Dean clocks up his latest daring feat
By Johnathon Menzies, Blairgowrie Advertiser – 29th July, 2016.
Adventurer Dean Dunbar has paddled his way to another memorable milestone. The Blairgowrie-based extreme sports enthusiast, who is registered blind, successfully navigated the length of the longest loch In Scotland and the longest lake in England and Wales on his stand-up paddle-board. And, to add a little more adrenaline to his aquatic version of what mountaineering enthusiasts dub the ‘Three Peaks Challenge; daring Dean and his team completed the hat-trick of landmarks in 18 hours and 41 minutes -well under his Initial 24 hour target time.
The 25.6-mile Loch Awe in Argyll and Bute was bagged in tricky mid-afternoon conditions on July 16, followed bythe Lake Windermere in Cumbria in the early hours the next day and the four-mile Lake Bala in Gwynedd, Wales at 9am.
Dean, who spent eight hours and 21 minutes on the water, was joined for the adventure by friends and fellow paddlers Allistair Swinsco and Ian Cormack. It was Ian who came up with the original idea for the trip.
He also thanked Alison Rennie – whom he said clocked up the majority of the hundreds of miles on the road between the three locations – and his wife, Rhona, for their efforts behind the wheel.
Reflecting on the latest in a long line of outdoor odysseys, Dean said: “I do it for the challenge – I’m always setting myself little targets and trying to beat them.”
“I’ve heard of people doing something similar but using Loch Lomond as it’s the biggest loch in Scotland – but Loch Awe is the longest, so think we can still say we’re the first to do the three.”
“It wasn’t a stroll in the park by any means, but we wanted to make sure we were going for something achievable. It was cold, windy, and I only got knocked off once on Loch Awe – although there were a few close calls – but we got through it and well within 24 hours too!”
Dean, who also delivers talks, is planning a record attempt at the start of August but says the details will remain under wraps to ensure he doesn’t get beaten to the punch.