Excitement is rising in Argyll and Bute, with only a week to go until The Tall Ships Races 2011 Cruise in Company, which takes place between the 12 and 21 July.
Guest harbours in the area - Campbeltown, Islay and Oban - have all prepared a fantastic programme of events to celebrate the arrival of the ships as they make their way from Greenock to Lerwick.
The Tall Ships Race, presented by Szczecin and organised by Sail Training International, takes place in European waters every year, where the ships either race or cruise in company between ports.
This year’s cruise in company voyage between Greenock and Lerwick will see 49 tall ships sailing at their leisure along Scotland’s west coast, stopping off at participating guest harbours en-route.
In addition to Campbeltown, Islay and Oban, the guest harbours on this leg also include Ullapool, Stornoway, Stromness, Kirkwall, Fair Isle, Scalloway, Whalsay, Cullivoe and Unst.
Argyll and Bute councillor Neil Mackay, spokesperson for enterprise, energy, culture and tourism, said: “Campbeltown, Islay and Oban are the first ports of call for the vessels as they set sail from Greenock. With their cracking line up of entertainment they are sure to get the Cruise in Company off to a flying start.”
Campbeltown will be kicking off celebrations with a pipe band street performance on the 12 July by the British champions, the Kintyre Schools’ Pipe Band.
The whole family will be entertained with the ‘Made in Campbeltown’ Sea Exhibition, fast boat tours, surf lessons, tug of wars, distillery tours and live music. The festivities continue through to the 16 July where the fun-filled RNLI gala day and raft race will mark the end of Campbeltown’s event.
There will also be a unique event on board the Class A tall ship, Wylde Swa, in Campbeltown on 13 July. Representatives from the sailing industry in Scotland and Ireland will attend the launch of the new regional sailing brand, ‘MalinWaters’ which provides a cohesive marine leisure identity for the North West of Ireland, Sligo, Donegal, the maritime counties of Northern Ireland and theWest coast of Scotland. Further information can be found at www.malinwaters.com
A trip to Islay will see crews and visitors take part in one of the island’s popular ceilidhs which will be held in the Ramsay Hall on 13 July. Crews will also be treated to guided tours and distillery visits.
The Tall Ships visit to Oban coincides with the Burgh’s 200th birthday. The double celebration will kick off on 9 July with a series of event. A grand parade featuring featuring pipe bands, musicians and much more, and HRH The Princess Royal will also visit the town.
The programme continues with mini Highland games, Argyll Showcase marquee, a Ganavan Big Picnic and an attempt at the World Record Strip the Willow. The festival will also feature the internationally acclaimed band Capercaillie headlining a host of fantastic entertainment in various venues over the festival period, drawing to a close on Monday 18 July, the day after lanterns will have been lit at midnight and sent to drift off above the tall ships over Oban Bay.
The Cruise in Company leg is a great opportunity for Argyll and Bute and some of Scotland’s smaller ports to get involved in this world-renowned event and join in the celebrations.
The Tall Ships Races 2011 Cruise in Company events programme is now available in local businesses, libraries and tourist information centres, free of charge. So make sure you don’t miss out on the action by picking up a copy and heading for the Cruise in Company ports.
Visit www.tallshipsraceslerwick.com/cruise-in-company for full event information and to download your Cruise in Company events programme.
· The Tall Ships Races are presented by Szczecin and organised by Sail Training International - a charity with a purpose in the development and education of young people, regardless of nationality, culture, religion, gender or social background.
· The Tall Ships Races 2011, organised by Sail Training International (www.sailtraininginternational.org) started in Waterford, Ireland on 30 June, with vessels heading for Scotland, calling at Greenock and the Cruise in Company to Lerwick, then to Stavanger, Norway, with the Series ending in Halmstad, Sweden on 8 August.
· The Cruise in Company leg between Greenock and Lerwick, takes place from 12th to 21st July 2011. The 9-day sail between these ports is a non-competitive leg of the Race series and is an opportunity to encourage tall ships to visit the selected guest harbours prior to their arrival in Lerwick on 21st July.
· Participating guest harbours include the ports of Campbeltown, Islay, Oban, Ullapool, Stornoway, Stromness, Kirkwall, Fair Isle, Scalloway, Yell, Unst and/or Whalsay. Visit www.tallshipsraceslerwick.com for guest harbour details.
For further information on the cruise in company, please contact: Isabel Johnson on 01595692465 begin_of_the_skype_highlightingor at firstname.lastname@example.org