Sailing to "must-see" Shetland
18th June 2019
Lerwick a seaway for yachts to a top-ten destination
Yacht crews sailing to Lerwick this season can look forward to a destination which comes highly-recommended – by the internationally-respected travel guide, Lonely Planet.
It has ranked Shetland sixth in its recent top-ten ‘must-see’ European destinations for 2019, with the far-north islands the only UK location included.
Melanie Henderson, Lerwick Port Authority’s Cruise and Marketing Manager, said: “Lonely Planet’s rating is further recognition that Shetland has so much to offer visitors, with the unique appeal of marine tourism increasingly important to the mix. As a port, we are committed to providing the facilities and services visitors, including yacht crews, would like to see.”
Spectacular sailing around Shetland’s coastline is part of the package including wildlife offshore and onshore, visitor attractions, culture and welcoming hospitality.
Lerwick attracted almost 550 yachts last year, with gross tonnage up 10% on 2017 showing a trend to larger craft, and overseas arrivals, predominately from Norway, Sweden, France and Germany, joining crews from Britain.
Mid-summer at Lerwick features international sailing events, demonstrating the port’s popularity as a place to meet-and-compete.
Around 20 competitors in the biennial Triangle North Sea race, starting in Den Helder, Netherlands, are expected to be in Lerwick’s Small Boat Harbour between Tuesday 25 and Friday 28 June. They will then sail to Flekkefjord, Norway, before completing the final return leg to Den Helder.
The annual Pantaenius Bergen-Shetland Race will start to arrive at Lerwick from Thursday 27 June, returning to the Norwegian port on Saturday 29 June, with cruising yachts having the option to depart the following day.
Around 33 competitors are already registered and more expected for the 33rd staging of the race. Entries include Scottish yacht, Erin, a previous winner, from Port Edgar Yacht Club on the Firth of Forth; L’Esprit, with a seven-strong Italian crew; and Galactic Viking, the largest at 60 feet, from Norway.
Shetland Boat Week, which takes place between Monday 5 and Sunday 11 August, is a growing, family-friendly event in Lerwick’s sailing calendar. Sponsored by the Port Authority, it showcases the islands’ maritime heritage and will feature new waterfront activities, with behind the scenes tours at Lerwick Fishmarket and Malakoff’s slipway, plus ship tours by HM Coastguard and Serco NorthLink Ferries.
Follow the progress of race yachts using Yellow Brick Tracking here http://yb.tl/bergen2019#
The annual Bergen-Shetland Race has become a popular fixture in the Shetland events’ calendar and highlights the port as an international destination for yacht crews. Credit: Ryan Leith.