Yachts competing in the annual Bergen-Shetland Race will arrive in Lerwick Harbour next week for the highlight of the port’s yachting season.

Thirty competitors are expected to leave Norway on Wednesday 24 June and start reaching Shetland the following day. First across the line will receive a trophy, sponsored by Lerwick Port Authority, at Friday’s prize-giving at Lerwick Town Hall. The yachts, all Norwegian, will start the return race to Bergen at 11.00am on Sunday 28 June.

Organised by Hordaland Sailing Association in Norway, in association with Lerwick Boating Club, the two-leg, 388-nautical mile race – one of the most challenging in the North Sea – is for fully-crewed yachts with a minimum crew of four or a double-handed class which is for yachts with two persons onboard. First held in 1986, the popular race can now be followed by online tracking of the yachts as they race across the North Sea.

Sandra Laurenson, Port Authority Chief Executive, said “We will be delighted to again welcome competitors in the race which has become a popular fixture in the Shetland calendar and brings so much colour to the harbour. It also highlights the port as an international destination for yacht crews, with access to the islands’ many attractions.”

Annual and periodic events, along with leisure sailing, bring more than 450 yachts annually to Lerwick which also has a popular local yachting scene.

The sheltered, deep-water harbour will be the location for Lerwick Regatta, from 7-9 August, and the Inter-Club Sailing Regatta from 12-15 August.

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