The Bergen-Shetland Races are ocean races between Bergen in the Hordaland region of Western Norway and Lerwick, capital of the Shetland Islands.
They are seen as the most challenging and spectacular event of the North Sea. The Races grew out of an initial proposal to organise an Arctic Race from Bergen to a Norwegian port north of the Arctic Circle. A race to Lerwick was to be a "tester" for this longer event. The first Race in 1986 attracted only three entries, two of whom failed to finish, leaving Bjarne Moster, the original organiser, to complete it on his own!
Following this modest start, the Races grew rapidly and became a success. With over 60 yachts taking part, the Arctic Race was forgotten. As with any such Races, the number of participants has fluctuated over the years; recently, there have been around 40 competitors. The size of yachts has steadily grown with most entries now in the 35-45 ft. range. Until 2000 the Races coincided with the Whitsun holiday, usually in May. Since then, the decision to fix the date as the last weekend in June has brought the Races into more hospitable weather and competitors enjoy almost 24 hours of daylight around midsummer.
Each of the participating vessel will have a YB tracker installed onboard. The tracker will wake up on predetermined intervals to collect and transmit data over the Iridium network, Due to its global coverage it means the data that is sent can be transmitted to the YB HQ servers and visualised on the race player within moments of the trackers transmission, meaning friends, family, supporters and the organisers left on shore can follow the fleet as they battle it out for line honours.
For more information and the Live Tracking please visit the race website.