The Big Minch Swim team has attracted high profile support today (Friday July 6th) ahead of their departure in the early hours of tomorrow morning.
Swimmers Colin Macleod of Stornoway, pictured above, and Norman Todd of Ullapool will leave Lemreway in Lochs at 4.30am, heading for Rubha Reid in Gairloch, 24 miles away across open sea. No-one has ever completed a solo swim across the North Minch, so if any or all of the team succeed they will be setting a new record.
They’ll be joined by a late addition to the team, marathon swimmer Colleen Blair, Scotland's most accomplished marathon swimmer and one of the greatest Scottish athletes of her generation.
She swam the English Channel at the age of 20 and was the first person to cross the Pentland Firth. While her team-mates will swim in insulated wetsuits, Colleen will be following BLDSA rules, wearing only a swim suit. This means that, if she succeeds, the swim will be ratified as the Scottish Swim of the Century.
Team-mate Norman Todd said: “Colleen is an incredible swimmer and one of the kindest, most modest people you could meet. Her swim will be officially ratified and, if she succeeds in crossing the North Minch, it will make her worthy of the title Queen of the Minch.”
The team’s had endorsement today from Scottish author Val McDermid, who said: “I learnt to swim in the Firth of Forth when I was wee. I thought I was hard, but that’s nothing compared to what these guys are doing!”
The Minch swimmers will be supported by three boats and by a team of kayakers, who will pass food and drink while they continue across a distance greater than the English Channel.
They will be tracked using an automated system which you can follow using the link on their website www.theminchswims.co.uk .
You can also use the links on the page to donate to one or all of the charities the swimmers have chosen – Cancer Research UK (Colin), Western Isles Community Care Forum (Paul), Marie Curie Highlands and Islands (Norman) and Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance (Colleen).