- Launch event to be held in Shetland Museum and Archives auditorium, 1pm-8pm Tuesday 26th July.
- Potential sponsors and volunteers invited to find out more exciting opportunities.
- Chance for public to share photos, films and memories of previous Tall Ships events.
The countdown has begun as Lerwick prepares to host the Tall Ships Races in 2023 with a launch event planned exactly 12 months before the fleet sails into Lerwick Harbour.
Dozens of magnificent vessels from around the world will descend on the town between 26th and 29th July next year, prompting a fun-filled four days of sailing, parades, music, and entertainment.
Shetland Tall Ships Ltd project manager Emma Miller said the anticipation was already rising. To kickstart the excitement a drop-in event will be held in the Shetland Museum and Archives auditorium on Tuesday 26th July between 1pm and 8pm.
Anyone interested in becoming a Tall Ships volunteer or sailing aboard one of the tall ships as a trainee will be able to find out more information. Emma and her team will also be on hand to welcome any businesses or organisations keen to discover more about sponsorship opportunities.
Emma said: “We have already had good conversations with many potential sponsors, including the consortium of salmon businesses announced last week. There are still lots of opportunities to support the event and various sponsorship packages are available. With 12 months to go this is a perfect opportunity for Shetland businesses to discover more about the benefits.”
Organisers also want to hear from anyone who remembers previous occasions Lerwick hosted the Tall Ships Races.
People can attend the launch event to reminisce about the good times and dig out any old photos or film of previous races. It is also a chance to look forward to the excitement that will come with the ships’ visit next year.
Emma said: “Many islanders have fantastic memories of previous events, and we’d love to hear from as many of them as possible.
“We’d like to see people’s photos or video footage from 1999 or 2011 or hear their stories of what those occasions meant to them. That feels particularly important as 2022 is Scotland’s Year of Stories.”
Photos and videos can also be shared by social media – facebook.com/tallshipslerwick; instagram.com/tallshipslerwick; tiktok.com/@tallshipslerwick – or emailed to email@example.com.
Next year’s visit is being core funded by Shetland Islands Council and EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate.
Shetland Islands Council chief executive Maggie Sandison said: “It’s so good to see the building enthusiasm and anticipation for what’s set to be a tremendous visit from the Tall Ships. Both the previous events brought great enjoyment to the community, as well as visiting crews, and there’s an exciting opportunity now for individuals – and businesses - to sign up and get involved in what is set to be a fantastic event.”
EventScotland is working to make Scotland the perfect stage for events by securing and supporting an exciting portfolio of sporting and cultural events. They do this through a range of funding programmes aimed at supporting both major, national, local and community events.
VisitScotland’s director of events, Paul Bush OBE, said: “EventScotland is delighted to be supporting Tall Ships Lerwick as part of an exciting portfolio of sporting and cultural events taking place across Scotland in 2023.
“Events play an important role in our communities by allowing us all to connect, enjoy and share memorable experiences. Having them in our calendar further strengthens our position as the world-leading events destination and reinforces Scotland as the perfect stage for events.”
The Tall Ships visit to Lerwick will provide free access to view the ships, with many welcoming the public aboard. Hundreds of young people aged 15-25 will have the opportunity to sail aboard and enjoy life-changing experiences as the fleet sails between Den Helder (Netherlands), Hartlepool (England), Fredrikstad (Norway), Lerwick and Arendal (Norway).