Four young adults from Shetland are being given the opportunity to take part in The Tall Ships’ Races 2008, courtesy of a joint project supported by Shetland Islands Council, Lerwick Port Authority, and The Swan Trust.

The first leg of this year’s Tall Ships’ Races starts in Liverpool on Monday 21st July, from where vessels will sail around the west and north coast of Scotland to Måløy in Norway, arriving on or around Friday 1st August. Young adults between the ages of 18 and 25 are being sought to take up places as ‘sail trainees’ on the Norwegian fully-rigged Tall Ship, Christian Radich.

Shetland Islands Council and Lerwick Port Authority have agreed to jointly meet the costs of passage and return travel fares from Shetland to Liverpool and the return from Måløy. Participants will only need to make a contribution of £275 towards their costs, as well as having funds for personal expenses.

This year’s joint project follows a similar successful initiative in 2006, when seven sail trainees from Shetland spent up to two weeks on different legs of the 50th Anniversary Tall Ships’ Races, visiting ports in the UK, France, Spain, Portugal and Belgium.

With Lerwick being a Host Port for the 2011 Tall Ships’ Races, this year’s project is seen as part of the initial build up for the event, as Host Ports are now expected to find and fund a large number of sail trainees from their local communities.

Brian Anderson, Chairman of Lerwick Port Authority commented – “There will be a lot of work over the next few years to prepare for 2011 when the Races come to Lerwick. Sail trainees and all the crews on the vessels are at the heart of the Tall Ships’ Races and this is a fantastic opportunity for young people.”

Councillor Rick Nickerson, Spokesperson for Culture and Recreation with Shetland Islands Council, remarked – “Shetland obviously has a strong connection with the sea and a long maritime tradition. I am confident that the trainees selected will enjoy the challenges and excitement that come from being part of the Tall Ships’ Races.”

Application forms and guidance notes for anyone interested in applying for one of the four places are available online at – or

Alternatively, please contact either Bob Kerr, at the Sport & Leisure Service, Shetland Islands Council on 01595 744006; or Victor Sandison at Lerwick Port Authority on 01595 692991. The deadline for return of applications is 12 noon on Friday 16th May 2008.

The Tall Ships’ Races are organised by Sail Training International and sponsored by Antwerp. More information on this year’s Races is available at the website of Sail Training International at

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