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Community / Tall Ships visit sure to put the wind in Yell’s sails

Cullivoe Harbour in Yell. Photo: David Albutt

THE North Isles are gearing up to welcome the cruise-in-company leg of the Tall Ships later this month, before the busy week of events in host port Lerwick.

Sail Yell has now revealed the full programme of events organised for 23 to 25 July.

Yell was also a guest port at the last Tall Ships in 2011.

Cullivoe pier will be host to a variety of entertainment, including a visit from the local Jarl squad and emergency services, dance classes, canoe trips and morning yoga to blow off the cobwebs.

There’s also an impressive musical line-up for all three nights, from the North Ness Boys and Shetland Mandolin Band to No Sweat and visiting act Mànran.

Gary Innes, accordion and vocalist for Mànran, said the band is “absolutely delighted” to be coming to Yell.


“Something we learned years ago is that when Shetland comes calling – you never say no!” Innes said.

“The islands are bursting with incredible musicians and music lovers alike, and you’re always treated to an atmosphere and reception like no other.”

Extra ferries and buses have been organised especially for the events, whilst camping space is also available.

One of the Sail Yell organisers Alice Jamieson spoke to Shetland News with just under two weeks to go.

She said the event will be “a right good three days of family fun”.

“We’re super excited to put on this event in the hope of welcoming some of these ships,” Jamieson said.

“We’re fully in support of the Lerwick event [but we want to show] that there’s other bits of Shetland…we’re really delighted to share Shetland has to offer with other folk.”

As well as welcoming the visiting ships, Jamieson says the events will also bring the local community together.

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“We put up our main marquee on Saturday [8 July] (…), it was a beautiful day, the whole community turned out to build this tent and everybody was getting excited and a bit nostalgic about the last Sail Yell which was a really special event.

“I would definitely say there’s an air of excitement, if we could just get this good weather to continue!”

Baltasound in Unst will also be a guest port this year, with the isle’s annual event UnstFest tying in with the arrival of the Tall Ships.

There is the usual jam-packed schedule of events over 17 to 23 July, from a street party and half marathon to activities for the bairns and concerts.

Some visiting ships are due to arrive in Unst on 21 July and leave a couple of days later.

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