Under full sail and in all their majesty, the 53 Tall Ships with over 2,000 international crew who graced Shetland’s shores left Lerwick after a weekend full of festivities and tinged with sadness. Over the course of the weekend, thousands of visitors took the opportunity to board and explore the Tall Ships berthed along the Lerwick waterfront. Many visitors enjoyed browsing a variety of stalls including the Shetland Showcase. The extensive family entertainment programme was very popular, as was the Shetland Classic Motor Show.
With over 100 music performances over the weekend, including some fantastic local musical talent, thousands enjoyed the headline concerts on Friday and Saturday night featuring Levellers and Bjorn Again, followed by a spectacular firework display which graced the skies of Lerwick with the Ships berthed at Holmsgarth providing the perfect backdrop.
After postponing Race 2 of The Tall Ships Races 2011 for 24 hours due to weather conditions, Sunday’s programme of entertainment continued with a fantastic evening concert at Holmsgarth featuring local acts including Scaldin Bragg, the return after a 15 year hiatus of The Red Vans, as well as the mighty Pete Stack and The Rayburns to a roaring local crowd.
Sandy Cluness, chairman of The Tall Ships Races 2011 – Lerwick said: “We’re delighted with the success of this weekend’s events. The visit of the Tall Ships has showcased everything the Islands have to offer, and has proven again how Shetland can become host to a world class event with the full backing of the entire Shetland community.”