Island Games: Shetland travel choices

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Following a visit to the Shetlands by team manager Gary Jones and an executive meeting on Wednesday night, it was agreed that those options will be either charter flights direct from Jersey to Lerwick or flights to the UK and then a cruise from Tilbury to the Shetlands where the liner would be their floating hotel for the week.’They are both attractive but in a different way,’ said Derek Bernard, chairman of the IGAJ.

‘The main attraction of flying is that we go out on the Saturday and return the following weekend.

It doesn’t bite into a second week and I have already looked into selling some of the empty space on the inward flight to alleviate costs.’The plane we are likely to charter is based at Southend, and I have had some interest from travel agents with regard to filling the empty legs from Southend to Jersey, and back the following weekend.’Interest in flying from the Shetlands is a lot less because the islanders are putting their heart and soul into the Games.’The problem with flying, however, is the possiblity of fog at Lerwick which could see the Islanders being unable to land.

‘That is a downside,’ said Bernard.

‘There is a six per cent chance of fog, which might be manageable, although if we cannot land and have to travel by boat from Aberdeen instead we might not arrive until the Monday.

The ferry that weekend will be fully booked.’For the boat option, we would have to leave Jersey on Thursday.

Also, a number of people would not arrive back in the Island until the Monday following the Games.’Bernard added that even if the seas were smooth on their journey to the Shetlands, a number of people on the boat might feel queasy on the way there.Fog, however, would not be a problem and once they arrived they would simply stay on board the vessel – probably the Van Gogh – which would be their accommodation for the week.’Having talked to Shetlanders, Gary discovered that many of them travel to Aberdeen by ferry if they have made plans based on flying,’ said Bernard.

‘They won’t risk the chance of flying out from Lerwick because of the possibility of fog.’But the executive will be leaving the decision to the Council, and what I would hope is that the sports people, in all of the Island Games’ sports, will let their delegates know which means of travel they’d prefer.’

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