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Southport Reporter®

Edition No. 133

Date:- 10 January 2004

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THE date has been set at Sunday, 18 September 2005, with the starting gun to be fired at midday on the River Mersey.

The fifth Clipper event will be divided into 12 individual races in all, taking its crews on the longest route of all round the world races as they fight for the 'Clipper World Cup' over some 35,000 nautical miles. The city of Liverpool will be joined by the state of Western Australia and the South African port city of Durban in the international line-up for the competition, which pits ten identical yachts against one another.

Ten new 68-foot racing yachts, from the drawing board of celebrated designer Ed Dubois and currently under construction at Shanghai Double Happiness Yachts, will contest the Clipper 05 - 06 Race.

Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, Clipper Ventures' Chairman commented:- "The countdown is now on for the race start on 18 September 2005. This is during Liverpool's Year of the Sea and will consolidate the city's position as a venue for round the world yacht racing and home to our Clipper fleet.

Crews on the last race were full of praise for the spectacular send off afforded by the city and the welcome back by the huge crowds on the river.

Liverpool has been set alight by its successful bid to become the European Capital of Culture 2008 and Clipper Ventures are proud to be associated with the city."

Appeal for Next of Kin - Albert Minnards

SEFTON Coroner's Officers are appealing for the next of kin of a man who died in Waterloo to come forward.

Albert Minnards, aged 72, died at his home in Cambridge Road in Waterloo on 27th December 2003. There are no suspicious circumstances surrounding his death.

Coroner´s officers are appealing for anyone who may be related to Mr. Minnards or who may know of his relatives to contact Sefton Coroners Office on 0151 777 3480.

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A MODEL of the winning design for Liverpool's Capital of Culture 'Friend Ship' was unveiled on Thursday 8 January. 

Well the Queen Mary 2 may have been lanced lat week but Liverpool designer Jo Pocock revealed her radical design to children at Lister Drive Junior School, after winning over judges by creating a flat-pack "touchy feely" ship that can be built and taken down in less than half an hour. 

A former fine art student at Liverpool John Moores University, Jo's ship will be 6m long, 4m wide and 3.5m high when unfolded. It takes its maiden journey in February, sailing to every Liverpool primary and special schools throughout the city's Year of Faith In One City. By the end of the year it will have taken 40,000 children on an unforgettable journey.

The ship, which will have an aluminum framework, will have three interactive areas:-

"The Grotto" - a curtained off performance booth displaying images of Europe and greetings around the world; 
"Lounge" - boasting a cartoon style carpet /map of Liverpool to trace the ships' voyage, and speaking tubes for pupils to talk about the meaning of friendship; 
The outside walls will be in Braille with sign language images, depicting friendship and screens with gloved areas allowing pupils to shake hands with unseen people.

Jo's design was picked by a special committee of the youth parliament, education experts and the Capital of Culture team after a national hunt was launched in the autumn. The vessel aims to build on the success of the Community Globe, which the European Capital of Culture judges praised for involving communities and awareness raising.

Jo, 34, of Aigburth, said:- "I was hoping I would win, so I was absolutely made up when I was chosen. At the presentation the children were laughing and seemed really excited by my ideas, which is very important. I'm looking forward to building it now. As a Liverpool artist I'm very proud to be playing my part in Capital of Culture."

The 'Friend Ship' can accommodate 35 pupils, who will be able to sit and discuss issues such as bullying, racism in a ship shape fashion. It will also have a flag post so each school can design their own flag. Schools across Europe will be invited to participate and exchange flags which will be displayed to mark a special day of friendship on the Mersey.

Council Leader (and Friend Ship Judge), Mike Storey, said:- "It was a tough decision, but Jo's design really jumped out. It is so simple but it really gets the message across. And it's fun. The reaction from the children was fabulous. Schools are really in for a treat when the Friendship docks."

Wally Brown, Co-ordinator for Liverpool's Faith in One City, which is officially launched next Thursday, January 15 added:- "The community globe was a brilliant way of promoting culture and Liverpool's role in the world. The 'Friend Ship' will take that a stage further and promote friendliness across Europe."

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