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Marine / Yachting season makes promising start

THE NUMBER of yachts which have visited Lerwick this year has already nearly overtaken the total for the whole of 2021.

The 12m Trimaran Morpheus, currently leading in the quadrennial Round Britain & Ireland Race, arriving in Lerwick. Photo: Ryan Leith.

Before Covid Lerwick usually welcomed around 500 visiting yachts, but due to restrictions only 143 arrived last year.

But the 2022 season has got off to a flying start.

Lerwick Port Authority harbourmaster Alexander Simpson said: “It is encouraging to see such a strong number of arrivals so far which has got the season off to a great start.

“The level of visiting yachts points to the continuing growth and popularity of Shetland on sailing voyages. We are looking forward to the lively atmosphere that the mid-summer yacht races bring to the town centre”.

Meanwhile the first of the entrants in the 15th Round Britain & Ireland Race, a Shuttle 39 trimaran called Morpheus, reached Lerwick today (Tuesday).

The arrivals will be staggered over the next two weeks, with competitors having a 48-hour compulsory stopover before starting the third leg to Blyth.

Lerwick Boating Club is providing local liaison for the competitors while in port.

The race, which first called at Lerwick in 1966, is open to yachts and multihulls, either doubled handed or fully crewed.

Also popular in the yachting calendar is the well-known Shetland-Bergen Race.

The race is said to be back with a bang this year, having attracted more entries – 46 compared to 33 in 2019 – and building in an extra day at Lerwick from 23-26 June for folk to enjoy island hospitality.

The Shetland race, for double-handed or fully crewed classes with a minimum of four crew members, first visited Lerwick in 1988 and is supported by a local committee.

Another sailing highlight for the season will be the arrival of Norwegian tall ship Christian Radich, which is due in port on 1 July.