The Cruise in Company leg of the Tall Ships Races 2011 proved to be a successful weekend for Stornoway harbour.
A packed events programme organised by Tall Ships Hebrides and led by Stornoway Port Authority kept spectators and crew of the ships occupied over the weekend. The celebrations saw the arrival and departure of twenty-three tall ships as they took part in the Cruise in Company leg of the Races, from Greenock to Lerwick.
Around eight thousand people visited the harbour over the weekend and took advantage of the events organised by Tall Ship Hebrides, including musical performances from Samba Ya Bamba and a 5k Fun Run. The most popular event for the Tall Ships crew was the Archery on Friday evening which had around fifty people taking part. The Tall Ships Marquee, situated at South Beach, was busy throughout the weekend with musical concerts and cooking demonstrations.
Saturday afternoon was the highlight of the weekend as a Gaelic choir entertained hundreds of people in the sun at Pier 3, and a Samba and performance led into a Parade of Sail when some of the Tall Ships departed to piping and cheers from the watching crowds.
Some of Lewis’ trainees aboard the Tall Ships were among those who stopped in Stornoway en route to Lerwick. Local crewmembers on board the Pelican of London were treated to breakfast on board the ship with their parents.
The Tall Ships’ arrival coincided with the Hebridean Celtic Festival, making it the busiest weekend in Stornoway all year. Over 2200 people travelled on the ferry to Stornoway from Ullapool over the weekend and Stornoway’s tourist information office received over 1800 visits throughout the week.
Spectators are invited to send their comments and photos from the weekend to Stornoway Port Authority at firstname.lastname@example.org