In two weeks time, about 50 international yachts will be competing in a Race to Lerwick.
The annual Bergen-Shetland Races, combined with the second leg of the annual 1000 Mile race which starts in the Netherlands this coming weekend, will bring up to 250 sailors to Shetland.
The 1000 Mile Race is for double-handed yachts with two crew members on each. Eight yachts will start in Scheveningen in Holland on 14 June with the first leg of their race to Bergen. Joining the 1000 Mile Race is Lerwick sailor Leslie Irvine with his brand new yacht “Vandal” that was designed and built in Holland.
The 1000 Mile competitors will join the larger Bergen-Shetland Race which starts in Bergen on Wednesday 24 June to arrive in Lerwick on Thursday 25th June. The Race back to Bergen starts on the Sunday morning, 28 June.
There are several classes in the Bergen-Shetland Races – as well as the double-handed class with two crew members, there are fully crewed classes and some large yachts such as first-time entrant “Xxtreme”. The fastest yachts will be hoping to set a new record time for the crossing.
The Race weekend at Lerwick coincides with the Johnsmas Foy and the annual Flavour of Shetland event which will take place on Victoria Pier over the Race days – this popular event provides a flavour of Shetland culture, food and entertainment.
The entertainment marquee on Victoria Pier provides the venue for the Races prizegiving on the Friday evening. The half-way prizes are keenly contested with friendly rivalry among the sailors.
The Shetland Race Committee that is organising the visit of the international crews is indebted to their sponsors for providing a welcome to the yachts. Zetland Bonded Services and Grieg Seafood Hjaltland UK are regular supporters and this year they are joined by O’Hare & McGovern as main sponsor of the prizegiving event.