SUP Ecosse Ian came up with the idea, and I’m just a boy who can’t say “n, n, n”, so I said “yes”!
His idea was to SUP Scotland’s 7 longest freshwater lochs over 7 consecutive days. With Northwest Paddleboards Allistair joining us, we had the same team as we had had for the ASKT and the 3 Lakes Challenge.
“The 3 Amigos” were about to take on “The Magnificent 7”!
Not only did we have the 3 of us on the water, but we also had Northwest Paddleboards Alison on land as support and PR, and film-maker Dave Robson along with us, to turn The Magnificent 7 into his 3rd SUP film.
As it was to start on the 8th of August, we were all looking forward to a summer adventure, and that’s exactly what we got – a “Scottish” Summer Adventure.
We all met up on the Sunday night at a camp site just north of Loch Lomond. Finding a place to pitch our tent was quite hard. This wasn’t due to the number of other tents, but due to the lack of ground above water.
As if torrential rain wasn’t bad enough, the wind was blowing an absolute hoolie! Those of us who slept in a tent that night couldn’t believe that our tents survived that first night.
This was a taste of things to come. I’m not going to write about each day, but will say that the wind and the rain were pretty constant, and when they failed to turn up, the midges didn’t!
On SUPs, wind can be very useful, if it’s a tail wind. Unfortunately, over the full 7 days, the wind was behind us for less than 10% of the time. The other 90+ was either a head wind or cross wind.
Thanks to an awesome team, we just about completed our mission, with only Loch Shin getting the better of us. With 40mph crosswinds, this one was not meant to be. We did go out and give it a damn good go, but after paddling just a few miles, we realised that not only was it only going to get tougher as we fought on, but that it would also get less safe. After 5 miles, we knocked it on the head.
Thanks also go out to the very kind people at the Portsonachan Hotel, who supplied us with sandwiches and a boat for Dave to get some shots.
Below are the stats taken from Allistair’s watch.
Date: Monday 8th August, 2016
Distance: 22.7 miles
Time Paddling: 05:27:36
Ave Speed: 4.2mph
Max Speed: 8.6mph
Date: Tuesday 9th August, 2016
Distance: 23.9 miles
Time Paddling: 05:54:58
Ave Speed: 4mph
Max Speed: 6.8mph
Date: Wednesday 10th August, 2016
Distance: 17.4 miles
Time Paddling: 04:53:31
Ave Speed: 3.6mph
Max Speed: 6.2mph
Date: Thursday 11th August, 2016
Distance: 22.6 miles
Time Paddling: 04:55:50
Ave Speed: 4.6mph
Max Speed: 8.3mph
Date: Friday 12th August, 2016
Distance: 5.1 miles – stopped due to 40mph crosswinds
Time Paddling: 01:29:51
Ave Speed: 3.4mph
Max Speed: 8.3mph – getting blown back across the loch, whilst kneeling down
Date: Saturday 13th August, 2016
Distance: 16.5 miles
Time Paddling: 03:48:51
Ave Speed: 4.3mph
Max Speed: 8.6mph
Date: Sunday 14th August, 2016
Distance: 14.3 miles
Time Paddling: 03:17:08
Ave Speed: 4.4mph
Max Speed: 7.2mph
Total Distance Paddled: 122.5 miles
Total Time Paddling: 29:47:45
An epic adventure, with an epic team!