Racing to Work

For 16 hardy souls Friday’s journey to work will be a little different. Instead of hopping on the bus or into the car, they will be setting off on ‘The Big Commute’ – an offshore yacht race some 775 miles around the top of Scotland, from Edinburgh to Glasgow via Lerwick.

Ian MacLeodSailing aboard two matched 72ft Challenge yachts that were originally built to race around the world against the prevailing winds and currents, these adult crews are raising funds for Ocean Youth Trust Scotland's work to inspire positive change in young people through the challenge of adventure under sail.

Crew-member Iain MacLeod, a partner in head-hunting firm Odgers Berndston, said, "I know that this is going to be really tough sailing, but also an amazing adventure. Some people climb Kilimanjaro or go rafting in the Amazon to raise funds for charities but this is a real home-gown challenge in the most spectacular setting – Scotland."

Many of the participants had never sailed before starting training for the race which they'll be doing with the charity's fully qualified skippers and sea-staff. Nick Fleming, Chief Executive of OYT Scotland, commented, "This will be a real test of the crews' determination. They are sailing these great boats in some very testing waters. The Big Commute is sure to be an exciting journey to work for them."

The race has brought together the joint support of the cities of Edinburgh and Glasgow as well as Lerwick, a host port in next year's Tall Ships Races, and companies Clydeport, Forth Ports, Lewmar, Henry Abram & Sons and the SECC.

Alan Johnston, Chair of Destination Edinburgh Marketing Alliance said " Edinburgh is proud to be working in collaboration with Glasgow to support Ocean Youth Trust. Not only will the event raise funds for an inspiring charity it will also generate awareness of Edinburgh's Waterfront as we continue to develop the area. It's not unusual for both cities to work together - we do so regularly - and we're excited about joining forces yet again for the Big Commute."

Fiona Dally, Project Manager for The Tall Ships Races-Lerwick said, " We are delighted to welcome the Big Commute crew to Shetland during their important fundraising campaign. We are working hard to prepare for The Tall Ships Races next year, and the Ocean Youth Trust visit is a great opportunity to welcome crew ahead of next years' event and encourage young people to take part in the sail training experience. We wish all the sailors the best of luck and look forward to meeting them in Lerwick."

Starting from Leith at 8pm on Friday 20th August, Leg 1 will take them up the east coast to Lerwick. Leg 2 will start on Tuesday 24th August and see them race down through the Western Isles and into the Clyde estuary – finishing as they cross a line drawn from Little Cumbrae lighthouse and Garroch Head on the south end of Bute.

 The Ocean Youth Trust is taking part in The Tall Ships Races 2011.