Novices set sail on a voyage of discovery in round-world race
Fifty novice sailors set out to sea yesterday aiming to make waves in the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race.
The crew of the Derry-Londonderry yacht have been tasked with achieving Northern Ireland's dream of glory in the prestigious seagoing competition.
The first leg of the event will take the crew to Rio de Janeiro in Brazil.
Among those travelling from the start-off point at Southampton is 23-year-old Niall Doyle, one of five people to win a bursary worth £12,000 from Derry City Council.
Niall, from Altnagelvin, was approached to apply for the bursary through the Kickstart to Work programme.
During the opening journey the crew will participate in two races, the first a 14-day trip to Madeira followed by a 28-day marathon sail to Rio.
Niall believes the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race presents the Maiden City with a unique opportunity to showcase its talents and assets when it hosts the race as a destination port next July.
"There is no luxury involved in these boats," he said.
"The clipper 68 (feet-long) is an out-and-out racing boat."
And Niall added: "I've learned the hard way the amount of strength, fitness and hard work required to sail it."