Following a healthy number of applications to take part in this year's Sail training scheme, eight young adults from across Shetland have been selected by Sail Training Shetland to participate in the Association of Sail Training Organisations Small Ships' Race from Greenock to Belfast.
Tonight courtesy of NorthLink Ferries Ltd, trainees and crew are traveling to Orkney to join Shetland’s own sail training vessel, the “Swan”. Leaving Stromness, she will sail down the West Coast of Scotland to Greenock in time for the start of the Small Ships’ Races. The “Swan” is one of 18 entrants in the Small Ships’ Race. The Race to Belfast coincides with the arrival of the Tall Ships fleet as the final port in the 2009 Tall Ships Atlantic Challenge.
The successful trainees, ranging in ages between 15 to 18, are Emily Leask, Bixter; Barry Cranie, Ollaberry; Symone Duddy, Virkie; Nathan Bryant, Lerwick; Michael Thomson, Unst; Heather Gray, Unst; Jack Henderson, Lerwick, and Shona Duerden, Tingwall. They were selected following written applications and participation in practical selection events, involving sailing trips on the “Swan”.
Chairman of Sail Training Shetland, Peter Malcolmson said, “the level of interest in our first scheme has been excellent. We wish all our trainees the best of luck for a fantastic journey to Belfast and thank our sponsors; NorthLink Ferries Ltd, Shetland Islands Council, Lerwick Port Authority, Tay-CAD, Ocean Kinetics Ltd and Lerwick Community Council for making this scheme possible. We also look forward to inviting new local sponsors to support the aims of Sail Training Shetland in the years ahead.”