Yacht crews in the northern North Sea are following a ‘crime wave’ to Lerwick Harbour and the many attractions of Shetland.
The popularity of the BBC TV series Shetland in Scandinavia and The Netherlands has helped generate interest in the islands, with some sailors even asking to see the ‘home’ of fictional detective, Jimmy Perez.
Lerwick Port Authority Chief Executive, Sandra Laurenson, said: “It is great news for yachting at the harbour that another series of Shetland is being produced, especially as it has locations in Norway. We look forward to welcoming more fans in the future as arriving yachts continue to increase at Lerwick.”
The growth in longer-distance sailing, including Lerwick as a stop-over to-and-from Arctic waters, and an increase of around five per cent in larger yachts at the port in recent years, are also contributing to activity. The average size of yachts calling has increased to 12.66m, with yachts over 20m doubling in a decade.
The port welcomed more than 500 yachts last year, up 12.6 per cent on 2015, with 41 per cent from Norway, followed by 19 per cent from the UK and the rest from various countries, including The Netherlands, Sweden, Germany and many others.
By end-May, the 2017 season had seen a 12 per cent increase on the same period last year to 89 yachts visiting Lerwick where pontoons were re-installed in the town centre Victoria Pier area last month following refurbishment over winter.
International visitors will include around 48 entrants in the annual Bergen-Shetland Race, which will be in port from Thursday 22 June, leaving for Bergen on Saturday 24 June. One of the entrants is from Shetland, along with six yachts which are also taking part in the 1000-Mile Double-handed Race which started from Ijmuiden in The Netherlands yesterday (14 June) and joins in from Bergen.
Upcoming events include: second Shetland Boat Week (7 – 13 August); Inter-Club Sailing Regatta (9-12 August) and Lerwick Regatta (25 – 27 August).
The four-yearly Round-Britain & Ireland Race will return to Lerwick in 2018.
Located at 60 degrees north and where the North Sea and Atlantic meet, Lerwick is Britain’s ‘Top Port’ – the most northerly commercial harbour in the country – and a base for sailing Shetland’s stunning 1,700 miles of coastline or visiting the many and varied onshore attractions.