Clan Carruthers

Clan Carruthers: Garry Crothers, the Reiver Spirit lives on, even at sea.

Some information was shared with us of one of our own, which was published in the Derry Journal, newspaper. This superb piece of reporting was written by one of their staff reporters, who must be commended, as it clearly reflects the will and tenacity of one Garry Crothers of Northern Ireland. We therefore have to thank the Derry Journal for covering this story and allowing us to celebrate the epic voyage of one of our own.

Congratulations Garry on this wonderful achievement and a huge welcome home from us all.

A hero’s welcome for Garry Crothers, following his epic trans-Atlantic solo voyage

Delighted relatives, friends, fellow Sailability members and Deputy Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council Graham Warke, all turned out at the quay at the weekend to welcome Culmore sailor Garry Crothers home after his epic trans-Atlantic voyage.

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Garry Crothers, aged 64, is welcomed home, by his wife Marie, at the Foyle Marina on Saturday afternoon, after his epic solo voyage across the Atlantic. DER2027GS – 029 (Pictures George Sweeney)

Garry, who is the vice-chair of Foyle Sailability, found himself thousands of miles away in the Caribbean at the start of lockdown. With all seaports and airports closed and the hurricane season closing in, he took the difficult decision to sail solo across the Atlantic on his yacht ‘Kind of Blue’.

But what makes Garry’s achievement all the more incredible is that following a serious accident in October 2009, he lost the use of his left arm and, in September 2018, had the arm amputated.

With the help of family and friends, and support and encouragement from Foyle Sailability and Lough Swilly Yacht Club, he defied all the odds to get back out on the water.

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Deputy Mayor of Derry and Strabane Alderman Graham Warke makes a presentation to Garry Crothers who completed an epic voyage across the Atlantic arriving in Derry on Saturday afternoon last. Included in the photograph, from left are Gary’s daughter Oonagh, wife Marie and daughter Amy. DER2027GS – 032

 

Garry shared his journey online, and it came to a safe conclusion on Saturday as he sailed up the Foyle, past his home in Culmore, and reached the end point of his almost 4,000 miles of travel by tying up at the pontoon outside Council offices.

Deputy Mayor, Alderman Warke, said Garry’s journey had been an incredible one to follow, and that he was delighted to be there as he stepped foot on home soil once again.

“Garry’s story really is ​testament to the fact that you can achieve so much with passion, determination and belief. It is so impressive that Garry was able to sail again at all after his accident, but the fact that he has sailed solo across the Atlantic is truly inspirational.

“I know Garry is a great ambassador for encouraging people of all ages and abilities to enjoy sailing, and I think his journey will certainly inspire others to believe that they too can defy the odds.

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Rachel McCann, aged 5, looks out for Lough Foyle Yacht Club’s Garry Crothers who completed an epic voyage across the Atlantic arriving in Derry on Saturday afternoon last. DER2027GS – 025

Rachel McCann, aged 5, looks out for Lough Foyle Yacht Club’s Garry Crothers who completed an epic voyage across the Atlantic arriving in Derry on Saturday afternoon last. DER2027GS – 025

“In a truly selfless act, Garry has used his solo trip as an opportunity to raise awareness and funds for Foyle Sailability – a local charity which promotes sailing and other water-based activities to people with disabilities. Since their usual fund-raising events cannot take place because of the pandemic, I would encourage anyone who can to make a donation, however small.

He continued: “It was really heart-warming to see Garry’s wife Marie and his daughters Amy and Oonagh there to greet him along the Quay as he exited ‘Kind of Blue’ after thousands of miles of sailing.

“I’d like to wish Garry all the best, and I hope he has the chance now to put his feet up and have a rest for a little while!”

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Garry Crothers’ Ovni 435 yacht Kind of Blue approaching Foyle Marina, on Saturday morning, after completing a marathon voyage across the Atlantic. DER2027GS – 023

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