The Norwegian Tall Ship Christian Radich has won Race 1 of the Tall Ships Races 2011 from Waterford to Greenock.
Two trainees placed by Sail Training Shetland, Bethany Scott and Lauren Carruthers, crewed on the Christian Radich, a class A vessel, on this winning leg.
Shetland’s own vessel Swan finished 10th among the class B vessels. She has six Shetland trainees aboard, plus two Irish trainees who joined in Waterford.
Dutch vessel Europa finished third in class A; she has Shetland trainees Solbjorn Einarsson and Adam Johnson aboard.
Class A vessels are square rigged vessels over 40 metres, class B are traditionally rigged vessels less than 40 metres and with a waterline length of at least 9.14 metres.
The ships left Waterford at around 3.30pm on Sunday after having taken part in a parade of sail earlier that morning.
The race was shortened after a decision was taken to sail up the Irish Sea rather than round the west coast of Ireland due to a forecast of strong winds. Accordingly, the vessels crossed the finishing line well ahead of the event days at Greenock and took the opportunity to visit other guest ports such as Belfast and Campbeltown prior to sailing in to the host port of Greenock, where they will be from Sunday to Tuesday.
Shetland’s sail training ship Swan was in Campbeltown early on Wednesday morning, and today the ship was en route for Arran before heading back to Greenock – as the winds were light the crew and sail trainees hoped to do a spot of fishing on the way.
Skipper Matt Chapman said the trip from Waterford had been “up and down”. He said: “We had very light winds at first and it took 24 hours to get away from where we started.”
He said the 14 people on board were all getting on well, although “it’s a long trip for people who haven’t been to sea before”.
In Waterford, Ireland’s oldest city, the Swan was presented with a gift by the city’s mayor in the form of an ornamental Waterford crystal lighthouse, organised through Sail Training International. The skipper joked: “We’ll need to get a mantelpiece.”
The trainees on Race 1 will return home from Greenock and a new batch of trainees will join the Swan and Wylde Swan for the Cruise In Company to Lerwick.