Faroese flotilla arrives in Lerwick

A flotilla of five historic Faroese vessels sailed into Victoria Pier early Thursday morning.

The flotilla is marking the 100th centenary of the national flag first being shown to the Faroese public – an event celebrated annually with a public holiday in Faroe.

Representatives from the Swan Trust and Lerwick Port Authority greeted the flotilla, while former Shetland Fishermen’s Association chief executive John Goodlad was also in attendance to gift copies of his book The Cod Hunters to each of the ships’ skippers.

The public is invited to board the ships at Victoria Pier to learn about their history and the reason for their visit between 2pm-6pm on Thursday and 3pm-6pm on Friday.

Two of the smacks, the Johanna (TG 326) and the Westward Ho (TN 54), are the two oldest boats within the flotilla, having been built in England in the early 1880s.

Crewmember Claus Reistrup joked that while the five ships had a combined age of around 700 years, their crews had a combined age of 7,000.

He explained that he hoped people would come along and see the ships because they were similar to the smacks that would have filled Lerwick Harbour in the past.

The other ships in the flotilla are the Nordlysid, the Thorshavn and the Dragin.

Before presenting his book to the Faroese skippers, Mr Goodlad gave a short speech highlighting the long and close relationship between Shetland and the Faroe Islands.

In August Mr Goodlad will sail to Faroe on Shetland’s own historic sailing vessel the Swan, to tell the story of Shetland’s cod hunters and the impact they had on Faroe all those years ago.

It is hoped the two visits will help initiate further maritime connections between Shetland and Faroe.


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