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Slimline boat festival to be held in August

The Shetland Amenity Trust offices in Lerwick.

SHETLAND Amenity Trust is to hold a slimmed down version of the Shetland Boat Week festival this August.

The organisers are also considering holding similar events on alternate years with boat week proper. This year’s, as yet un-named, festival will continue to publicise and preserve the isles’ maritime heritage.

Provisional dates are the weekend of 17 to 19 August with trips on the modern built Shetland boats Vaila Mae and Laura Kay to be held from Tuesday 14 August. Sail training on the Vaila Mae is also set to begin shortly.

Emma Miller of Realta Events Management, who is organising the festival with the Amenity Trust’s Davy Cooper, said that this year’s event coincided with the inter-club regatta, which will be held over two weekends, and should provide a spectacular show in Lerwick Harbour for the best part of a fortnight.

Miller said: “It is exciting to know that this is going to happen. Everyone is very keen that an event celebrating maritime heritage is held this year.

“Brian Wishart is also very keen to get started sail training in the Vaila Mae, and will begin shortly.”

The purpose of this dipping lugsail training is twofold, she explained – it increases the diminishing pool of talent familiar with the style of sailing and provides necessary experienced crew for Vaila Mae’s trips around Lerwick Harbour as part of boat festivals.

There will once more be a display of small boats at Hay’s Dock and Miller is asking anyone with a traditional boat to get in touch and take part in the display. With information on each exhibit to be gathered and display boards created, the sooner this is done the better, said Miller.

Miller added that she hoped to have a programme and title for this year’s event finalised by the end of next week. It will be held under the broad banner of Shetland Boat Week and publicised on the boat week Facebook page.

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