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Clipper bursary winners ready for their round the world adventure

By Eamonn Macdermott

Published 20/08/2015

Derry City and Strabane District Council Mayor Elisha McCallion yesterdya with Clipper 2015-16 bursary winners Conor Shortland, Danny Bryce and Jilly St John. Photo: Martin McKeown
Derry City and Strabane District Council Mayor Elisha McCallion yesterdya with Clipper 2015-16 bursary winners Conor Shortland, Danny Bryce and Jilly St John. Photo: Martin McKeown

The long wait is finally over for the winners of the Clipper bursaries as they receive the details of when and where they will be on board.

Three of the bursary winners, 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.

Details of the race legs were revealed to the bursary recipients this week as final preparations get under way for the start of the Clipper 2015-16 Round the World Yacht Race when it departs from London on August 30.

David Pollock (31) will be taking part in leg four of the race that will see him sail from Albany, Western Australia, and out of the Southern Ocean into the Tasman Sea on what has been described as challenging leg, testing him mentally and physically.

Conor Shortland (22) has been selected to take part in the fifth leg, 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. He will begin at the Whitsunday Islands on Australia’s Gold Coast before entering the wildness of the Northern Territories and sailing to Da Nang, Vietnam. 

The first Community Bursary winner Shane Brunker (56) will take part in leg six of the race departing from China towards the southern tip of Japan, crossing the international date line and sailing towards Seattle in the US.

Jilly St John (32) is participating in leg seven which will see her depart from the US back out to the Pacific Ocean, heading south towards central America.

The final leg of the race, leg eight, across the Atlantic from the US 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/Londonderry as part of the planned week of maritime festival activities.

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

“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.

“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,” she said.

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