Blind adventurer’s Loch Tay record
By Matthew Gallagher, Blairgowrie Advertiser – 1st August, 2014.
Dean Dunbar is registered blind, but that doesn’t hold this adrenaline-seeking Blairgowrie adventurer back.
He throws himself out of moving aircraft and powerboats around the Scottish Isles.
Dean Dunbar (45) is registered blind, but not being able to see doesn’t hold this adrenaline-seeking Blairgowrie adventurer back.
Extreme sport is his passion and, after successfully completing a number of death-defying challenges, Dean recently achieved what he believes to be a world first.
He mounted his paddle-board and guided himself, unassisted, across the full length of 23.42km Loch Tay – remaining on his feet the entire time.
The sport is becoming increasingly popular around the world. Water sports enthusiasts stand on a surfboard-style craft and propel themselves using an oar.
Dean said: “I’ve been paddle-boarding for about two months. I had a quick, 40-minute, shot down in Devon and absolutely loved it.
“We worked out the wind before and planned out the route, but there was a big cross-wind so that made it difficult.
“My dog, Stumpy, was waiting for me on the shore, it’s a bit too dangerous for him on the water!”
“I am very proud to say that, according to all of my research, I have just become the first registered blind person to paddle-board the full length of Loch Tay.”
This recent escapade joins an ever-growing list of sporting achievements.
Dean was previously the first registered blind person to swim across the mighty Corryvreckan Gulf; white water sledge the world’s highest commercially-rafted waterfall and participate in the gruelling five-day Hebridean Challenge Adventure Race.
And he isn’t done yet. This weekend, he plans to complete a 30km hike and bike.
Dean explained: “At the age of nine, I woke up, went to school and suddenly couldn’t see the blackboard,” he said.
“Since then, my sight has deteriorated – it’s getting worse every year.
“I’ve never let my lack of sight hold me back, though. I love the adrenaline rush you get from extreme sports.
“I want to do as much as I can for as long as I can.”