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Clipper Bursary

Local bursary winners set to sail with Clipper 11-12

Five local people are set for a life changing challenge as they set sail across the world, thanks to Derry City Council’s Clipper Round the World Race 2011-12 Bursary.

From left, Niall Boyle,  Shauna O'Neill, Shayne McClure,  Padraig McConway and Matthew Plummer, who will be taking part in the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race after gaining one of five bursary awards to become a member of the crew on board the Derry-Londonderry Yacht. Picture Martin McKeown. 21.7.11The five successful candidates, who all hail from the city, will join the Derry~Londonderry team on board the city’s Clipper Yacht for what promises to be a once in a lifetime experience when they will set sail across the world’s seas to represent their city.  Each of them will be acting as ambassadors for the city on one of the following legs of the journey – UK to Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro to Cape Town, China to San Francisco, San Francisco to New York and New York to UK (including Derry/Londonderry).

The five bursary winners are Niall Boyle (22) from Altnagelvin, Shauna O’Neill (22) from the city’s Strand Road, Shayne McClure (39) from Strathfoyle, Matthew Plumber (42) from Sandbank and Padraig McConway (25) from Shantallow.    The bursary programme is being organized by Derry City Council ‘s  KICKSTART to Work Employment Programme.

The Mayor Councillor Maurice Devenney piicture with the people from Derry who will be taking part in the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race after they gained one of five bursary awards to become a member of the crew on board the Derry-Londonderry Yacht. Included are from left, Meena Kearney, KickStart to Work, Shauna O'Neill, Matthew Plummer, Shayne McClure, NIall Boyle, Padraig McConway and Geraldine Oh'Eara, KIckStart to Work. Picture Martin McKeown. 21.7.11The Mayor, Alderman Maurice Devenney extending his best wishes to the successful candidates said he was confident they would represent the city in a positive way. He said, “I am very supportive of the bursary provided by Council for this unique event. The Clipper race is part of our preparations for the 2013 UK City of Culture and part of our international profile to bring the new opportunities for tourism, economic investment and cultural connections to a wider audience. I would like to extend my best wishes to the bursary winners as they commence their life changing journey”.

Claire Lundy, Marketing and Communications Officer with Derry City Council explained that the bursary was an excellent opportunity for unemployed people from the Council area to participate in a major sporting event.

“The Clipper Round the World Yacht Race is the longest amateur yacht race. The bursary was open to unemployed or those participating in an employability progrramme living in the Derry City Council area who were committed to act as an ambassador to the city and help us share and tell the new story of the city as part of this unique event.  Derry City Council’s investment in the bursary and the partnership with KICKSTART meant that it made participation in the race more accessible to people across all spectrums of life in the city.” she said.

Heather Ewing is from the Clipper Round the World team, she says the importance of the bursary is about making it accessible to everyone. “The bursary winners are all novices and we provide an intensive sail training to become a safe and competent member of a race crew. The courses are fully accredited and all crew members undergo theory courses in navigation and meteorology. We are delighted that Council and  KICKSTART has come on board to support the event in this way and we are looking forward to working with the bursary winners in this event,” she said.

The Bursary was supported by Derry City Council and facilitated by the Kickstart to Work Programme.

Further details about the race are available at
The hosting of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race in the city in July 2012 is supported by a range of agencies including Londonderry Port & Harbour, Ilex URC & Northern Ireland Tourist Board.

Further press information can be obtained by contacting Derry City Council’s Marketing and Communications Section, Tel. 028 7137 6504.



shauna oneillName: Shauna O’Neill – Strand Road, Derry
Age: 22
Interested in a creative /charity ambassador
Leg: 2 - Brazil to South Africa

Shauna is trained in first aid, manual handling, team building, understanding diversity and scuba diving, as well as having a ECDL qualification.
She describes herself as determined and enthusiastic, and a person who is inquisitive by nature and loves a challenge.  Her personal attributes are cited as level headed, tolerant, patient and kind.  However she can sometimes have problem with time management.  She enjoys a wide range of activities from meditation to surfing. She highlights that her active interest in cultural activity makes her viable candidate.  She believes that the experience would help her overcome any fears and challenges she may face, noting that her priority is to attain discipline and gratitude for her life.  She feels that it would give her the necessary experience to enable her to apply to work with organisations she admires.


niall boyleName: Niall Boyle – Altnagelvin, Derry/ Londonderry
Age: 22
Interested in Creative/ Youth Ambassador
Leg: 1 - Southampton to Brazil

Niall describes himself as having a great interest in working in mechanics and is a keen bodywork painter.  He also enjoys working outdoors.  A patient and positive person, he states that he does his upmost to motivate others in trying situations.  He also describes himself as a perfectionist. 
He feels that he could use his interpersonal and motivational skills to encourage others to think outside the box in terms of their career path.  He would use the opportunity to learn new skills/ life experiences which he would share to others.


shayne mcclureName: Shayne McClure - Strathfoyle
Age: 39
Interested in Youth Ambassador
Leg: 6 – China to San Francisco

Shayne has extensive experience as a fabricator/ welder and steel erecting.  He enjoys rock climbing, canoeing, abseiling and cooking.  He has experience in coaching junior members of a local canoeing club.
He describes himself as a ‘people person’ who is patient who shows respect for others.  As a youth ambassador he would endorse the usage of the River Foyle and use the opportunity to spread the word of this wonderful natural resource.   He is an avid sailing fan and feels that his participation would help realise a lifelong ambition and help him in his aim to promote water based activity in Derry and along the River Foyle.


matthew plummerName: Matthew Plumber – Sandbank, Derry/ Londonderry
Age: 42
Interested in being a Youth ambassador
Leg: 7 - San Francisco to New York

Matthew describes himself as being hardworking, motivated with an ability to engage and communicate with people well.  He is a fully qualified painter and decorator, with good knowledge of building work including the skill of reading blue prints.  He is a UEFA qualified coach and has 2 years  experience working as a soccer coach in Orlando, Florida. As a creative ambassador Matthew would use the opportunity to show the world what Derry ~ Londonderry has to offer and would use the experience to meet new people and take part in a world class yacht race.


padraig mcconwayName: Padraig McConway – Shantallow, Derry
Age: 25
Interested in being a digital/Education Ambassador
Leg: 8 - New York to UK (including Derry~Londonderry homecoming leg)

Padraig is a University Graduate with a degree in Primary Education from Leeds Metropolitan University.  He has certificates in life saving, disability awareness, basic sign language, fire awareness and youth leadership scheme – all attained during his time with the St John’s Ambulance.  Good grasp of French and ICT competent. He describes himself as sociable, adaptable and motivated.  He is widely travelled and has spent time in American teaching children in a summer camp environment.  He is a person who enjoys meeting people from different backgrounds and promoting quality and tolerance for all.   He believes that this, coupled with his experience in creating worldwide youth connections would make him a suitable candidate.  He feels by participating it would encourage him to broaden his horizons and improve his job prospects in the youth sector.


Information about the Clipper Race

The Clipper 11-12 race will last 11 months, setting from off from Southampton on 31 July and returning in July 2012. The race route will take the ten crews 44,000 miles around the planet. The race will start from the UK and will visit a mainland European port before the first transatlantic cross to Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, on to South Africa, Western Australia, New Zealand, the east coast of Australia, Singapore, Qingdao, a mammoth race across the Pacific to the west coast of north America (which will take approximately five weeks) through the Panama Canal and from there up to New York and the east coast of North America, back across the Atlantic to Derry~Londonderry and back to the finish port.

The Clipper 11-12 fleet is due to arrive in Derry~Londonderry in July 2012. Each of the  yachts is raced by up to 17 crew and one professional skipper at any one time – a total of 18 on board. Approximately ten crew members in each team will take part in the full circumnavigation while the other members will join the yacht for one or more legs, which means there will be approximately 45-50 people in the Derry~Londonderry team. Multiply that by 10 teams and there will be between 450 and 500 people competing in Clipper 11-12/ Ends

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