2023 Tall Ships Races

It was raining this afternoon so OH and I drove to Lerwick to see the Tall Ships that had arrived in Lerwick on Friday.

What I found out:

There are 37 sailing ships from all around the world.  Lerwick is the only Scottish leg of the 2023 Races.

These ships, carrying more than 1300 crew, have arrived from Fredrikstad, Norway a few days back.

Shetland has hosted this event three times – 1999, 2011 and now 2023.

International friendship and sailing training for young folk is the main aim of the races.

Held every year, the races consist of “legs” of hundreds of nautical miles between pre-set destinations.

To participate in the races, young people must make up half of the crew.

All the boats will leave Shetland on Saturday for the final leg to Arendal, Norway.  This will be the Parade of Sail – an incredible sight that I remember from 1999.


So OH and I wandered about in the drizzle and saw there was lots going on.

Some superb local shops.  I saw friends and bought lovely things.

There is some incredible local artistic talent in Shetland.

This is Mandy Hunter and Ceri Biddle‘s shop.

One of Ceri’s wall-hangings takes two weeks to create.  Imagine!

And I am a huge fan of Mandy’s work.  I am sorely tempted to ask her to paint my sheep family.  It is a rare person who can paint sheep (see the card on the right).

Ok, the weather was miserable but the crowds were out and the atmosphere was superb.

A truly memorable event.

6 thoughts on “2023 Tall Ships Races

  1. Judith

    Wonderful! There were some master mariners amongst my mother’s father’s ancestors, the Hudsons. On another side of that family, the Potts family were fishermen who MAY have a link by marriage to one of the world’s most famous sailors, Captain James Cook FRS. But I myself can’t claim any expertise in sailing at all. It is a great experience for the young people to take part in.

    1. Judith

      I agree, Judith. By the way I was born at Marske-by-the-Sea and there were some people called Garbutt there.

  2. Suzanne Kelly

    That’s an absolutely fabulous update to your chronicles. The ships are gorgeous and graceful, and it sounds like it was a lovely day out.

  3. Lissa Holdgraf

    Thanks for posting these pictures. I had heard about this event, but not seen many pictures. Your photos are so beautiful.

  4. Stewart Richmond

    Lovely photos – my son (16) is there with a crew of youngsters from Hull – taking the James Cook over to Arendal. Wish I could be there to see him off. Thanks for sharing your pictures and thanks to the people of the Shetlands for doing such a great job as hosts.


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