This year the annual Shetland Race from Bergen will be at Lerwick from Thursday 23 to Saturday 25 June.
2016 marks the 30th annual race which started in 1987 – that first year with only one competitor actually making the trip but it still ranked as a qualifying race. From 1988 the race has attracted a good number of entries annually.
Currently, 34 yachts are entered bringing up to 200 sailors to Lerwick. The entries are predominantly Norwegian but there are two British flagged yachts participating including local yacht Roundabout skippered by Tommy Allan. There is also a German entry, and a previous Scottish prizewinner Erin skippered by John Murphy of Port Edgar Yacht Club.
Entries are here: https://www.sailracesystem.no/regatta?regatta=2083&deltagerliste=1
The timings of the race at Lerwick are slightly different this year. The yachts will leave Bergen on Wednesday 22 June at 10.00am local time which is three hours earlier than normal. Depending on the weather, the fleet should arrive in Lerwick during Thursday. The start back to Bergen has been brought forward to 4.00pm local time on Saturday afternoon (25th) rather than the more usual Sunday morning. The reason is so that the competitors can be back at work in Bergen on Monday rather than have to take holidays into a second week.
Recent past winners of the Blue Ribband awarded to the yacht first across the line, Solo 2 skippered by Rune Aasberg and Serenity skippered by Fridtjov Bergmann, are both competing again this year but they will have keen competition for the prize.
The fleet will have trackers to allow monitoring of the progress of the yachts and predict their time of arrival. The trackers will be available online at www.shetland-race.no
Volunteer timekeepers at the finish line at Lerwick Boating Club will be on duty for arrival and a voluntary liaison crew at Victoria Pier will greet each yacht.
The main social event at Lerwick is the Prizegiving being hosted at Mareel auditorium in the early evening on Friday. A civic welcome is kindly provided by Shetland Islands Council with sponsor support from BP and Peterson UK.