Lerwick Harbor is set to cast off for a summer of sailing with a series of local and international events attracting several hundred crew, beginning this week with the arrival of entrants in the Round Britain & Ireland Yacht Race.
Sandra Laurenson, Lerwick Port Authority Chief Executive, said: ”The harbour will again be playing host to a number of sailing enthusiasts, many of them repeat visitors, meeting and competing in the established races and underlining the popularity of the port and Shetland with yachting crews.
“The return of competitions, whether annually or years apart, is always special – including, for example, the European Fireball Championships, back for the first time in more than a decade.”
With around 500 yachts visiting the port annually, Lerwick’s sailing calendar this year includes:
• The Round Britain & Ireland Yacht Race, operated by the Royal Western Yacht Club and held every four years, with the 13 remaining entries en route clockwise around Britain and Ireland from a start in Plymouth on 1 June. A test of endurance and seamanship, the race is open to all yachts and multihulls between 30 and 50 feet in length, crewed by two people. Lerwick is again one of the 48-hour compulsory stops – expected at various times from tomorrow (11 June) over a number of days.
• Competitors in the annual Bergen-Shetland Race are due to arrive in Lerwick on 26 June and depart on the return leg on 29 June. First held in 1987, around 40 yachts, in either fully-crewed or double-handed classes, are expected to participate this month.
• The Shetland National Fireball Championships, with six races on 24-25 July, will be followed over the next week by the European Fireball Sailing Championships – last held in Lerwick in 2003 – with the high-performance dinghy crews competing in up to 10 races in Brei Wick and the port’s south harbor.