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Trainees set sail for Spain

The four trainees taking part in the 2016 Tall Ships Race. L-R: Paul Samson, Shaun Scott, Lorrie Robertson, Shona Johnson.

FOUR young Shetlanders are on their way to Spain to take part in this year’s Tall Ships Races.

Twenty four year old Shona Johnson from Unst and Lorrie Robertson, 21, from Burra, are the eldest of the group, which headed south on the NorthLink ferry from Lerwick on Friday.

They’re joined by 18 year olds Paul Samson, from Walls, and Shaun Scott from Whiteness.

The trip, which has been organised by Sail Training Shetland, will see the foursome leave Cadiz on the Norwegian three-masted bark Statsraad Lehmkuhl before stopping off at the port of Ilhavo in Portugal.

They will then undertake a cruise-in company leg to finish at A Coruna in Spain on 13 August.

The group will join race three of the Tall Ships event, which opened on 7 July with boats setting sail from Antwerp and heading to Lisbon.

The trainees will brush up on skills such as watch-keeping and setting sails, while the trip also encourages the participants to boost their self-confidence and communication skills.

Lorrie Robertson commented: “I love being at sea and travelling so the challenge of sailing onboard Statsraad Lehmkuhl with a large crew is so exciting.

“Some of the highlights will be making new friends, taking part in crew activities in the host ports and sailing out of Cadiz in the Parade of Sail which will be unforgettable.”

Sail Training Shetland chairman Peter Campbell said he was “thrilled” to see continued interest from youngsters in the organisation.

Ten other trainees recently returned from the Nordic Sail event, in which they visited the likes of Hobro in Denmark and Öckerö, Sweden, onboard the Swan.

“We’ve again recruited an excellent group of trainees from throughout Shetland and are sure that they’ll all take something positive away from their experiences and be great ambassadors for Shetland,” Campbell said.

“We would also like to take this opportunity to thank all our grant funders, sponsors and supporters; Shetland Tall Ships 2011 Limited, Lerwick Port Authority, The Swan Trust, J. R. Hutton Consulting Ltd, Streamline Shipping Group, Tulloch Developments Ltd, NB Communication, Tay-CAD Ltd and Serco NorthLink Ferries Ltd for their generous support.”