Episode 3 The Legenderrys


Episode 3

Following schoolteacher Pod McConway attempting to secure victory for the 'Legenderrys' in the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race to Derry-Londonderry.


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Transcript


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This programme contains some strong language.

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Ten yachts, 40,000 miles,

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500 competitors from more than 40 countries.

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This is the Clipper Round The World Yacht Race,

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the longest ocean challenge on the planet.

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Starting in Southampton, the ten-month voyage

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will circumnavigate the globe in eight legs.

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It's crewed entirely by non-professional sailors,

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who've each paid £40,000

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for the privilege of taking part for the full year.

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For City of Culture in 2013,

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Derry City Council has sponsored one of the ten yachts,

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the Derry-Londonderry.

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This is the story

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of three unemployed young people from the city.

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No, never, never been on a boat before at all.

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They'll take turns to join the crew for one leg of the voyage each.

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I'm here, I've got here and there's no going back now.

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I can't pinpoint one emotion.

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It's like nervousness, excitement, feel a wee bit sick.

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Niall Boyle worked hard on the first race from Southampton,

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but fluky winds meant the boat trailed last into Rio de Janeiro,

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where he handed over to Shauna O'Neill, who helped crew the boat

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into a respectable fifth place in Cape Town.

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Now, it's Pod's turn to show

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if he's got what it takes to become one of the Legenderrys.

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After arriving last into their stopover in Halifax, Nova Scotia,

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the Derry-Londonderry crew needs to step up its game

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for the most important race of the competition -

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the much-awaited voyage to their home port.

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Nobody wants it more than we do, OK? What team are we?

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-ALL:

-We are the Legenderrys!

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Come on, let's do it, OK? Come on!

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25-year-old unemployed schoolteacher Pod McConway

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is the last of the Derry City Council bursary winners

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to join the race, and he's feeling the pressure.

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We'll probably be leaving in about eight minutes' time or so,

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so I can't pinpoint one emotion.

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It's like nervousness, excitement, feel a wee bit sick.

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We've got 2,500 miles between us and stardom.

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# A broken arrow fills the hole... #

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The positions for the actual start, Ben is going to be up on the bow,

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in the pit we're going to have Emma and Lizzie. OK?

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On the yankee sheet, we've got Danny and Pod.

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# Headed for the winter sun... #

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We're going to have Shona and Orla on one running backstay

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and Padraig, you're going to be on John's mainsheet back here with me.

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# I'm sailing out into the wind... #

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Five, four, three, two, one.

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AIR HORN BLARES

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Get these sheets in, guys!

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As the boats jockey for a good start,

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the Derry-Londonderry has to act quickly to avoid a collision.

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And just in the nick of time!

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That was good, very exciting.

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A lot of boats trying to push us out and over the line early,

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but we managed to sneak across, I think,

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with very good timing, actually, on that one.

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It was one of our better starts, that,

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and great to see the fleet leaving with spinnakers flying.

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After nine months circumnavigating the world,

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Mark's team has been on the coveted winner's podium only once,

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in third place.

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Now, they have to race across the Atlantic Ocean,

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one of the roughest and most unpredictable seas in the world,

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as they battle for the finish line in just under three weeks' time.

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To make the best of every moment of sailing,

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the crew is split into two watches with sleep

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and watch duties carried out in rotation 24 hours a day.

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They each take turns on "mother" duty,

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which means cooking for the entire boat.

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Pod is on the team of Tom Way from Portsmouth who, at 22-years-old,

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is one of the youngest watch leaders in the entire fleet.

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The other watch leader, John Harkin from Derry, has brothers

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Danny and Padraig O'Sullivan from Donegal on his team.

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But, he's especially delighted to have his daughter, Jodie,

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onboard for the homeward leg.

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We're just trying to, I suppose, tease out

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the most amount of power that we can out of these sails

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and every five minutes, I'm just checking the tell-tales.

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The wind's very fluky. We're getting really heavy spurts of wind

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but then equally, we're getting really light spurts.

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It's just to make sure the guys at the back are aware of that.

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Catching the wind in their sails is vital for maximising their speed,

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but by choosing to follow the lead boats on a northerly route,

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they're soon battling against strong headwinds and the heavy ocean swell.

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Can we get that message forward?

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No!

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Here!

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It's been a baptism of fire for some people that have just joined

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I think, really. But they're doing well,

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we're racing well, so I'm happy.

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Just a bit wet, cold and knackered.

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As the fleet separates, it's not long before they feel

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the full force of the mighty Atlantic Ocean.

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The angle of the boat, combined with the harsh wind and the cold,

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makes work on deck a real endurance test.

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Dan, you go number two, Pod, three.

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Action man, Tom, is in his element,

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but Pod is showing definite signs of the dreaded seasickness.

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..it's all leaning on the sheet.

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Pod, on the drops, give it a little ease to start with.

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It's time for the watch to change over

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and it soon becomes clear that Pod is not the only one suffering.

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I'm not feeling too super at the minute.

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Just sitting here and having a wee chill out

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and hoping when I get up there and get a bit of fresh air I'll be fine.

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Always worried about losing people to seasickness,

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specially in weather like this,

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when you need as much muscle and grunt as you can get.

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There's three out of six struggling.

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We can't change sails for three people, with three crew.

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Pod, pull it round the way.

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The pressure also builds on Tom's watch,

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with Pod's condition worsening by the hour.

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But there's no relief below deck,

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where the motion of the boat is even worse.

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As the boat heaves, so does Pod's stomach,

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and he's lucky to make it to the head.

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POD RETCHES

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People aren't eating what they normally would.

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Some aren't having food at all.

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The big concern to me would be they're not really drinking enough.

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Everything's thrown up... Sore head...

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This is as turbulent as I've seen down below,

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in all the stuff that we were in.

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I don't know what it is, if it's a short, choppy sea or whatever?

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-It's quite high and short.

-Short, yes.

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The relentless sea is causing havoc above and below deck

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and has claimed another victim in Dr Bill McConnell.

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I'll try to get the Dramamine,

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but putting two of them in and not swallowing them.

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Just let them absorb in the side of your mouth.

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Hopefully, these will work.

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I feel like shit.

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I think we've another three or four days of this

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and then the wind's meant to change,

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so it'll be downwind sailing, so it'll be smoother, hopefully.

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Well, that's the plans.

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Oiche mhaith.

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# Dreaming

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# On a day

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# In the past

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# I had a dream...

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The loss of crew has taken its toll on the watch leaders, Tom and John.

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Their turn on mother watch is a welcome respite from the rigours

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above deck, but there's not much cooking going on.

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# Dream... #

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The problem about both us being on mother watch,

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if we get heavy conditions like that, it puts a big strain on Mark.

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What you guys have to do is think about what you're doing

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and be aware of what's going on.

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There's an awful lot of times there when people are trying to

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struggle to do something on their own

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and everybody else is sat with their thumb up their arse.

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He has to cover both watches, day and night,

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so then it burns him out.

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There's only so much I can do every day on here, OK?

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I can't be up all the time, I can't be telling you every single step.

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# I open my eyes... #

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I haven't slept for six days.

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# Turned over in my bed... #

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The race slips from focus

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as the casualties below deck begin to mount.

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It looks like Bill has done more damage than he first realised.

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Moving around on the next watch that I was on,

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I realised that I'd maybe done

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a bit more than I thought.

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And I think Mark realised that I was moving a bit slowly

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and gingerly, so he asked me how I was and just said,

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"Right, go off to your bunk for a few hours

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"and get a little bit of rest and see how it is."

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After seven days at sea, the Derry boat's position has slipped badly.

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The race is now split into two groups - one headed north

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and the other southwards.

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Mark decides that their best chance

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is to continue behind the lead boats on a northerly route.

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The good news is that Pod seems to have turned a corner

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and he valiantly goes back on deck.

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Not too bad, as long as I sit down and have, like,

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deep breaths, I'll be all right.

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I took a few different types of medications and stuff,

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so hopefully, now, that's me sorted.

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But sticking to the route means that the boat is still battling

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against the strong headwinds and the conditions remain rough.

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Suddenly, the situation takes

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a serious turn for the worse for Jodie.

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The problem is the least wee bit that she eats or drinks,

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she's throwing up after it,

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so she's not really showing any signs of getting any better.

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She really hasn't drank at all now in 24 hours.

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I mean, she hasn't drunken an egg-cup-full, which concerns me.

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By day nine of the race, Jodie's condition has become dangerous.

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# I just want to watch... #

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Jodie's not feeling particularly well.

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We're going to have to move her out, down into the lower hospital bunk,

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so the medics can attend to her a bit better.

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Seasickness is one of those things, the longer it lasts,

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the more serious it gets.

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People get dehydrated and eventually, after two, three days,

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it starts to become a real problem and we need to start getting fluids

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into them and if they don't react to that,

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then it's potentially fatal after four or five days of that,

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so we need to think about getting them off the boat.

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# Moonlight, open my eyes... #

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When you're seasick, you feel you're letting everybody down.

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That's a big part of it, you're not pulling your weight,

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you're letting the team down.

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As well as the illness, you go through all that as well.

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It's terrible to go through.

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MUSIC: "Gymnopedie No. 1" by Erik Satie

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Relief finally comes as the seas turn to calm.

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It's a chance for the beleaguered crew to recover,

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but there's a price to pay in the race

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as the boat slips to a disastrous eighth place.

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-How's it going, Dan?

-Rubbish.

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Since about two o'clock this morning, the wind has just died.

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With little to do, the crew on Tom's watch amuse themselves.

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A bit more, it's not bang tight yet.

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Can you actually sit up now?

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THEY LAUGH

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So, we have to get a bow shot doing this.

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-Why am I going to the bow?

-Yeah.

-Being Kate Winslet.

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You're being Kate Winslet.

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SHE LAUGHS Where's my payment?

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So you just have to be saying, "Jack, I'm flying!"

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-Seriously?

-Yeah.

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# You're here... #

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I'm the king of the world! Whoo!

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# My heart will go on and on... #

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-Thanks. That was fun.

-Ahh, very sweet.

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But for the senior crew from Derry,

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the calm waters are no laughing matter

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as they see their chances for a good race finish into their home port

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slip away from them.

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This is depressing.

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The weather system that we should have had obviously has changed.

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We were hoping to stay with the front group and now

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the front group have got a breeze and got away in front of us.

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The boat may be losing out in the race,

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but Jodie's strength's begins to come back as she rises

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from her sickbed and fights to get some food into her body.

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-Can I give you a hand out?

-Ah, I'll roll out. I'm OK, Tom.

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Though still in agony, Bill has dosed himself with heavy

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painkillers and struggles to get on his feet again.

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-How are you feeling, Jodie, at the moment?

-Much better, thankfully.

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I think a day of eating and wee bit of respite now

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up on deck with fresh air will do me the world of good today.

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Yeah, I think so. Well, you look a lot better anyway. Good thing.

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Welcoming Jodie above deck for the first time in days,

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Padraig O'Sullivan can always be relied upon to lighten the mood.

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Here we are, back in sunny Marbella.

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All's good,

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got pina coladas, sunshine.

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We've got the yacht with the beautiful women, Club Tropicana.

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What more could you ask for?

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Music!

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# When all the dark clouds roll away... #

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Heave!

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# And the sun begins to shine... #

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Hang you on to it, Padraig, and we'll bring you back as well!

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# And it comes right in on time... #

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After almost a fortnight at sea, Mark makes the decision to

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change course and join the boats taking the southerly route.

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He'll avoid a threatening hurricane and greatly improve their speed.

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# Make me feel so free... #

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We made a decision to change course.

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What it means for us now is now we're connecting into these

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favourable winds, it means very, very fast sailing, flat boat,

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a lot easier on the crew, a lot more comfortable,

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and a direct course to Ireland.

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# And it seems like Seems like

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# Yes it feels like... #

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With seasickness finally banished,

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the watches join force to regain lost ground.

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-# A brand-new day, yeah

-Brand new day

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-# Yeah, yeah

-A brand new day... #

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Within days, they have crossed the Atlantic Ocean

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and are finally in Irish waters.

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They're on the downward journey at last and spirits couldn't be higher.

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Eyes across the Atlantic Ocean.

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A little bit for me, because I'm the skipper.

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And Neptune, thank you for looking after us.

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Play safe, guys. Enjoy.

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# Feels like it's a brand new day... #

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Fantastic experience, this, crossing the north Atlantic Ocean,

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and regardless of what happens to us,

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I know we're all going to get into Derry and have a great time.

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We're on our way home, guys.

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THEY CHEER Cheers, everybody.

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The crew is happy and Pod's talent as an entertainer comes to the fore.

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# Mustang Sally

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# Guess you better roll that Mustang down

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# Mustang Sally now, baby

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# Guess you better roll the Mustang down

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# You've been running all over town girl, oh

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# I guess you better put your two flat feet on the ground

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# All you want to do is ride around Sally

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ALL: # Ride, Sally ride. #

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CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

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OK, well done, guys.

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But the celebrations are short-lived.

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Relations between the two watches have become strained

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as despite their efforts,

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the boat has been unable to regain lost ground.

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# While we're sitting here alone

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# Why don't we talk?

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If your watch gets a chance today,

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people have just been putting the tea towels into the same water

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and it's black and rank and disgusting,

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so if you can get a chance if you can tip it out.

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OK, Danny?

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Guys, Last night, the starboard head was blocked with a number two.

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Not sure what's causing it, it probably needs

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a bit of maintenance, but a few extra flushes never goes astray.

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You can sort of add in 30 seconds, 50 pumps,

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and we might prevent ourselves from a blockage again.

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# There's still so much

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# Worth fighting for... #

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I can't wait to get home now.

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I think everybody on the boat today, today's a funny mood.

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Everybody seems to be in a funny mood.

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The mood's been very tense

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and everybody's on the verge of cracking up.

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I think it's just...we're just all ready to get home.

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On his journey round the world, John Harkin had dreamed of

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a winning finish into the city he left almost a year ago.

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He finds it hard to accept coming in ninth, or even worse, last.

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# Worth fighting for... #

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The last couple of days are dragging.

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We think we're going to get it easier.

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The wind was in the right direction last night

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and we made good speed but now we've got onto light airs

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and we're not making our speed,

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so it's one type of frustration after another.

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I can't think about getting home yet.

0:22:080:22:11

I'm thinking, you know, get the next two days over, get under 500 miles,

0:22:110:22:15

and then get excited, that's the way I'm thinking.

0:22:150:22:19

# So why don't we talk? #

0:22:190:22:22

The Derry boat is still two days away from the finish line

0:22:250:22:29

when they learn that Gold Coast Australia

0:22:290:22:31

has taken first place once again

0:22:310:22:33

and is already docking on Derry's quay.

0:22:330:22:37

THEY CHEER

0:22:370:22:39

APPLAUSE

0:22:410:22:44

For Pod's father, Liam, the long wait is nearly over.

0:22:440:22:49

This is his banner.

0:22:490:22:52

-You haven't seen the poster. Look at that.

-This is it.

0:22:520:22:56

We'll have this on the quayside as he gets off, hopefully.

0:22:560:22:59

He doesn't know anything about all this stuff,

0:22:590:23:02

so I'm sure he might get emotional himself.

0:23:020:23:05

There's a big buzz in the city

0:23:070:23:11

and this whole week's going to be really exciting for the city.

0:23:110:23:15

I'm looking forward to giving him a big hug.

0:23:150:23:17

Back on the Derry-Londonderry,

0:23:190:23:20

the crew catches its first sight of land.

0:23:200:23:23

Oh, fuck me, land!

0:23:240:23:26

I hope that means we're there.

0:23:260:23:30

Oh, even more land!

0:23:300:23:32

That's Tory Island.

0:23:320:23:34

-Is that where Father Ted's from?

-No!

-That's Craggy Island!

-OK.

0:23:340:23:39

You need to stand-by for attack on the yankee, OK?

0:23:390:23:42

37,000 miles later...

0:23:440:23:46

Home.

0:23:480:23:50

Guys, there's about two miles till we cross the finish line.

0:23:500:23:54

-Woo-hoo!

-Yay!

0:23:540:23:57

Woo-hoo!

0:23:570:23:59

THEY CHEER

0:23:590:24:02

THEY SHOUT

0:24:060:24:08

AIR HORN BLARES

0:24:080:24:09

CHEERS AND HORN BLASTS CONTINUE

0:24:120:24:14

Where's that banner?

0:24:470:24:49

We're just leaving Derry, heading towards the Foyle Bridge,

0:24:510:24:55

past all the clippers.

0:24:550:24:56

# And so it's almost over

0:24:560:25:01

# This journey's all but done... #

0:25:030:25:07

We need whiskey and women!

0:25:070:25:09

# As I follow the river

0:25:090:25:13

# Time's taken more than its turn... #

0:25:140:25:19

Welcome home, everybody. Great job!

0:25:190:25:21

# I could sleep forever... #

0:25:210:25:24

It's great to see him.

0:25:240:25:26

It's emotional and it's a happy occasion

0:25:260:25:30

and it's just good to see them on the Foyle.

0:25:300:25:32

# Home where the moon sits like amber... #

0:25:320:25:39

I can't believe it. It's just amazing.

0:25:390:25:42

The welcome was just unbelievable.

0:25:420:25:45

Terrific. It's pretty emotional, actually.

0:25:450:25:48

# Dances in the glow

0:25:480:25:51

# To an ancient lullaby... #

0:25:510:25:55

The clipper race doesn't end until they arrive in Southampton

0:25:560:26:00

in a couple of weeks' time, but for the Derry crew,

0:26:000:26:03

the arrival into their home port is the climax of the journey.

0:26:030:26:07

# I hope to greet you kindly... #

0:26:090:26:15

Good job.

0:26:150:26:18

-Here he comes now.

-Hi, Daddy.

0:26:180:26:22

# Home where the moon sits like amber

0:26:220:26:27

# Burning up the dog-leap sky... #

0:26:270:26:32

Hip, hip...

0:26:320:26:34

# And the valley below

0:26:340:26:36

# Dances in the glow

0:26:360:26:39

# To an ancient lullaby... #

0:26:390:26:44

He's brought it home!

0:26:460:26:49

Ahhhhh!

0:27:080:27:10

# They say nothing is eternal...

0:27:100:27:14

CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

0:27:140:27:17

Bill discovered he had broken two ribs and damaged a vertebra,

0:27:170:27:22

but he went back on the boat to finish the race.

0:27:220:27:26

# I'm thankful

0:27:260:27:29

# For the road we lost in the wind...

0:27:290:27:33

Pod, Shauna and Niall also got the chance

0:27:330:27:36

to go back on the boat in Derry and helped crew the Derry-Londonderry

0:27:360:27:40

into fourth place in the last race into Southampton.

0:27:400:27:44

Gold Coast Australia won the overall race.

0:27:470:27:50

Derry-Londonderry came eighth.

0:27:500:27:53

It's once-in-a-lifetime, really, isn't it?

0:27:530:27:55

Even if something is scary when you do it,

0:27:550:27:57

it usually works out for the best

0:27:570:27:59

and the fact that it was hard makes it so much more worthwhile, like.

0:27:590:28:03

Well, it has already changed my future.

0:28:030:28:05

It's given me a career path, you know,

0:28:050:28:07

since I've got the yacht master's they've trained me up over the year,

0:28:070:28:10

so it's made a huge difference to me.

0:28:100:28:13

Generally I've got a sense of just take things

0:28:130:28:16

and grab the opportunity and all, it mightn't not present itself again,

0:28:160:28:20

and just go for things in life.

0:28:200:28:21

# Behold the finish line. #

0:28:210:28:27

All three bursary winners got jobs after the race.

0:28:270:28:31

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:28:510:28:54

Crippled by seasickness and becalmed waters can unemployed schoolteacher Pod McConway help secure victory for the 'Legenderrys' in the emotional homecoming race to Derry-Londonderry in the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race?


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