The Tall Ships Races 2011 Cruise in Company ships have started to arrive in Shetland waters - and the guest harbours of Fair Isle, Scalloway, Yell, Unst and Whalsay - on the last few days of their leisurely leg between Greenock and Lerwick.
Scotland’s west coast harbours of Campbeltown, Oban and Ullapool, Stornoway on Lewis, and the Orkney towns of Stromness and Kirkwall have been buzzing with the visiting ships and their followers since Wednesday (13 July 2011).
Argyll and Bute Council’s operations manager, Martin Gorringe, said: “Campbeltown has had 26 ship visits – 22 before Greenock and four after. Oban saw 15 ships in the harbour with over 1,000 spectators. The event has been everything we hoped for and more.”
Ullapool Harbour Master, Kevin Peach said: “The Ullapool event has been a massive success - businesses have just enjoyed the best weekend in history.
“We have had 15 ships with 530 crew and trainees. Around 12,000 people visited Ullapool over the two days, which is not bad for a village of 1,800 residents!
“The Columbian Class A ship, Gloria, lay at anchor in the harbour and welcomed visitors on board including four of the Ullapool & District Pipe Band. The ship created a real spectacle, particularly on departure when she sailed with the crew in the rigging.”
Trainees had sailed into their home port on the Class A ships Christian Radich and Wylde Swan. Ullapool trainee Kathleen Steventon said: “This is a great experience. The crew have been lovely and the weather great.
“It was good to be welcomed home on the pier by family and friends as we arrived in Ullapool. I am now looking forward to the rest of the leg up to Lerwick.”
Captain of the Christian Radich, Clas Jagdum said: “We had the perfect arrival into Ullapool. Ullapool Harbour has done a great job and everything has been so well organised.
“We have had lovely weather on our trip from Greenock to Ullapool. Our trainees are now enjoying catching up with family and friends in their home town.”
A similar welcome awaited The Ships in the other guest harbours, giving the ship crews and trainees a taste of the more remote parts of Scotland and creating a huge boost to the local economies.
The Tall Ships Races 2011, is presented by Szczecin and organised by Sail Training International a charity with a purpose in the development and education of young people, regardless of nationality, culture, religion, gender or social background, through sail training.
The Cruise in Company leg between Greenock and Lerwick in Shetland is the first party in Scotland to stretch for 484 unforgettable nautical miles.
For details on all the action visit www.tallshipsraceslerwick.com/cruise-in-company