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Southport Reporter®

Edition No. 178

Date:- 04 December 2004

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Report with thanks to BG SPIRIT. 

TONY Summers from Liverpool and the crew of BG SPIRIT showed incredible boat skills as they got off to a magnificent start on Leg Two of the Global Challenge 2004 / 2005 yacht race and led the fleet for the first 24 hours. The canons fired at 17.00 (GMT) on Sunday 28 November, signalling the start of the long anticipated Southern Ocean leg of 'the worlds toughest yacht race', which will see BG SPIRIT sail some 6,100 nautical miles from Buenos Aires to Wellington. 

BG SPIRIT and the 12-strong Global Challenge fleet set off from Buenos Aires in bright sunshine yesterday and 15 knots of Southeasterly breeze. The yachts were tightly packed as they vied for position on the start line but it was VAIO and BG SPIRIT that made the most of the conditions crossing the line in third and fourth place after Samsung and Me to You were penalised for an early start. BG SPIRIT took advantage of the clear wind at the committee boat end, leaving the rest of the fleet behind who were forced to tack early as BG SPIRIT pulled away at the front. 

BG SPIRIT skipper, Andy Forbes commented on the conditions for yesterday's start:-  "It was a fantastic day for sailing and watching the fleet crisscross each other as they tacked down the River Plate reminded me more of a dinghy race rather than the 6400 miles we have to go to Wellington. The crew have slipped back into routine with ease as they work the boat for every fraction of a knot to maintain our advantage."

This morning Tony and the BG SPIRIT Crew were in sight of five yachts as they headed up the fleet out of the notoriously difficult river. They are well aware of the close proximity of the competition as they exit the River Plate and head into deeper waters off the Argentine Coast over the next 24 hours. 

After a seamless transition back into racing the BG SPIRIT Crew will be focusing on efficiency and performance in the lighter airs, where significant gains and losses can be made. Following careful research and planning, their strategy will be to stay close to the coast in the hope of picking up land and sea breezes before very heavy northwesterly winds fill in from Tuesday evening. What lies ahead is the great unknown as they prepare for a cold and brisk ride south towards the infamous Cape Horn and the rolling waves and icebergs of the Southern Ocean. Rounding Cape Horn is considered one of the greatest achievements for any sailor, let alone a team made up of 17 amateur crew members.

The next stop for BG SPIRIT will be Wellington, New Zealand, where they will arrive in early January 2005, after 36-41 days at sea, with no doubt many hair-raising stories to tell.


THE number of people who have decided to use their heads and take up teacher training at Edge Hill College of Higher Education has increased by 7.1% from last year.

According to the Teacher Training Agency (TTA) the number of people preparing to become teachers has hit a new peak. National figures, based on the TTA's annual census of universities, colleges and schools offering initial teacher training, reveal the highest number of trainees since 1975. And Edge Hill's figures support this trend with 1,843 people taking up training opportunities this year, compared with 1,721 in 2003. 

John Cater, Edge Hill's Chief Executive said:- "As one of the largest providers of initial teacher training in the country we are continuing to attract high calibre future primary and secondary teachers, as well as those already qualified and continuing their professional development. This year we look forward to training more secondary school teachers than any other institution in the UK."

The number of people taking up primary teaching at Edge Hill is up 12% with 859 trainees this year, compared with 763 in 2003, with the number of secondary trainees also on the up. Likewise, more people are taking up training to become maths teachers, even though maths has historically been classed as a shortage subject.

The national campaign to recruit minority groups into teacher training is also paying off, with an increase in numbers of people from minority ethnic backgrounds, men in primary teaching and trainees who declare a disability. Edge Hill has seen an 18% rise in men training to become primary teachers compared with last year's figures, with increases in minority ethnic recruitment and those declaring a disability. 

John Cater:- "It's encouraging to find that Edge Hill is exceeding national trends in teacher training delivery. We will continue to provide quality teacher training as well as training for the newly emerging school workforce, as part of the Government's programme for school reform." 


12 LOCAL heroes from the North West are to be recognised today for tackling anti-social behaviour and working to create safer communities. 

They have been selected as part of a national competition across England and Wales and will receive an award for their commitment and bravery in taking a stand against vandals, thugs and nuisance neighbours.

One hundred winners of the Home Office TOGETHER Taking a Stand Awards, in partnership with Crime Concern and the Co-op, will be presented with their awards by Home Office Minister Hazel Blears and TV presenter Fiona Bruce at a ceremony in London.

Winners faced a huge range of anti-social problems, like:- intimidation, harassment, threats, vandalism, nuisance neighbours, graffiti, and rubbish dumping. From the North West region, they include:-

BURY:- Tracey Stewart 
LEIGH, LANCASHIRE:- Mr & Mrs Peter & Margaret McDonough
WIGAN, LANCASHIRE:- June & James King
OLDHAM:- Linda Greenlagh, Anita Gates, Marie Carter
LIVERPOOL:- Doreen Moseley
PARTINGTON, MANCHESTER:- Maggie Carter and Anne Christian
LIVERPOOL:- James McLoughlin
BOLTON:- Andrew Dickson, Andrew's Travel
SALFORD:- Mavis Shaw
HYDE:- Elsie Dixon
LIVERPOOL:- Edward Robb

Doreen Moseley in Liverpool told of groups of people in her area causing anti-social behavior, including racial attacks and firework misuse. They even petrol-bombed Doreen's car.

Doreen installed a CCTV camera and helped residents fill in diaries, until they had enough evidence against the ringleader. She stood up in court and an Anti-Social Behaviour Order was obtained as a result of her evidence. The youths have disappeared and residents feel safe again.

Home Office Minister, Hazel Blears, said:- "Each and every day, local people are taking a stand against anti-social behaviour, working together to ensure our communities are safer for all.

The TOGETHER Taking a Stand Awards recognise and rewards the actions of these shining lights. They have cleaned up graffiti, organised street clean-ups, given evidence in court, organised activities for young people and set up neighbourhood watch schemes. They have proved, yet again, that determined members of the public are the most effective weapon in tackling, not tolerating, anti-social behaviour. 

The people here today are an inspiration to us all. They have in common the determination, courage and energy to make a real difference in their communities. We hope others will follow in their footsteps."

Martin Beaumont, Chief Executive of the Co-operative Group, said:- "Anti-social behaviour blights many communities, but lots of people are working very hard to tackle these problems. The recipients of these awards are fine examples of what can be done, and they each have our full support. The Co-operative Group is delighted to support the Taking a Stand Awards, as part of our continuing efforts to tackle the problems of crime and anti-social behaviour."

Roger Howard, Chief Executive, Crime Concern said:- "The Taking a Stand awards have uncovered some amazing stories once again. We are delighted to be rewarding our community heroes who have taken action to help make their neighbourhoods a safer place to live. We're particularly pleased to be able to offer every winner some practical training to help them develop and widen their community initiatives."

Over 650 nominations were received from individuals and community groups for the 2004 awards, the second year of the scheme. The winners will be awarded £1,000 to further fund their projects and one overall winner, who will receive £5000. 

They will also be offered the chance to participate in a Taking A Stand Awards Academy to help build their skills and confidence in tackling other local problems and helping people in a similar situation. 

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