A group of people who took part in a new, local sailing programme in Derry-Londonderry have received their certificates for completing the course from Derry-Londonderry Clipper Race yacht skipper Mark Light and Mayor of Derry City Council, Councillor Kevin Campbell.
The course, a collaboration between Clipper Race organisers, Derry City Council and the Kickstart to Work Scheme, was inspired by the Derry City Council Clipper 11-12 Round the World Bursary Scheme.
The original bursary enabled five local people, most of whom had never left the UK 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-Londonderry Clipper Race yacht, gave the 48 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.
Throughout each of the four three-day courses, the crew members were required to push their personal boundaries learning to work as a crew, improving their ability to build relationships and deal with conflict, while building confidence and self-esteem on the way to earning their RYA ‘Introduction to Sailing’ certificate.
Councillor Kevin Campbell said: “We are all delighted to have the Derry-Londonderry yacht back in its home port. It’s a fantastic sight to see it berthed on our new Foyle Pontoon and to see so many local people taking advantage of the great opportunity to participate in the subsidized sail training courses.
“A big thank you to Clipper Ventures, the council, Loughs Agency and Kickstart to Work for initiating these courses and offering people this once in a lifetime chance to sail on this magnificent yacht. The courses are an important part of the legacy of the Clipper Race and the promotion of the River Foyle for marine tourism.”
Crew Recruitment Manager, David Cusworth will be holding a presentation at City Hotel, Derry-Londonderry on Wednesday 5 December between 1800-1900 for anyone who wants to find out more about taking part in the Clipper 13-14 Race or future editions of the world's longest yacht race.