Derry~Londonderry~ Doire bursary winners race places revealed

20 August 2015

As we count down to Race Start, the long wait is over for our five Derry~Londonderry~Doire bursary candidates, who have been waiting to find out which races they will experience in the special tenth edition of the race.

Jilly St John, David Pollock and Conor Shortland are all part of a Derry City and Strabane District Council ‘Your Next Chapter’ sponsored scheme that was launched earlier this year. While local heroes Shane Brunker and Danny Bryce are recipients of the Clipper Race’s ‘Voice of the Community’ scheme, and will representthe community sector on board the Derry~Londonderry~Doire yacht.

Danny Bryce, 39, has spent his career working with vulnerable young people in Derry-Londonderry and found out that he will be racing into the city from New York in the Homecoming races next July. Danny said: “I am absolutely over the moon. I think the most significant thing for me is going to be when we see the west coast of Ireland on the horizon after 24 days at sea. Given the history of emigration from Derry to America it is a very symbolic ocean crossing and I think it will be very emotional.

“I’ve worked at the Foyle Maritime Festival the last few years so now to be sailing into it, and be at the centre of it all, is going to be mind blowing! Being part of tenth edition Race Finish in London is the cherry on top. It’s going to be epic!”

Councillor Elisha McCallion, Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, broke the news to the bursary winners while the fleet is making its way to London from the Clipper Race HQ in Gosport ahead of Race Start on 30 August. The candidates will each be racing the following races:

-David Pollock: Australian Coast to Coast

-Conor Shortland: Asia-Pacific Challenge

-Shane Brunker: The Mighty Pacific

-Jilly St. John: USA Coast to Coast

-Danny Bryce: The Homecoming

Jilly St John, who has already completed all four levels of training, along with David and Conor, was thrilled with the news that she will be racing from Seattle to New York in Leg 7: “Obviously I would have been excited to do any leg because I haven’t travelled much, but I had been banging on about wanting to do the USA Coast to Coast races for some time.

“When I found I just started jumping up and down, I was so excited. I get to sail in two oceans on one of the longest legs of the race. I’m hoping that we will see whales and other beautiful wildlife. I’ve heard that there could be spectacular thunderstorms too. I just want to see all the stuff I’ve only ever seen on TV!”

After delivering the news, Cllr Elisha McCallion said “There has been huge anticipation and excitement among the two sets of bursary groups about what leg of the race they will be participating in. Now that they have been allocated their leg, they will be able to focus and prepare and put into good use the excellent training they have been receiving over the past months.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for all of them, not only to represent their city on board their local yacht, but to achieve a personal goal and be part of a team who are full of ambition, pride and determination. Their participation in the Clipper 2015-16 Round the World Yacht Race will provide them with new skills and an opportunity to see the world, meet new people and be part of a world-wide celebration.”

This is the third consecutive race to feature the Derry~Londonderry~Doire yacht. The fleet sets sail from London on 30 August and is due to arrive into Derry-Londonderry during the Foyle Maritime Festival which will run in the city from 8 – 17 July 2016.

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