For the 14 young Shetlanders taking part in this year’s Sail Training Shetland scheme, the summer is set to be an adventure of a lifetime.
Ten trainees onboard the Swan left Shetland in the early hours of this morning to join the celebrations in Kristiansand before starting the final race of this years’ Tall Ships Races.
The remaining four will leave on Thursday night on the NorthLink ferry and travelled onwards to Norway to join their ship, the Christian Radich, before joining the same race between Kristiansand, Norway, and Hartlepool on the east coast of England.
The trainees will experience life as crew members, undertaking tasks such as watch-keeping, setting sails and other domestic duties which they will share with other trainees as part of the onboard team.
Adam Johnson, 18, from Unst, said he was looking forward to the trip but was also a little nervous because while he has some sailing experience it is nothing on the scale of the Christian Radich.
Mr Johnson said: “I did some sailing when I was peerie but haven’t done any for a while, so I thought I would put my name down for this and try and get back into it.
“I’m feeling good and nervous at the same time. It’s very different to any sailing I’ve done before in terms of the size, everything is so much bigger.”
Sail Training Shetland chairman Peter Malcolmson said: “We are delighted with the interest in this years’ scheme. We have recruited an excellent team of trainees from around Shetland and hope they will have a great time onboard the Tall Ships. The trainees will be great ambassadors for Shetland ahead of Lerwick hosting The Tall Ships Races in July next year.
“We would also like to take this opportunity to thank all our grant funders, sponsors and supporters: The People’s Postcode Lottery, Shetland Tall Ships 2011 Limited, Lerwick Port Authority, The Swan Trust, Shetland Islands Council, NB Communication, Lerwick Building Centre, DH Marine, Ocean Kinetics, Lerwick Community Council, The Merchant Navy Association of Shetland, Ian Manson (Bletty) Memorial Trust and NorthLink Ferries Ltd for their generous support.”