Over 80 yachts and hundreds of crew members will arrive in Lerwick Harbour later this month when three international events converge for the high point of the isles’ yachting season.
Lerwick Port Authority chief executive Sandra Laurenson said: “We had a record-breaking year in 2010 with 544 yachts calling and this promises to be another great season, with the combined events this month highlighting the popularity of Lerwick and Shetland among crews. We are pleased our additional yacht pontoon at Albert Wharf is newly ready for the summer.”
A regular port of call for the biennial North Sea Triangle Challenge since the 1980s, Lerwick will participate for the first time since 2005, with 39 Dutch yachts and more than 100 crew members arriving from Den Helder, in the Netherlands, on Tuesday 21st and Wednesday 21st June. Following a programme including coach tours and a dinner, they will depart for Farsund, Norway, at 10am on Friday 24th June.
With around 47 entries and up to 200 crew, competitors in the Bergen-Shetland Race will berth in Lerwick on Thursday 23rd June and depart the following Sunday morning. For the first time, yachts will arrive from a second Norwegian port – Ǻlesund. During the visit, the 25th anniversary of the race will be marked with the publication of a history of the event in English and Norwegian, and there will also be a prize-giving and entertainment.
The Bergen-Shetland Race will include 15 European yachts – among them Vandal from Lerwick skippered by Leslie Irvine – competing in the biennial 1,000 Mile Doublehanded Race which sails from Scheveningen in the Netherlands to join the event at the Norwegian port before heading for Lerwick.
The port authority’s investment of a further £100,000 in yachting facilities in 2011 includes the recently-completed seasonal set of yachting pontoons at Albert Wharf, increasing pontoon berthing by 50 per cent during the summer, and a new access gangway to the original pontoon at Victoria Pier South.