Lerwick Harbour is ready for an exciting week of sailing with the 2014 Fireball European Championships taking place at the port next week.
As a warm-up to the main event, the Shetland Fireball Championships will be held this afternoon and tomorrow.
27 boats are expected to enter the European Championships with international crews arriving from the Czech Republic, Switzerland and Ireland as well as the UK mainland. A number of the entrants are local boats looking forward to racing in their home waters.
The travelling boats have arrived on trailers via NorthLink Ferries together with two crewmembers for each boat, accompanied by friends and family. Keen competition is expected as well as renewal of friendships made in previous championships, including when last at Lerwick in 2003.
The Races will take place in Brei Wick in the south harbour and the fleet will depart from the wooden boat deck at the Small Boat Harbour at Lerwick.
The nearby RNLI station at the Tolbooth is the Race HQ and there will be a number of guard boats on the water together with two yachts marking the Race start and finish line.
The European Championship races will take place over five sailing days from Sunday to Friday with no sailing on Wednesday. Two Races are scheduled for each sailing day starting at 13:00 with a slightly earlier start on the final Friday.
The event culminates in the Championship Prize Giving at Mareel on Friday evening when a number of trophies will be presented.
Sandra Laurenson, Chief Executive of Lerwick Port Authority said “It is splendid that this international sailing event has returned to Lerwick after 11 years. A number of local sailors have kept the links alive by competing internationally and they have worked hard to arrange a week of both racing and social events and we wish them every success with the Championships”.