Clipper Round the World Race inspires new generation of sailors

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Derry City Council’s Clipper 11-12 Round the World Race Bursary Scheme legacy has become the inspiration for a new era of sailing and training based in the city.

The legacy of the city’s involvement in the race was celebrated recently when a group of people who have took part in a new, local sailing programme received their certificates for completing their course.

The course, involved training aboard Derry’s Clipper 68 yacht, supervised by Clipper Race organisers in close collaboration with Derry City Council and the Kickstart to Work Scheme.

The original bursary scheme enabled five local people, most of whom had never left Ireland before, to sail a leg of the Clipper Race as part of a team circumnavigating the globe, living at sea for extended periods of time and tackling some of the toughest sailing conditions in the world while learning to be part of a team. The latest courses, which took place on board the Derry Clipper Race yacht, gave 46 participants - many of whom come from the Kickstart to Work Employment Programme - a chance to develop some of the same skills and learn from the same remarkable experiences that the bursary winners enjoyed on their exceptional journey.

Led by skipper, Mark Light the Derry~Londonderry clipper secured eighth place overall (of ten competitors) in the round the world race which began at Southampton in July 2011 and ended a year later the same port. Thousands of people attended the week-long Clipper Homecoming Festival in Derry early July.