Blind Adventurer takes up the challenge of the Argyll Sea Kayak Trail
At around 6am on Thursday the 12th of May, three adventurers set off to paddle the full 150km of the Argyll Sea Kayak Trail which spans the coastline of Argyll and Bute.
The route has been accomplished in its entirety by a number of paddlers to date, however the group are hoping to accomplish a double first, in completing the trail on SUPs, (Stand Up Paddle-boards) and Dean Dunbar being the first registered blind paddler to complete the trail.
The team will be made up of Ian Cormack from Glasgow, who runs SUP Ecosse, Allistair Swinsco from Carlisle who runs Northwest Paddleboards, and registered blind paddler Dean Dunbar from Blairgowrie who is an inspirational public speaker.
The team are all highly experienced paddlers, and hope to complete the 150km paddle in around four days depending on weather conditions. The group of three will start the trail from Ganavan (Oban) on the 12th of May, and hope to arrive in Helensburgh at some time on Sunday the 15th of May.
The challenge was originally thrown down by Oban SUPer(Stand up Paddle Boarder), Cathy Winterton. She was planning to be part of the team, but unfortunately due to family commitments has had to pull out.
Dean Dunbar said “I was first told about this route last year, and since then I’ve been waiting to get started. The time is now here, and I can’t wait!! I’d like to thank Argyll and Bute Council who have been of great support during the planning of this trip”.
As well as the water team, there will be two support vehicles on land throughout the trip, being driven by Rhona Dunbar, (and Stumpy the dog), and Alison Rennie. (Cathy Winterton is also hoping to join the group towards the end of the trip)
The paddlers current position can be found at the following link -
1. Dean Dunbar is a Blind adventurer and inspirational public speaker. Two years after being registered blind at the age of 29, Dean did a charity tandem skydive which changed his life. Since then he has notched up over 80 activities around the world, ranging from adventure racing to zorbing, and set almost 20 world firsts in activities ranging from open-water swimming to stand up paddle-boarding. More information on can be found at the following links www.extremedreams.co.uk and www.dean-talks.com
2. The Argyll Sea Kayak Trail is a group of easily accessible launch sites at key points along a route which links Helensburgh in the south-east with Oban in the north-west. Argyll and Bute Council worked with businesses and community groups such as Scottish Canals, Tarbert Harbour Authority, Bute Forest and Toward Sailing Club to deliver the Argyll Sea Kayak Trail. The project was funded by the Coastal Communities Fund, Argyll and the Isles LEADER programme and Argyll and Bute Council. Majority of the project works were carried out by local contractors. More information on the trail development can be found at - http://www.paddleargyll.org.uk/
3. A tracker will provide regular information on the position of the paddlers. A link to the this can be found at the following Facebook page link- https://www.facebook.com/deandunbarextreme/
4. Stand up paddle boarding (SUP) - Unlike traditional surfing where the rider is sitting until a wave comes, stand up paddle boarders maintain an upright stance on their boards and use a paddle to propel themselves through the water. Growth of the sport has been documented in a 2013 report which identified it as the outdoor sporting activity with the most first-time participants of any in the United States.