Following bursary winner Shauna O'Neill helping to crew the Derry-Londonderry boat in the second leg of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race from Rio de Janeiro to Cape Town.
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3, 2, 1, go!
That is the start of the Clipper Race.
10 yachts. 40,000 miles.
500 competitors from more than 40 countries.
This is the Clipper Round The World Yacht Race,
the longest ocean challenge on the planet.
Starting in Southampton, the 10 month voyage will circumnavigate the globe in eight legs.
It's crewed entirely by nonprofessional sailors
who have each paid £40,000 for the privilege of taking part for the full year.
For City of Culture in 2013,
Derry City Council has sponsored one of the 10 yachts.
This is the story of three unemployed young people from the city.
I've never been on a boat before at all.
They will take turns to join the crew for one leg of the voyage each.
I'm here, I've got here and there's no going back now.
I can't pinpoint one promotion, it's like nervousness, excitement,
I feel a wee bit sick!
On leg one of the race, shy 23-year-old bursary winner Niall Boyle
was thrown in at the deep end with 17 total strangers,
but soon made his mark as a hard-working mechanic,
willing to take on the most unappealing of jobs.
It gets to a point where you're so tired, you'd sleep through anything.
Niall's shyness evaporated but so did the wind
as the boat stalled in the dreaded doldrums and limped into Rio in last place.
Now it's the turn of another Derry City Council bursary winner to join the race.
22-year-old unemployed Shauna O'Neill already knows what it's like to face a challenge.
The day the training started for the Clipper training,
around the same couple of days as this time last year,
I was going into the rehabilitation centre.
She's had a lot of struggles with drink and drugs.
This is amazing that she has been chosen. Amazing.
As she embarks on the Chance of a lifetime,
Shauna and her mother reflect on how she has turned her life around in a remarkable way.
It's just so hard to see your child in so much pain and so unhappy.
Wanting to leave. Wanting to die, pretty much.
Things just went too far.
I don't know. I moved into Derry and I just started drinking and taking drugs basically every day
and everything went downhill.
I was so depressed and basically I didn't want to live any more.
I had to get help and I went in to rehabilitation this time last year
and everything has been getting better ever since.
Hopefully it will keep getting better.
I just have such a deep care and compassion for people now.
I can really see things from other people's point of view
and it really helped me become a better person.
We'll see where it goes!
Within a day of leaving Derry, Shauna lands in Brazil
to join her fellow crew members in Rio de Janeiro.
There are other fresh faces joining the boat for the leg to Cape Town
and some old handers who are doing the full round the world voyage.
Bidding farewell on the quay is Tim Hawkins, unable to sail
after he broke his leg when a freak wave hit the boat on the way to Rio.
Leg two is the shortest race in the round the world competition.
With just under three weeks to cross the Atlantic Ocean to Cape Town in South Africa.
After coming in last to Rio, the Derry-Londonderry team has everything to prove
as their boat heads for the race start line.
Remember safety, OK?
Think about lines flogging and where you're standing, OK?
Us finishing 10th in the last race,
the first two hours are critical for us.
It is important anyway to get ahead of the fleet,
just to show you can do it.
Stand by for the 10 second countdown to the start of race three
of the Clipper Ventures Round The World Race from Rio to Cape Town.
10, 9, 8, 7, 6,
5, 4, 3, 2, 1, start!
The usual 18 man crew is down to 16 people on this leg.
So it's even more important that they were work as a well oiled team
as they jockey for a good race start,
and avoid colliding with the many giant freight vessels on their way out.
As they pass the beautiful headlines of Guanabara Bay,
they know it will be their last glimpse of land for 20 days.
As we left Edinburgh with the closest boat to us behind,
we managed to pick up good speed and leave them.
This is a huge race for us, we are looking to get into Cape Town
in a good position, knowing that we are still a fast boat.
We are looking to get back and show the rest of the fleet what we've got.
Despite the pressure of the race start, Shauna soon settles in.
She is gelling well with her fellow crew members.
I think it's safe to say that I was very, very anxious about coming on the trip.
I think that's a good sign
because at least I know that I'm facing fears and doing it anyway.
It's just good and it seems to be dying down a bit now.
It's good to be finally relaxed into it and I'm here.
I've got here and there's no going back now,
I can just enjoy the experience.
# At the heart of all of this strangeness
# You are changing
# At the heart of all of this strangeness... #
To keep the yacht moving as fast as possible 24 hours a day,
the crew is split into two shifts with sleep and watch duties carried out in rotations.
Shauna is on the team of watch leader John Harkin
and it's not long before they form a bond.
Don't grip the wheel too tight, just nice and relaxed.
Do I look that nervous?
No, it's just better and you can get more control.
Have a wee look at your compass and there you have it right again, so that's nice.
# You're making plans for tomorrow
# Tomorrow is no yesterday... #
Before I came onboard, I was worried about asking questions
because basically, I was thinking there are more experienced sailors onboard
who have their own boats and everything,
all with a competitive nature
and they won't want somebody asking questions and getting in the way
and maybe doing things slower than everyone else.
It's coming back down so let it go up a wee bit.
She will probably want to get up herself
so just steer up a little bit and give her time to come up.
Just wait for the boat to correct itself
because it's not like a car where it is instantaneous.
I just realise now that I'm here for me
and I want to get the best I can get out of it and I want to learn,
so if other people aren't happy with that, that is their problem.
# You are changing
# At the heart of all of this strangeness... #
All the crew members have to do their share of mother duty,
which means cooking for the entire boat for a day.
Shauna is soon thrown in at the deep end,
facing another almighty challenge.
Basically I have to get up and make porridge for breakfast
and then hang around and make lunch and dinner for everybody.
Being on mother duty is good because you get to stay down below deck
out of the elements for a day and stay dry basically.
The duties include making breakfast, lunch and dinner for everybody.
I'm a vegetarian and I only ever cook for myself and I'm not a great cook
so I was just worried that I was not going to get the timing right
or get the proportions right and people weren't going to like it.
It has been fine and Mark here is really good in the kitchen
so I just kind of follow his lead and we're a good team
so we seem to get it done and people seem happy with what we produce, thank God.
I'm really looking forward to a full night sleep.
My watch doesn't start until two tomorrow so that'll be great,
I can have a lot of sleep.
A few days into the race and everything is going well.
The weather is in their favour, the boat is making good speed
and is on target to come in amongst the top three winning boats in Cape Town.
But there's no room for complacency with competing boats chasing them down hard.
Strategy-wise is all working so far, so good.
We're in fourth position at the moment.
We can definitely win third place but we can also lose fourth.
Singapore are hot on our heels and I will be very disappointed
if we finish below top five in this.
But Mark's optimism takes a dive
when the boat suddenly develops a serious technical problem.
We've just been running the water maker
and we noticed a strange noise from it. It sounds like it's running dry.
We stopped the water maker straightaway,
we stopped the generator also which was running
and now we are going to isolate the supply,
take it part and make sure it's not brought up any seaweed or anything like that.
OK, that's clear.
Skipper Mark and his number two watch leader, Graham,
are trained engineers, and know they must solve the problem
before the situation gets really serious.
We talk a lot about consumption of water in life rafts
and what happens to people if you don't get water.
People do, quite literally, go mad.
They get to the point where they will kill for water.
Which is why I'm keeping hold of this screwdriver.
If anybody comes near my water bottles, you included, and you!
But as night falls, they are no nearer a solution.
The boat is two weeks away from Cape Town
and they only have three days of drinking water left.
It is an anxious time with everyone aware that they will have to go on rations
if the water maker isn't repaired very soon.
The distraction also means they are in danger of sliding down the race leaderboard.
John managed to get in there, tinker about with it
and we have switched the water maker back on and it is actually pumping water now.
Fingers crossed we have got it back
because that would be a pretty serious thing if we lost it.
With the water crisis hopefully solved, the crew concentrates once more
on recovering their place near the top of the race leaderboard.
-How are we doing?
-Doing good, still fourth.
-We pulled up slightly, only a couple of miles.
-Every mile counts!
63, so we took three miles.
That is good, yeah.
This is the finish, 1,096.
Only a week after leaving her home town of Derry,
Shauna has her routine well in hand and her confidence couldn't be higher
as she squeezes every second of pleasure from her Atlantic adventure.
I have thermal leggings, two pairs of socks, one pair of trousers.
Two tops, three jackets and then my lifejacket.
I'll be wearing two hats as well for extra measure!
Between 135 and 140 would be the best.
My favourite part of the sailing experience is probably being helm man.
Once you get into a zone, it just feels great,
you feel really in control.
It is just amazing to be able to sail a 68 foot yacht
in the middle of the south Atlantic.
The people actually put that responsibility on me, to let me do it.
MUSIC: "Dog Days Are Over" by Florence And The Machine
Fourth position. We're doing really well. By definition,
we've been the fastest boat for the last 12 hours, pretty much.
Of course, the other boats coming behind,
they could get tremendous conditions and just eclipse that.
But at the moment I think we're looking pretty good.
It's well done, basically, for everybody.
It's obviously been good trim, good course. We've made
the right decisions tactically, the weather's good for us.
Let's get it in, guys.
Apart from learning sailing skills onboard,
I'm really learning a lot of personal skills and people skills.
I mean, we've got 15 people onboard that I've never met before.
You've got a lot of personalities there.
It's been interesting, like, seeing how everybody interacts
and how conflicts are resolved onboard
because you can't have any negativity or any tension
because it would just destroy the boat atmosphere.
You have moments where I might be just sitting looking at the horizon
and just listening to the waves,
and I just get completely blown away by the whole thing.
Just knowing how far away I am from land,
and it's just really liberating, really. It's a great feeling.
It's overpowering, sometimes. You get really emotional. But it's good.
At the minute, we're tacked, so the boat is keeled over, as you can see.
My bunk is a higher bunk and have to try and climb into it,
which is quite difficult. I'll show you.
It's a bit of a mission.
But during the night, the wind builds
and the boat's main spinnaker is in danger of ripping apart.
A disaster that has to be avoided at all costs.
Shauna's break is short-lived,
as all hands are called on deck to deal with the emergency.
The sails on the boat are like gears.
You set up the boat for a certain strength of wind,
so you gear the sails towards that.
If the wind increases by 15 or 20 knots,
which can happen in 20 minutes, and it's massively overpowered.
The boat is massively out of control.
And that's the stage when you have to send up six amateur people.
It usually always happens in the middle of the night.
If you were hit with one of those, it could cause serious injury.
It would be a horrendous thing to have to deal with.
It was a very, very good evolution for us.
Everybody went to their stations, did all the different jobs,
we got the spinnaker down very, very quickly.
We had to derig the spinnaker pole and put it back on the deck.
And then within 30 minutes of making the call, we'd done all that,
plus we'd got a Yankee 1 headsail up, a staysail up,
and we were back up to race speed.
Shauna's hard work, her positivity and her generosity as a team player
have not gone unnoticed.
Shauna has done really well. I mean, and she has been supportive.
She's been supportive to me.
There was a day when the wind was very heavy
and it was my day to do bilges and because the weather was rough
I had done a lot of time in the helm.
And I suppose she recognised I was tired
and she said, "John, I'll do your bilges for you."
And I thought that was a very kind and considerate thing
because doing bilges isn't a pleasant job.
And she's that sort of girl, you know, she's thoughtful
and she's not afraid to do dirty work or get mucky.
It's difficult working at this angle.
It's very hot down here as well with the engines running.
It's quite tough.
She has a lot of self-doubt about herself,
but God, she must look on this journey
and see the ability she has and the ability that's within her.
I mean, that girl can do anything she'll put her mind to it,
you know, after doing this.
She's well capable of doing anything she puts her mind to.
With only 300 miles to go to Cape Town,
the boats are packed close together
with just a few miles separating them.
Singapore, boat behind. Oh!
42 miles, they've gained.
Mark takes a gamble and steers a more northerly route,
hoping to shake off the Singapore boat.
Singapore are doing really well.
But will his gamble pay off?
Day 18, OK? Position, we've slipped down to fifth.
Singapore have done the dirty on us and taken our fourth position.
We've got 191 miles to run at the moment.
So we are going to be stuck here until midnight at least.
Wind is not going to start filling in before then.
We have 190 miles to go, and it will be the boat now
between us and Singapore - that's the main boat we're concerned about
to see who gets the wind first.
Certainly nine miles we can catch up in a matter of hours
if we get the wind first.
The race isn't over, and the next 24 hours will decide that.
All is not lost.
As night falls, Mark and John plot their strategy
to try and regain their coveted fourth position.
But as they enter the shallow waters of Cape Town port,
they learned that Qingdao has also overtaken them
and pushed them back further to sixth position.
But they're determined not to give up.
So, as we approach the shore now, the wind has got very light and fickle.
One boat is getting a puff of breeze and pushing forward
and then the other boat now.
Now, at the minute, we've got breeze and we're actually pushing.
This boat beside us is dead in the water. But they could lift up.
Unbelievable. After 3,000 miles, over 3,000 miles, it's come to this.
It's nearly like inshore racing around a buoy.
Four or five boats fighting now for this fifth place.
After 19 days at sea without seeing another boat,
the crew of the Derry-Londonderry
find themselves in an agonising last battle with the Qingdao boat,
in an attempt to recover fifth place.
We need to get the main down ASAP, all right?
As they sail into the Victoria and Albert Port in Cape Town,
the crew of the Derry-Londonderry can hold their heads high
after a job well done.
We just got the bow of the boat ahead of them
and once we got the bow of the boat ahead, we took their wind.
And then we just powered through them and they just dropped back.
You know, 100 yards to the finish
and we clenched fifth place from sixth at the finish,
which was very, very satisfying.
My mum has just text and she's waiting at the port,
so it's amazing. I'm so excited to see her.
I didn't think she'd be here because it's so early in the morning.
So I'm just so happy right now.
And after 21 days at sea,
Shauna can't wait to be reunited with her mother.
My baby! SHE LAUGHS
After her fantastic accomplishment,
Shauna takes a few days to enjoy a well-earned holiday with her mother
and to reflect on the significant change she has made her life.
Your sea legs will work well for you on this!
Amazing. Like, I really, really loved it.
I thought that I was going to hate it,
I thought I'd be kissing the ground when I got off in Cape Town,
but I actually could have stayed on the boat longer.
I really enjoyed it. Like, I just really relaxed into it.
Before I went away, I was just so nervous that I wasn't going to be
good enough and that I would just be getting in the way.
I didn't want people to think I was just a passenger on the boat
I hope it makes Shauna feel proud of herself
and realise how amazing she is.
And she'll move on to greater and better things,
but please not so scary! For her mother.
Right, good riddance. Thank God to get rid of you!
-Cut, cut, cut!
That's terrible. You're going to miss me really, aren't you?
-I really am going to miss you.
-The Derry people on the boat.
Yeah, there's nobody now from Derry.
The time has come for the final bursary winner to take up the baton
and crew the Derry-Londonderry Clipper to its home port.
THEY SING "DRUNKEN SAILOR"
25-year-old unemployed schoolteacher Pod McConway
is getting a rousing send-off from his family and friends.
He's heading off next week. What can we say?
That's going to have to do him for three weeks.
I just hope everything goes well, Padraig. I'm sure it will
and it'll be a great occasion for Derry and for the family.
-And your bank balance!
He won't have a shower for four or five weeks.
Sure! It wouldn't be like him!
It's just something new and challenging that I want to do.
I want to try my hand at everything,
you know, something different that I've never experienced before.
I guess 23 kilos, that's all I'm allowed.
Right. Bag. Yeah.
A wee bit worried.
But you also have to just let him go and do it, you know.
And enjoy it.
MUSIC: "10,000 Miles" by Mary Chapin Carpenter
Next time on The Legenderrys,
seasickness dogs the crew for days on end.
And tensions arise between the two watches.
Everybody's on the verge of cracking up.
# Living it up easy
# In the sun
# You set your sails higher this time
# Where have you gone? #
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
Can 22-year-old, unemployed Bursary winner Shauna O'Neill overcome her personal fears as she helps crew the tiny Derry ~ Londonderry boat in leg 2 of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race race from Rio de Janeiro to Cape Town?