Tall Ships are coming to Stornoway!

As a guest harbour in the Cruise in Company leg of The Tall Ships Races 2011, preparations in Stornoway are well under way for the event. The Tall Ships Races place a strong focus on the development of young people, so 13 local sail trainees have been selected to take part in The Races.


The youngsters, all aged between 18-25, are participating in the non-competitive Cruise in Company leg between Greenock and Lerwick from 12 to 21 July. 

In this particular part of The Tall Ships Races, presented by Szczecin, organised by Sail Training International, the ships will sail at their leisure along Scotland’s west coast, calling in at their choice of guest harbours en-route to Shetland. Other participating ports include Campbeltown, Islay, Oban, Ullapool, Stromness, Kirkwall, Fair Isle, Scalloway, Yell, Unst and Whalsay.

Stornoway Port Authority’s chief executive, Jane Maciver, said: “We are very pleased to be able to offer places for our trainees on what is sure to be an unforgettable voyage. Not only will they experience some fantastic sailing but will also enjoy the atmosphere and celebrations in each guest harbour, which is sure to make for a very sociable voyage.

“Over the next couple of months the trainees will be carrying out a variety of fundraising activities to ensure they can take up their places.”

Sail trainee, Ross Macaulay, said: “I’m really excited about taking part in the races this year. I’m interested in pursuing a career at sea and I think this will be a great chance for me to increase my knowledge.  I’m also really looking forward to meeting a lot of new people and making friends. The other trainees and I hope to hold a sponsored cycle and also a sponsored row as part of our fundraising efforts for this summer’s trip.”

Sail Trainee, Melissa Morrison, said: ‘I’m working towards my Duke of Edinburgh Award and taking part in The Tall Ships Races offers the perfect opportunity for me to learn a range of new skills in a very challenging environment.”

Sail trainee, Andrew MacDonald, said: “I heard about the opportunity to take part at school and immediately knew that it was something I wanted to be a part of. The idea of working together as part of a team and sailing onboard a full-rigged ship is something I’m really looking forward to.

“I can’t wait to sail out in the open seas, and get a real taste for how the crew operates on a Tall Ship.  I would like to study to become a deck officer at Glasgow’s Nautical College, so this trip will serve me well as it’s a great experience to add to my C.V.”

The Cruise in Company event will coincide with Stornoway’s annual Hebridean Celtic Festival and so, as the ships begin to firm up on their itineraries, it is not surprising that Stornoway is proving to be a popular destination among the vessels.

There are opportunities for organisations or individuals who are looking for a unique venue to partner with each other in order to hold an event onboard one or two of the visiting tall ships while they are in Stornoway.

If you or your organisation is interested in holding an event onboard a visiting Tall Ship, or would like to charter a ship for a day sail please contact Stornoway Port Authority on 01851 702688 or email tallships@stornoway-harbour.com by Friday  1 April  2011 in order to register your interest.

Commenting on this opportunity Jane Maciver said “this is a rare opportunity to make an event  something really special and very memorable with the unique chance to combine an event aboard a Tall Ship in the afternoon/evening with a night at the Hebridean Celtic Festival”.

Funding towards the Tall Ships events in Stornoway has been received so far from Scotland’s Islands Fund, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar and Stornoway Port Authority.