Clipper 2015-16: Crew get their sea-legs

Derry City and Strabane District Council Mayor, Councillor Elisha McCallion pictured with Clipper 15-16 bursary winners, Conor Shortland, Danny Bryce and Jilly St. John and Helena Hasson, Clipper Race Project Officer . Picture Martin McKeown. Inpresspics.com

Derry City and Strabane District Council Mayor, Councillor Elisha McCallion pictured with Clipper 15-16 bursary winners, Conor Shortland, Danny Bryce and Jilly St. John and Helena Hasson, Clipper Race Project Officer . Picture Martin McKeown. Inpresspics.com

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Local people who won bursaries allowing them to sail on the Derry~Londonderry~Doire Clipper 2015-16 Round the World Yacht Race have been told which leg of the race they’ll be taking part in.

Jilly St John, David Pollock and Conor Shortland, are part of a Derry City and Strabane District Council sponsored scheme that will see them embark on an exciting sailing adventure across the world, while Shane Brunker and Danny Bryce are recipients of the Clipper Race’s Voice of the Community Scheme, and will be representing the community sector on board the Derry~Londonderry~Doire yacht.

Leg 4 will be negotiated by David Pollock. The 31 year-old will sail from Albany, Western Australia and out of the Southern Ocean into the Tasman Sea. The leg will cover 4,325 miles and require him to be at sea for 29 days, participate in three races and visit three ports over the months of December 2015 and January 2016.

Conor Shortland (22) will take part in the 5th leg of the race sailing south to north across the Equator, starting off in the heat of the Southern Hemisphere through the islands of Papua New Guinea and Indonesia. In the second section of this leg, the team will cross the Equator and into the Pacific Ocean and the South China Sea with its north east monsoon winds and some tropical heat towards Qingdao, China. Conor will be sea for 48 days covering over 6,300 miles, participating in two races and visiting three ports during January, February and March.

The first Community Bursary winner Shane Brunker (56) will take part in Leg 6 of the race departing from China towards the southern tip of Japan. Shane will be 30 days at sea and will cover 5,700 miles during the months of March and April next year.

Jilly St. John (32) is participating in Leg 7 of the race which will see her depart from the US back out to the Pacific Ocean, heading south towards central America with its high temperatures and light winds. She will sail through the Caribbean with its tropical heat, trade winds and squalls before sailing into New York. This leg covers 5,400 miles and will see her and her team spend 32 days at sea competing in two races and visiting three ports during April to June 2016.

The final leg of the race, Leg 8, has been allocated to the second Community Bursary winner Danny Bryce (39). This homecoming leg will include a visit to the yacht’s home port at Derry as part of the planned week of maritime festival activities. Danny and the team will depart from the US across the Atlantic Ocean and into Europe for the final section of the race that will see them compete for the final stage of the race. The leg will require the team to be at sea for 24 days, take part in three races and stop at four ports, while covering an area of around 3,350 miles during the months of June and July next year.

Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Colr Elisha McCallion said the allocation of the race legs to the bursary representatives was a hugely exciting event for everyone taking part.

The race start will take place on 30 August and the city will once again host a week long Foyle Maritime Festival to welcome the Clipper Race fleet into the host port.