More than 80 yachts and hundreds of crew will sail into Lerwick Harbour later this month when three international events converge on the Shetland port for the high point of the islands' yachting season.
Sandra Laurenson, Lerwick Port Authority Chief Executive, 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 port-of-call for the biennial North Sea Triangle Challenge since the 1980s, it will return 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/Wednesday 21-22 June. Following a programme including coach tours and a dinner, they will depart for Farsund, Norway, at 10am on Friday 24 June.
With around 47 entries and up to 200 crew, competitors in the Bergen-Shetland Race will berth in Lerwick on Thursday 23 June and depart on the morning of Sunday 26 June. 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 1000 Mile Doublehanded Race which sails from Scheveningen, in the Netherlands, to join the event at the Norwegian port before heading for Lerwick. The biennial 1000 Mile Race was launched in 2007.
A Race Office will be established on Victoria Pier for the period 23-26 June.
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% during the summer, and a new access gangway to the original pontoon at Victoria Pier South.