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Southport & Mersey Reporter® covering the news on Merseyside.

Date:- 29 October 2007

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Blood donor sessions

Thursday 1 November 2007
Holy Trinity Parochial Centre
Hoghton Street
2.00-4.00 & 5.30-7.30PM

Tuesday 6 November 2007
St John Stones Parish Centre
7 Sandbrook Way
2.00-4.00 & 5.30-7.30PM

Friday 9 November 2007
Westbourne Hall Community Centre
Westbourne Road

Saturday 17 November 2007
St Peters Parish Centre
St Peters Road
10.00-12.00 & 2.00-4.15PM

Thursday 22 November 2007
The Civic Hall
Southport Road
2.00-4.00 & 5.30-7.30PM

Saturday 24 November 2007
Holy Trinity Parish Hall
Rosemary Lane
10.00-12.00 & 2.00-4.15PM

Friday 30 November 2007
Ecumenical Centre

Southport girls scale lighthouse for stroke

THE Southport Girls are at it again! This time, members of this extremely successful local fundraising group have abseiled down Leasowe Lighthouse for The Stroke Association.  Southport Girls Viv Wilkinson, Barbara Cheetham and Jane Ludlow, along with their friends Linda Irving and Debbie Almay, joined nearly 100 people who turned up to scale down the famous lighthouse to raise money and awareness for the charity.

Louise Elliott, Regional Fundraising Manager for The Stroke Association said:- ‘We’re delighted with the support we’ve received from the Southport Girls and all the participants of the abseil. The event is on course to raise over £16,000, which will help us fight the third biggest killer and a leading cause of adult disability.’

The group, which started 21 years ago as a group of friends who wanted to raise money for the charity, started simply by holding coffee mornings and progressed to sportsmen’s dinners, discos, gala balls and now abseiling!

‘It was a thoroughly enjoyable day. Many of the abseilers started early in the morning and the event went on through the afternoon. We were pleased to be part of this activity which includes abseiling events across the country,’ said Barbara.

The next abseiling event taking place in the North West will be a Santa Slide at the Manchester Velodrome on 15 and 16 December, where participants will attempt to establish a World record number of abseiling Santas.

‘We’re hoping to see 300 Santas abseiling over the course of the weekend. We’ll even be providing the Santa suits so everyone can join in!’ added Louise.

For more information, or to sign up for the abseil, please call 07799 436 011, or email email.  If you would like further information about stroke or The Stroke Association, please contact the Stroke Information Service on 0845 303 3100, or visit the website

Click on to find out more!

Clipper fleet bids farewell to Brazil at start of Race 3 to Durban
Photograph taken by Pedro Campos.

GL QD NY Race 3 start Salvador - Photo taken by Pedro Campos.

THE Clipper called Nova Scotia was first over the line at the start of Race 3 from Salvador to Durban at midday local time (1500 GMT) on Wednesday in ideal conditions in the Bay of Saints with around 20 knots of easterly breeze and bright Brazilian sunshine. The ten internationally-backed boats including Liverpool 08, Jamaica and New York opted for their largest headsails as they headed towards Durban on their second transatlantic race of the ten-month series.

As his team made final repairs to their damaged spinnakers on Wednesday morning at the Centro Maritimo de Bahia, Liverpool 08 Skipper Ben Galloway from Wrexham, said:- “We’re really happy to be in third place overall at the moment but we plan to push hard on this leg and get a first into Durban. It will be an interesting leg with complicated weather which will be a challenge for the crew, but one which I know they’re looking forward to.”

Uniquely Singapore was hot on the heels of Rob McInally and his Canadian crew as they crossed the line, followed by and Glasgow: Scotland with style Clipper.

Jamaica Skipper Simon Bradley from Staffordshire, currently lying in tenth place overall, said he and his team were looking forward to the race ahead: “We can’t wait to get racing and we’ll all looking forward to arriving in South Africa. I’ve never been to Durban and we’re all looking forward to the welcome there. We’ve done as much as we can in getting the boat ready, and we’re all prepared to give it everything we’re got.” Ellen MacArthur Trust Ambassador Dan Monk, 21 and survivor of childhood leukemia, is sailing onboard Jamaica for the race to Durban. Dan’s participation in the race is funded by the official Clipper charity The Philip Green Memorial Trust.

New York Skipper Duggie Gillespie from Kirkcudbright who joined the race in Salvador following the departure of Jerry Crew, was fifth across the line for the 4,100-mile race, after his crew carried out spinnaker repairs until the last moment at the Terminal Maritimo da Bahia. With the repairs to their crucial spinnakers still ongoing, the crew now faces continuing in the cramped quarters onboard in order to gain maximum boat speed en route to Durban.

Ahead of the start, Duggie said:- “It’s all about new beginnings and a fresh start on New York. We’ve got a different plan of action to the other boats so it will be interesting to see how this leg goes for us. I’ve never sailed to Durban before so I’m looking forward to the ocean passage and the trip up the coast.”

Durban 2010 and Beyond was last across the line as they started the race into their home port. Earlier on Wednesday Durban Skipper Ricky Chalmers, who finished Race 2 to Salvador in first place, admitted that the pressure was high for the race into South Africa. “The pressure is on!  We’re really looking forward to sailing into our home port and are really excited about the welcome that we know we are going to receive. The boat is ready so bring it on!” said Ricky, who's clipper was starting race 3 as the race leader. jostled with Uniquely Singapore for the lead after the start, briefly pulling ahead of the boats closer to the coast. Glasgow: Scotland with style Clipper, Jamaica and New York lost the breeze as they headed inshore and fell back down the fleet shortly after the start.

Race Director Joff Bailey said:- “The Clipper Fleet received an excellent reception in Salvador and we would like to extend our thanks to the Government of Bahia for their warm hospitality.

With a long ocean race ahead, the boats had an excellent start but early on in the race some of the boats felt the effects of wind shadows off the coast. But the skippers will not be too concerned as they will be thinking of their long-term strategies with 4,100 miles ahead of them.

Qingdao was in the bottom half of the fleet over the line, crossing sixth, followed by Liverpool 08, Jamaica and Hull & Humber with Durban 2010 and Beyond bringing up the rear."

Qingdao Skipper Marcus Cholerton-Brown explained that he had a personal incentive to get to South Africa as quickly as possible:- “We’re obviously going to get there the fastest as I’m going to be seeing my wife in Durban! We’re had no sail damage thus far and we’re confident that we can perform well on the next leg.”

Hull & Humber Skipper Danny Watson said:- “It has been a short but fantastic stopover and I’ve enjoyed being back in Salvador.

We’re now looking forward to getting going again and the challenge of another ocean crossing and are looking forward to some Zulu parties in Durban.”

During the visit to Salvador, Liverpool 08 crew member Akmed Musleh, 28, visited a local orphanage to hand over clothes, stationary and mementoes of his home city to staff at Creche Lar Assistencial Franco Belcaro who take care of 67 children between the ages of one and six.

After a mass brief at 0800 local time on Wednesday, Clipper crew donated their remaining Brazilian currency to fund a garden for the disadvantaged children.

The fleet is expected to arrive in Durban around 17 November 2007.

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