Blind Adventurer takes up the challenge of the Argyll Sea Kayak Trail

At around 6am on Thursday the 12th of May, three adventurers set off to paddle the full 150km of the Argyll Sea Kayak Trail which spans the coastline of Argyll and Bute.

The route has been accomplished in its entirety by a number of paddlers to date, however the group are hoping to accomplish a double first, in completing the trail on SUPs, (Stand Up Paddle-boards) and Dean Dunbar being the first registered blind paddler to complete the trail.

The team will be made up of Ian Cormack from Glasgow, who runs SUP Ecosse, Allistair Swinsco from Carlisle who runs Northwest Paddleboards, and registered blind paddler Dean Dunbar from Blairgowrie who is an inspirational public speaker.

The team are all highly experienced paddlers, and hope to complete the 150km paddle in around four days depending on weather conditions. The group of three will start the trail from Ganavan (Oban) on the 12th of May, and hope to arrive in Helensburgh at some time on Sunday the 15th of May.

The challenge was originally thrown down by Oban SUPer(Stand up Paddle Boarder), Cathy Winterton.  She was planning to be part of the team, but unfortunately due to family commitments has had to pull out.

Dean Dunbar said “I was first told about this route last year, and since then I’ve been waiting to get started.  The time is now here, and I can’t wait!! I’d like to thank Argyll and Bute Council who have been of great support during the planning of this trip”.

As well as the water team, there will be two support vehicles on land throughout the trip, being driven by Rhona Dunbar, (and Stumpy the dog), and Alison Rennie. (Cathy Winterton is also hoping to join the group towards the end of the trip)

The paddlers current position can be found at the following link -

http://livetrack.garmin.com/session/c10d4ee2-39b0-4091-98df-922a5544895d/token/10AD3382563F2028213E2B47F8DEAF6E

 

Notes-

1. Dean Dunbar is a Blind adventurer and inspirational public speaker. Two years after being registered blind at the age of 29, Dean did a charity tandem skydive which changed his life. Since then he has notched up over 80 activities around the world, ranging from adventure racing to zorbing, and set almost 20 world firsts in activities ranging from open-water swimming to stand up paddle-boarding. More information on can be found at the following links www.extremedreams.co.uk and www.dean-talks.com
2. The Argyll Sea Kayak Trail is a group of easily accessible launch sites at key points along a route which links Helensburgh in the south-east with Oban in the north-west. Argyll and Bute Council worked with businesses and community groups such as Scottish Canals, Tarbert Harbour Authority, Bute Forest and Toward Sailing Club to deliver the Argyll Sea Kayak Trail. The project was funded by the Coastal Communities Fund, Argyll and the Isles LEADER programme and Argyll and Bute Council. Majority of the project works were carried out by local contractors. More information on the trail development can be found at - http://www.paddleargyll.org.uk/
3. A tracker will provide regular information on the position of the paddlers. A link to the this can be found at the following Facebook page link- https://www.facebook.com/deandunbarextreme/
4. Stand up paddle boarding (SUP) - Unlike traditional surfing where the rider is sitting until a wave comes, stand up paddle boarders maintain an upright stance on their boards and use a paddle to propel themselves through the water. Growth of the sport has been documented in a 2013 report which identified it as the outdoor sporting activity with the most first-time participants of any in the United States.

One of the Best new things to do in Scotland in 2016

The Argyll Sea Kayak Trail featured earlier this year in the Telegraph's "10 Best Reasons to Visit Scotland in 2016", the article can be found at the following link - http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/destinations/europe/united-kingdom/scotland/articles/best-new-things-to-see-do-in-Scotland/

 

Scottish Cycling Running Outdoor Pursuit Show

The Scottish Cycling Running Outdoor Pursuit Show is being held at the SECC Glasgow from Friday 11th to Sunday 13th March 2016.

As part of the "Argyll & the Isles Great Trails" we will be promoting the Argyll Sea Kayak Trail from stand C06A, which is situated immediately across from the Juice Garden refreshment area.

Have you ever thought of taking up kayaking as a new hobby or do you want to expand your level of expertise? Then come along and see us and find out more about experiencing some of the best sea kayaking in Europe.

Opportunities for Business and Community Development

You are cordially invited to attend one of four Argyll Sea Kayak Trail - Opportunities for Business and Community Development presentations.

These are running in four locations across Argyll:

Oban – Tuesday 23rd June, 10:00am @ Corran Halls
Lochgilphead – Tuesday 23rd June, 2:00pm @ Community Centre
Dunoon – Tuesday 30th June, 10:00am @ Community Centre
Helensburgh – Tuesday 30th June, 3:00pm @ Victoria Halls

 

During the presentation, which will be a maximum of two hours, you will learn more about the Argyll Sea Kayak Trail, how it could be of benefit to your business, how communities can become involved, benefits and developments for new or existing paddlesport clubs, as well as an opportunity to ask questions.

 

Some of the potential benefits available would be inclusion on the Paddle Argyll website, developing a tourism package based on the Trail, and advertising services to water sport users through tourism websites. We will also look at the pathways available within paddlesports.

If you wish to attend one of the presentations, then please email oban@stramash.org.uk, or call 01631 566080, so we know to expect you.

Please feel free to forward this invitation to anyone else that you feel may be interested in attending.