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BBC crime drama boosts Lerwick yacht numbers

Lerwick is growing in popularity as a destination for yachting. Photo: LPA

LERWICK Port Authority says it is on the receiving end of the Shetland effect as international yacht crews visit the isles on the back of the popular BBC TV series.

Chief executive Sandra Laurenson said crew members have often been expressing an interest in checking out DI Perez’s house in the Lodberries area.

Ahead of the TV show filming its fourth series in the isles in May, Promote Shetland boss Andy Steven said there has been a significant tourist boost as the programme gets aired across the world.

Laurenson said: “It’s great news for yachting at the harbour that another series of Shetland is being produced, especially as it has locations in Norway.

“We look forward to welcoming more fans in the future as arriving yachts continue to increase at Lerwick.”

Nearly 50 yachts meanwhile are set to visit Lerwick next week as part of the annual Bergen-Shetland race.

The competitors will be in port from Thursday before leaving for Norway on the Saturday.

One of the entrants is a local boat, while six of them are also taking part in the 1000-mile double-handed race, which started from Ijmuiden in the Netherlands on Wednesday and will join up with the others in Bergen.

By the end of May, the 2017 season had already seen a 12 per cent increase on the same period last year to 89 yachts visiting Lerwick.

Pontoons were re-installed in the town centre’s Victoria Pier area in May following refurbishment over winter after the accommodation barge Sans Vitesse left the area.

Last year over 600 yachts visited Lerwick, which represented an increase of 12.6 per cent on 2015.

Over forty per cent travelled from Norway, while 19 per cent came from the UK. The rest were from other countries such as Sweden, Germany and the Netherlands.