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Marine / Programme for this year’s Shetland Boat Week slowly taking shape

The Swan will p[lay a major role in this year's Shetland Boat Week. Photo: Swan Trust

PREPARATIONS are well under way for this year’s Shetland Boat Week, according to organiser Shetland Amenity Trust – with the historic local ship Swan set to play a key part.

The boat will offer an ‘Adventure Sail North’ trip for sail trainees aged 15 to 25 which will start in Ullapool and end in Lerwick.

The Swan Trust said it would also offer two themed day sails from Lerwick as part of Shetland Boat Week, which is due to take place between 1 and 9 August.

The trips are set to “focus on the natural and cultural heritage of Shetland as viewed from sea”.

While a programme of events is currently in development, Mark Shiner – who teaches a range of marine-themed techniques such as rope and sail making – is confirmed to appear.

The organisers are also hoping that two Norwegian boat builders will visit the isles to build a boat during the week at Hay’s Dock, as well as teach oar making.

There will also be the usual display of historic boats and a selection of trips.

This year’s Shetland Boat Week, meanwhile, has received funding from the Event Scotland Year of Coasts and Waters fund.

Sail Training Shetland’s Melanie Henderson said: “Our ambition is to inspire young people to get out on the water to experience the adventure and personal challenge that sail training offers.

“Adventure Sail North is one of our most ambitious projects so far, bringing young people from Shetland and mainland Scotland together to embark on an adventure sail of a lifetime. We will be inviting applications from young people aged 15 – 25 years for the available placements mid-February.”

Davy Cooper, head of development at Shetland Amenity Trust, added: “We are always working hard to keep our events fresh and exciting so we are really pleased to be working with The Swan Trust and Sail Training Shetland this year to be adding something new to the programme.

“We are also working with Taste of Shetland and hope they will be part of the event again.

“We are really keen to hear from anyone who would like to get involved in Boat Week this year whether a volunteer, event provider, boat owner or sponsor.”