Young Brae man is named best trainee on the Swan
The 2016 winner of the Swan Trust’s Vevoe Trophy, presented each year to the best trainee sailing on Shetland’s restored herring drifter the Swan, is John-Ross Ratter from Sparl, Brae.
The trophy, a replica of the Swan‘s original wheel and a cold bronze casting of the vessel, were presented to John-Ross by Aubrey Jamieson.
The wheel was commissioned by the Swan Trust following the death of former trustee and Swan crewman Willie Simpson, of Vevoe in Whalsay, in his memory. The Simpson family had a working association with the boat for over 50 years.
Trainees sailing on the Swan who are aged between 15 and 25 are eligible to be considered for the trophy and it is awarded on the recommendation of the boat’s skipper.
John-Ross first began sailing dinghies at Delting Boating Club when he was only eight years old and then progressed to crewing on yachts.
This year on the Swan as part of a Sail Training Shetland crew, he took part in Nordic Sail, a regatta for traditionally rigged vessels which is held annually in early July in the waters of the Kattegatt and Skaggerak.
John-Ross had previously sailed on a trip to the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014 when the Swan had taken part in a Small Ships Race on the Clyde.
He said: “I really enjoy sailing, especially on the Swan. I really enjoyed being part of the crew on the trip to the Commonwealth Games in 2014 and this year to Denmark, Sweden and Norway to take part in Nordic Sail.
“Both trips gave me amazing opportunities to increase my sailing experience and an understanding of what it must have been like to work on a herring drifter.”
The Swan is currently tied up for the winter but a full sailing season is planned for 2017 which will include cruises to the Hardanger and Sogne Fjords in Norway.