Kayak trip takes in Arran

Jack and Raf completing the London to Land’s End event in 2018.

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A kayaker has included Arran as part of his Scottish Kayak Tour to raise money for charity.

Later this summer, assuming lockdown restrictions are eased by then, Jack Gatacre is planning to kayak almost 700 miles around the southern half of Scotland in a fortnight in a Taran 18 kayak.

The journey will start and finish in the fishing village of Pittenweem, Fife, and take him as far north as Elgin and as far south as Campbeltown, where he will cross to from Pirnmill on Arran.

Jack is raising money for The Fishermen’s Mission in honour of his girlfriend’s father who retired from 50 years of fishing at Pittenweem where he still lives.

Whilst fishing is a great and noble trade, culture and way of life it can also be difficult and dangerous for fishermen and their families. This year has also been particularly difficult for fishermen financially as COVID-19 has reduced the value of their catch to such an extent that it is currently not economical to leave the harbour.

The Fishermen’s Mission aims to help by providing financial assistance, support and life saving during storms.

Jack said: ‘I would aim to kayak about 50 miles a day between dusk and dawn to capture the landscape in different light and weather, sleeping in a tent by night.

‘I have done something similar two years ago, but was a less experienced kayaker with a slower kayak and was not sponsored, but gained a large amount of attention and publicity for the MS Society. In June 2018, I canoed unsupported with friend Raf from London to Land’s End in two weeks and raised £4,000 for the MS society inspired by my colleague who suffers from this condition.

‘Long term, I hope to canoe from London to Istanbul and southern Turkey over a few months, but consider a trip around southern Scotland to be a step up from my trip to Cornwall and a practice for that journey. I have been training since 2017 for these adventures and live on the Sussex coast, so get many opportunities to practice.’

Anyone wishing to support Jack should visit his justgiving page  https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/jack-gatacre1.


Jack and Raf completing the London to Land’s End event in 2018. NO_B20kayak01