Countdown to Liverpool... Race start
WITH just under 50 days remaining until
the start of 1 of the toughest endurance challenges on the planet, further
details for the week of festivities and timings for the highly anticipated
Clipper 2017-18 Race Start, taking place, on 20 August 2017, in Liverpool have been
Clipper Race Founder and Chairman Sir Robin Knox-Johnston said:- "For the
majority of Clipper Race crew members, who have come from many different walks
of life, the Clipper Race journey began a year ago or more when they 1st applied
to take part so with less than 50 days to do before the Race Start, you can
really sense the excitement building amongst everyone. Liverpool is an
incredibly proud and vibrant community and we have had fantastic experiences
here in the past which is why we were so keen to return. There will be plenty to
see and do so we hope to everyone join us once again and help make this another
truly memorable event for the City, and our crew and supporters."
On 20 August 2017, the Race Start will begin with a Slipping Lines ceremony, at
9:15am GMT, in
the City's world famous UNESCO waterfront, Albert Dock, before all 12 yachts
and their courageous UK and international crew form a spectacular parade of sail,
on the River Mersey, from 11:15am to 12:00am.
At 1230, the Clipper 2017-18 Race start gun will mark the beginning of the
circumnavigation which, subject to change pending approval, will start with a
short course on the River Mersey, a chance for spectators to get up and very
close to the action.
This unique challenge is the only event which trains everyday people to become
ocean racers, and final planning is underway as it prepares to return to
Liverpool for the 1st time in a decade. Having grown enormously in number of
participants, yacht entries, economic influence and media value since its last
visit, race organisers are looking forward to putting on an even bigger show
than ever before.
Council lor Wendy Simon, Assistant Mayor of Liverpool, said:- "We can't
wait to welcome back the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race to Liverpool. The
day all the yachts arrive in the Albert Dock makes for a stunning sight and will
really ramp up the anticipation for the start.
The City has a very close affection for this event and we have wonderful
memories from when we've been fortunate to host it in the past. All crew and
supporters can expect a warm welcome and a magnificent send off as our beautiful
waterfront is tailor made for spectacular maritime moments such as these."
Liverpool, which is bidding to be the UK candidate City to host the 2022
Commonwealth Games, will utilise the race's global platform to raise its
international profile and maritime legacy. The City hopes to inspire a new
generation of sailors and seafaring enthusiasts in the historic port City. The
former European Capital of Culture also aims to promote its cultural and
sporting heritage on the world stage to position the City as the home of large
scale events that are accessible for all.
There will be plenty of chance for members of the public to get up close and
personal with the race before its departure as the fleet is due to arrive in the
City 6 days earlier, on Monday, 14 August 2017. The arrival will coincide with the
official opening of the Clipper Race Village, at 1000 that same day, with a
white sail parade of the fleet on the Mersey, followed by an official Civic
For the duration of the week, there will be a series of public events and
activities scheduled at the Clipper Race Village to include:- 'About the
Clipper Race' free public talks and the opportunity to look around one of the Clipper
70 foot ocean racing yachts.
Some 712 Clipper Race crew members will represent over 40 different
nationalities during the circumnavigation, however some crew members will be
starting the Clipper Race much closer to home.
Paul Almond, who grew up in Formby, near Liverpool, will be taking part in the
1st ½ of the race, taking him from his home City to the Whitsundays in
Australia, via:- Urguguay, Cape Town, Fremantle, Sydney, and Hobart, meaning he
will cross the North Atlantic, South Atlantic and Southern Oceans.
Paul says:- "When I was 11, I learned to sail Laser and Enterprise
dinghies on the very safe and enclosed Southport Marina. I also have fond
memories of spending many Friday nights, as a teenager going to Liverpool Empire
to watch my favourite bands and I had fun busking on Lord Street with a guitar
and poor vocals!
For Paul, starting in Liverpool and visiting Sydney, where he also lived for
7 years will be particularly special:- "We are departing from Liverpool, 1
of the greatest historical Cities in the world and sailing to my other most
favourite City; Sydney. My dream of doing the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race will
finally come true."
Having recently completed his final stage of compulsory Clipper Race training,
Paul adds:- "I have a lot to do in the next 50 days to prepare myself;
more fitness training as well as preparing my head to ready myself for the
challenging living conditions I expect to have on the yacht. This will be a far
cry from Laser sailing on safe Southport Marina!"
Crew can complete the full circumnavigation, or one or more of its 8
challenging legs and approximately 40% of crew have no previous sailing
experience before they start their intensive race training programme.
The Clipper 2017-18 Race, the biennial event's eleventh edition, will visit 6
continents on its global route. After leaving Albert Dock crew will race over
3,000 nautical miles across the Atlantic Ocean to the 1st stopover port, Ponte
del Este, Uruguay. From there the fleet will continue on to:- Cape Town,
Fremantle, Sydney, Hobart, the Whitsundays, Sanya and Qingdao in China, Seattle,
Panama, New York, and Derry Londonderry, before completing the circumnavigation
in Liverpool, on 28 July 2018.
Lifesaving service calls for
the North West to help give its new crew a Head Start
THE countdown is on until the 1 pound
coin ceases to be legal tender with just 100 days to go but the North West Air
Ambulance Charity is calling for you to donate any you have left to help its
The North West Air Ambulance Charity's crew requires specially-adapted helmets
to carry out lifesaving missions across the region, which not only provides
vital protection, but also its in built communication equipment enables them to
get to patients as quickly as possible. The charity's:- 'Head Start'
campaign is calling on supporters to donate their old pound coins to the charity
to help purchase head gear for its latest intake of paramedics.
Since 1999, the charity has flown more than 20,000 missions across the region,
with its doctors and paramedic on board providing rapid treatment and hospital
transfers to people in their time in need.
Andrew Duncan HEMS (Helicopter Emergency Medical Service) Paramedic and Team
Leader at the North West Air Ambulance Charity, said:- "Soon the old pound
coin will become worthless but until then, they can still be heroes! With the
world of technology changing at such a fast pace, it is crucial that we stay
ahead of the curve and ensure we can provide a top quality service. The public's
support will help us invest in this vital equipment and ultimately allow us to
further enhance our pre-hospital care so we can be there for tomorrow; not just
If you haven't donated yet, now's your chance; the campaign will end on 15
September 2017. To order the North West Air Ambulance Charity Head Start coin
card today and help make a lifesaving difference, visit:-
Council expresses concerns
over Job Centre closures
LIVERPOOL City Council has written to
the Government to express concern over the closure of three Job Centres and
calling for it to reconsider. Earlier this week, the Department for Work and
Pensions announced that centres in Norris Green, Edge Hill and Wavertree are to
close as part of a nationwide programme; despite the City having 1 of the
highest unemployment rates in the country.
Councillor Lana Orr, Cabinet member for employment and skills, said:-
"There is no doubt that the closures will cause greater hardship for our poorest
residents who use these centres. This means that people who currently walk to a
Job Centre will have to take 2 buses; money they can ill afford when they are
already struggling to make ends meet. It is the Government which insists that
people come to Job Centres for appointments, and threatens them with benefit
sanctions if they don't. By making them travel further; in some cases 2 bus
rides; it put them at greater risk of being late to their appointment and
therefore of being penalised. Some of these people are living on just £73.10 a
week and can't afford to pay for broadband at home. They need the professional
support offered by staff to fill in their applications. The closure of these
centres means that residents in most of North Liverpool, where claimant rates
are highest, will have no Job Centre. How can that be right? These decisions are
being made by Whitehall officials based on demographics, rental cost and
accommodation and not on the basis of need. The DWP need to be thinking
creatively and innovatively about this, as we have done with the move of the
Williamson Square Centre into St Johns Market. We have got some ideas around
co-locating them with other Council Services and community buildings. This would
deliver savings, link people up with other support services and ensure their
employment and training opportunities aren't damaged. It is just another
obstacle hindering people's chances of getting into work and the savings made
could well be outweighed by an increase in the benefits bill. It is an ill
thought through plan that will hit the most vulnerable in the City."
This is the text of a letter sent to Secretary of State for Work and Rensions,
David Gauke:- "Dear Mr Gauke, We are writing to raise Liverpool City
Council's concerns regarding proposals to reduce the provision of Job Centres in
the City. Based upon reports released in the media, it would appear that there
are 78 Job Centre sites affected nationally and that more than 10% of those
sites are located in Liverpool and the wider Liverpool City Region. In our view,
this targeting of closures on a sub region where unemployment remains high
requires clearer clarification and explanation, and we would be grateful if you
could provide the rationale outlining how this decision has been reached. We
also note that the closure of local Job Centres will have a detrimental impact
upon those reliant on Job Centre support to find work. For people on extremely
low incomes, the extra cost of travelling to more distant Job Centres will be
prohibitive and, whilst we appreciate many customers may use online services,
the very poorest in our communities continue to suffer from digital exclusion.
We would be grateful therefore to see copies of the relevant Equalities Impact
Assessment which has been used to underpin this decision. We would also be
grateful to understand what steps you are taking to mitigate the impact this
decision will have on service users in order to ensure they can continue to get
the help and support they require. We would also be grateful to understand what
analysis has been carried out on the impact this withdrawal of locally
accessible services will have on claimants' ability to get work. According to
newspaper reports, the Department for Work and Pensions expects the change to
deliver national savings of £180 million per annum. The same saving could be
produced by getting about another 9000 families into work; that's less than 200
families for each facility scheduled for closure. The Council and Job Centre
Plus have already done some excellent joint work in delivering a new combined
Job Centre and One Stop Shop within St Johns. We believe that this demonstrates
models do exist whereby existing Job Centre services can be kept close to the
communities they serve. We welcome the ongoing talks locally about further
co-location of services and would ask for your support at a national level in
delivering a positive outcome for local residents and communities from these
discussions. We look forward to your reply. Yours sincerely, Joe Anderson, Mayor
of Liverpool, Cllr Lana Orr, Cabinet member for employment and skills"