arrival of the twelve Clipper Race yachts, when the city welcomes home the crew of the Derry~Londonderry~Doire as they speed back up the Foyle for a huge homecoming welcome. This is the third time that Derry City and Strabane District Council has hosted a stopover event in this unique global sporting adventure.
The 70-foot ocean racing yachts will berth at the city’s marina, while the crew enjoy some local hospitality following their 40,000 nautical mile race around the globe as they near the conclusion of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race 2015-16.
As well as The Riptide Movement music lovers will be treated to a first class line up of entertainment throughout the festival including folk sensation Lisa Hannigan, Irish Classical star Zoe Conway, gypsy folk band Balkan Alien Sound, and a whole host of exceptional talent.
Derry will once again officially become Music City from July 9-17, with an impressive collection of artists taking to the streets including homegrown favourite Soak, rock sensations The Strypes, and stars of America's Got Talent, The Willis Clan.
The programme includes a wide array of activities taking place at locations throughout the city. The quayside will be transformed into a bustling seaside promenade with market stalls, funfairs, arts and crafts and fun for all the family. And what Maritime Festival would be complete without some fish? The Clipper Kitchens will be literally stocked to the gills with some of the very best seafood from our local shores.
Things will be hotting up in Ebrington Square with live cookery demos, cook offs and other culinary entertainment. Seafood fans will have the opportunity to try and buy some of the fine fishy fayre in the Clipper Race Food Pavilion, showcasing 40 local artisan suppliers, and the Clipper Race Food Village offering the best of street food from across Northern Ireland.
The beautiful River Foyle will set the scene for some adrenalin fuelled nautical displays, including dragon boat racing, wake-boarding and water skiing, or take to the river yourself to enjoy taster sessions in canoeing and sailing. See first-hand what the Clipper Race crews have to endure in cramped conditions at sea with open boat tours of the Clipper yachts when they arrive in the city.
The festival concludes on Saturday evening July 16 before the Clipper Race fleet departure on Sunday, with a spectacular finale event – The Voyage of Sunniva. See the dramatic events unfold as this medieval Irish Queen tells her story of sea faring adventure as she flees the perils of invasion and navigates her way to safety in a stunning spectacle of the natural elements. Kila and Balkan Alien Sound will provide the emotive musical narrative to this sensational light and aerial show.
Finally on Sunday the quayside will be thronged as the city bids farewell to the Clipper fleet as they set sail for the final leg of their journey to Dan Helder in the Netherlands. The Parade of Sail will leave the city at 2pm for the race start in Greencastle and thousands are expected to turn out in both Derry and Greencastle to send them on their way.
For more information on the full programme of Foyle Maritime Festival events go to www.foylemaritimefestival.com.