Belfast Telegraph

Goalkeeping coach joining team aboard Derry yacht

By Brendan McDaid

A UEFA goalkeeping coach is hoping to become a lucky mascot for the Londonderry Clipper team as he jets off to join them this week.

Bursary recipient Matthew Plummer is bound for San Francisco where he will team up with the rest of the Derry-Londonderry yacht crew as they prepare for the seventh leg of the challenge.

The fully qualified goalkeeping coach and UEFA B licence holder is one of five people whom Derry City Council has sponsored to take part in the race through the Kickstart to Work programme. The Derry team came fourth of 10 last week following a gruelling race across the Pacific Ocean.

They will depart from the Panama Canal bound for New York for an estimated 48 days non-stop race sailing after a few days rest.

Matt said he was very much looking forward to the challenge and has been keeping fit and getting motivated for life at sea.

“It is quite a daunting thought being on board a small yacht for such a long time but I have been building myself up to it for so long and now the time has come.

“I just can’t believe I’m going. I am really looking forward to it, it’s going to be an amazing once in a lifetime experience and I feel privileged to be representing my city in such a positive way.”

One aspect of the challenge that Matt is not looking forward to is the watch rota system on board the vessel.

“The watch rota is going to be a bit of a challenge for me I think but I will get used to it. I know each watch will be very intense, but by working together as a team we will be able to overcome any challenges that we meet.”

Matt will be providing regular updates from the vessel via the Clipper’s Facebook page Derry-Londonderry Clipper 11-12 and on Twitter — DerryClipper where you can follow the team and their progress in the race.

For general information about the Clipper race visit www.derrycity. gov.uk/clipper

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