Five young adults from Shetland are set for an exciting maritime adventure this summer, having been selected to take part in the 2008 Tall Ships’ Races.

The opportunity to take part in this year’s Races is the result of a joint project funded by Lerwick Port Authority, Shetland Islands Council, and BP on behalf of the Owners of Sullom Voe Terminal, with additional support from the Shetland - Vågsøy Twinning Association and The Swan Trust. NorthLink Ferries has also agreed to cover the cost of the trainees ferry travel to Aberdeen.

This year’s event starts in Liverpool on Monday 21st July from where the five sail trainees will set off on the first leg of the Races on the Norwegian full rigged ship “Christian Radich”. Around 60 vessels are expected to take part including 17 Class “A” Tall Ships that are expected to arrive in the Norwegian Host Port of Måløy on or around Friday 1st August.

The five trainees will experience life as crew members, undertaking nautical tasks such as watch-keeping and setting sails. They will share daily routines with other trainees and require to work as part of the onboard team. The 63 metre “Christian Radich” will be one of the favourites for this years Races, having been one of the top placed vessels in recent years.

The selected trainees, all aged 18, are Ian Adamson from Cunningsburgh, Hannah Goodlad from Scalloway, Joshua Sansom from Walls, Magnus Stout from Bressay and Shona Williamson from Brae. They were selected following written applications, interviews and taking part in practical selection events, involving outdoor challenges and a sailing trip on Shetland’s own sail training vessel, “The Swan”.

Peter Campbell, Secretary of Shetland - Vågsøy Twinning Association commented – “In 2008, Måløy will be the smallest port ever to host the Tall Ships Races’, demonstrating the strength of their community. We are delighted to assist the Shetland Sail trainees to take part, in the spirit of the twinning agreement between our two seafaring communities.”

Lindsay Boswell, Terminal Manager for BP Exploration at Sullom Voe Terminal added “This is a fantastic opportunity for five young adults to have the experience of a lifetime. BP and the partners at Sullom Voe Terminal are pleased to support the trainees and allow them to get involved in this exciting maritime challenge.”

This year’s opportunity for young people builds on the success of a similar project in 2006, when seven young adults from Shetland took part in the 50th Anniversary Tall Ships Races. With the Tall Ships’ Races coming to Lerwick in 2011, Host Ports now also have a responsibility to find and fund 25 sail trainees from the local community to take part in the Races that year.

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