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Marine / Bergen race yachts set to descend upon Lerwick this week

Lerwick harbour was busy on Friday with yachts participating in the Shetland Race as well as the 293 metre cruise liner Costa Mediterranea visiting. Photo: Hans J Marter/Shetland News
An archive image of yachts in Lerwick Harbour. Photo: Shetland News

THE ANNUAL Bergen to Shetland yacht race is set to make a welcome return this week after a two year absence due to the pandemic.

It will be the 34th time the Shetland Race has crossed the North Sea, with around 40 entrants bringing 200 crew.

They are currently assembling in Bergen for departure at midday on Wednesday (22 June)

Depending on wind conditions, the first yachts are expected in Lerwick from Thursday afternoon onwards.

This year, the start line in Norway is north-west of Bergen, with the route to Lerwick covering 183 nautical miles.

Around half the race fleet are regular competitors and the majority of the yachts are Norwegian. However the fleet includes the German yacht Haspa Hamburg, a 52ft yacht that gives young sailors an opportunity to sail and race offshore.

There are also some Scottish entrants, including Erin from Port Edgar Yacht Club on the Forth and Reindeer from Clyde Cruising Club. The first arrival will fly the prestigious blue ribbon.

The finish line will be at Lerwick Boating Club’s pier and arrival times will be monitored with trackers which will be activated for the race.

Shetland Webcams has also provided a Lerwick Boating Club webcam to see the finish line in real time. Volunteers from the club will also do timekeeping.

The race will restart early on Sunday morning with the fleet leaving their berths in Lerwick at breakfast time and across the start line at Twageos at 9.00am on Sunday.

A race office on Victoria Pier is provided with a volunteer liaison crew to welcome the crews and provide assistance.

A prizegiving event for the first leg of the race will be held in Mareel on Friday evening – a civic reception hosted by Shetland Islands Council with sponsorship support from Enquest, Peterson and the new Shetland Bonded Services.