IT LOOKS like 2019 will be another busy year for yachts visiting Shetland, with two races set to stop off in Lerwick in the next couple of weeks.
Around 20 competitors in the biennial Triangle North Sea race, starting in Den Helder in the Netherlands, are expected in Lerwick’s small boat harbour between 25 and 28 June.
They will then sail to Flekkefjord, Norway, before completing the final return leg to Den Helder.
The annual Bergen-Shetland Race will start to arrive at Lerwick from 27 June, returning to the Norwegian port on 29 June, with cruising yachts having the option to depart the following day.
Around 33 competitors are registered for the race but more are expected to sign up.
Lerwick attracted almost 550 yachts last year, with gross tonnage up 10 per per cent on 2017.
There was a trend towards to larger craft and overseas arrivals, predominately from Norway, Sweden, France and Germany.
Since then Shetland has been named by travel guide Lonely Planet as one of the top ten destinations in Europe.
Lerwick Port Authority’s cruise and marketing manager Melanie Henderson said: “Lonely Planet’s rating is further recognition that Shetland has so much to offer visitors, with the unique appeal of marine tourism increasingly important to the mix.
“As a port, we are committed to providing the facilities and services visitors, including yacht crews, would like to see.”