Marvellous Sight As First Tall Ships Arrive In Lerwick

Norwegian Class B Tall Ship, Auno, is first of 56 ships to dock

Auno Arriving in Lerwick The first of the majestic Tall Ships has arrived in Lerwick harbour as anticipation mounts for the start of Shetland’s maritime festival, The Tall Ships Races 2011, presented by Szczecin and organised by Sail Training International, on Thursday 21st July.

Norwegian ship, Auno arrived in Lerwick harbour at 1245 hrs Tuesday 19th July and gently maneuvered to the Albert Dock next to the Lerwick Port Authority building.

Fiona Dally, project manager of The Tall Ships Races 2011 – Lerwick, said: “It’s great to see our neighbours Norway as one of the first vessels to arrive in Lerwick.

“Auno is one of our Class B, Tall Ships and we expect over the course of the next few days to see even more examples of these magnificent vessels. 

“We’re looking forward to the arrival of the remaining 55 ships and to welcoming home our six Shetland sail trainees from the Cruise in Company leg on board Swan and Wylde Swan.”

The almost 70 year-old Auno is a traditionally rigged sailing vessel, with cabins and lounges and has five crew and five sail trainees on board.

Auno is one of a number of Ships who are currently completing or have recently completed the Cruise in Company leg of the Races, taking in Campbeltown, Port Ellen (Islay), Oban, Ullapool, Stornoway, Kirkwall and Stromness (Orkney), and Fair Isle, Scalloway, Yell, Unst and Whalsay (Shetland).

Ottar J Aare, skipper of Auno said: “We’re delighted to be the first ship to arrive in Lerwick and look forward to a fantastic weekend of Shetland hospitality and a wonderful welcome from the people of Lerwick.”

Harbourmaster Captain Calum Grains, chairman of the harbour sub-committee of The Tall Ships Races Lerwick – 2011 said:  "It is great to see the realisation of many months of planning for the Tall Ships fleet.  It will be a busy few days with arrivals but we are all ready and looking forward to welcoming the international crews to Lerwick."

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.

Knut Western, Event Chairman, The Tall Ships Races 2011, Sail Training International said:  “The Tall Ships Races provides young people with an amazing adventure and an experience through which they learn the values of teamwork and leadership as well as developing new skills and confidence that will enhance their social and working lives.  Sail Training International is delighted to be bringing the fleet back to Lerwick this year and we are confident that Lerwick will provide a perfect start for Race 2 to Norway.”

The Auno was also joined later in the afternoon by the Norwegian Class B vessel Wyvern av Aalesund and Urania, the Netherlands Class D ship.  The Wyvern av Aalesund is berthed at Victoria Pier and the Urania at Morrison Dock, Holmsgarth.

Captains and crew can look forward to a packed programme of cultural and sports activity, live music, food & drink when they arrive in Lerwick.  They will also take part in the colourful crew parade where 2,000 crew members from all the participating Ships will dress in uniform or fancy dress and be joined by local musicians and bands as they parade down the Esplanade towards Holmsgarth from 4pm on Thursday 21st July.