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Scottish Traditional Boat Festival appoints new leaders

By Chris Saunderson

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NEW co-leaders have been appointed for a festival which attracts more than 16,000 visitors to Portsoy.

Myles Murray and Vivien Rae will spearhead the 2020 Scottish Traditional Boat Festival after being elected co-chairperson of the event's organising committee.

A recent call for additional volunteers to come forward to safeguard the future of the festival drew a great response from the community, with new members bringing a range of skills and new ideas and enthusiasm to the team.

Vivien Rae and Myles Murray at Portsoy Harbour.
Vivien Rae and Myles Murray at Portsoy Harbour.

Ms Rae, who has coordinated the marketing and public relations for the festival since 2012, said: "I’m really looking forward to working with Myles, the volunteer team and many supporters to create a full and exciting programme which will celebrate Portsoy and the north-east’s rich culture and heritage.

"Without the dedication and hard work of the volunteer team, the festival simply would not take place, yet with thanks to the strong leadership and efforts of volunteers previously, the boat festival is now firmly on the international events calendar and brings a significant number of visitors and revenue to Portsoy annually.

"It’s a progressive time for tourism in the north-east and we want to ensure the festival and Portsoy remain at the forefront and firmly on the tourist map.”

The appointment of Ms Rae and Mr Murray follow the death earlier this year of former co-chairman Roger Goodyear and the recent resignation of Keith Newton, who will now overse the festival's parent organisation, Portsoy Community Enterprise.

Mr Murray was in charge of the Viking programme at this year’s event.

He said: “Roger Goodyear was pivotal in me becoming involved in the event and I’m dedicated to contributing to its ongoing success.

"As a team we will work hard to continue to grow the event and to ensure that those who visit enjoy their experience.

"With the support of the many tourism organisations in the north-east and across Scotland, local companies and the local community, we look forward to the 2020 boat festival and to welcoming everyone to Portsoy.”

The committee already has elements of the 2020 festival in place, confirming award-winning Scottish band Skerryvore will headline the Friday Night Gig at the Green, and the return of Shetland’s Jarl Squads and the torch-lit procession on Saturday evening.

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