This trophy, an accurate replica of the Swan’s original wheel, was commissioned by the Swan Trust and is named after the home of the Simpson family from Whalsay, a family closely involved with owning and managing the Swan for over 50 years during her herring fishing career.
The late Willie Simpson first crewed aboard the Swan in the 1950s as a young fisherman and was an active and valued trustee until he passed away in 2010. His immediate family donated generously to the trust who decided to create the trophy in Willie’s memory.
The trophy is to be presented annually to the Swan Trainee of the Year. Trainees in offshore sailing play an important part in the Swan’s operation, never more so than in 2011, so the trust decided to recognise this by making the award for participation by trainees in the 2011 Tall Ships races. During these races, in cooperation with Sail Training Shetland the Swan carried trainees from Shetland and elsewhere on every leg from Waterford (Southern Ireland) to Greenock, Lerwick, Stavanger and Halmstad in Sweden.
It is intended that in future years the award will continue to be based on trainee participation in each season’s itinerary wherever it takes her, including Tall Ships events when accessible from Shetland.
The Swan’s original wheel has long been a proud possession of the Simpson family in Whalsay. This replica was made by Lowrie Robertson of Unst, assisted by Maurice Manson and Ian Smith of Lerwick, and Peter Mouat of Unst. It is mounted on a stand upon which will be annually inscribed the winners’ names.
The “Vevoe” Trophy will remain on display in Shetland. The trust has therefore also commissioned another trophy, which will be given annually to the winner to keep. This takes the form of a cold casting in bronze of the Swan under sail taken from a unique woodcarving. An additional feature of this casting is a circular insert of the original (1900) Swan’s timber. Both the wood carving and the bronze casting have been made by Terry Atkinson of Tingwall.
The award for 2011 was made to Loic Jacob, who comes from Waterford, Southern Ireland. Loic took part in the 2011 Tall Ships leg from Waterford to Greenock, and travelled to Shetland for the presentation on 19 December 2011.