Lerwick businessman Leslie Irvine, who is taking part in next year’s Shetland Round Britain & Ireland Yacht Race, is to be sponsored by the Streamline Shipping Group.
Irvine, 46, took part in the event in 2006 with fellow crewman Andrew Wood from Penzance and finished first in their class after an appeal. Wood had replaced the injured Dick Koopmans, a Dutch boat designer who has fashioned the VQ32 yacht Irvine and co-skipper Wood will be sailing next year, aptly named Streamline.
The shipping company will be providing sponsorship in the form of logistics services and support as well as a financial contribution towards key equipment for the challenge, which starts from Plymouth on 6th June.
Streamline operations director Phil Bremner said: “Between them, Leslie and Andrew have the skills and experience to do well and we wish them every success with the race.”
Wood, 36, who is based at Penzance, Cornwall, is a professional skipper who has acquired a lot of experience over the past two decades.
He said: “The Shetland Round Britain & Ireland race is of those ‘must do’ landmark races, made all the more significant to me as my father competed in two editions in the late 1970s, so it goes without saying that I’m really looking forward to the challenge of this tough regatta.
“Leslie and I first met when I pulled into Shetland on a return sail from Svalbard and we have been cruising and racing together ever since. Both of us originate from the extreme opposite ends of the British Isles, yet we both have an unparallelled passion for sailing which makes for a great sense of balance onboard and I can’t wait for the off.
“We are delighted to have Streamline Shipping Group as our main sponsor for this race, and we are working hard to ensure we can achieve the goal we have set ourselves. When you look at a map of the British Isles, it is approximately 2,000 miles to circumnavigate and we have to navigate Streamline around twice, and then return back to Shetland, all in all around 4,000 nautical miles.”
Irvine and Wood are raising money for Leukaemia Research, a charity that is close to both men. They will shortly have a website up and running charting progress so that anyone interested in following will be able to log on and track their progress. Donations can also be made to Leukaemia Research.