Mag­nif­i­cent seven aim to notch up a kayak­ing first

The Oban Times - - News -

SEVEN kayak­ers will each pad­dle 50 miles around Loch Ness is less than a day to raise money for the MS Ther­apy Centre in Oban.

The RNLI told the team this is the first time Scot­land’s iconic loch has been cir­cum­nav­i­gated by kayak in un­der 24 hours.

The chal­lenge starts on July 2, and the kayak­ers are hop­ing to raise £6,000 to buy state- of-the-art equip­ment to help MS pa­tients, of whom there are 200 in Oban alone.

He­len Forteith, di­rec­tor of Oban’s MS Ther­apy Centre, said: ‘I’m de­lighted to be tak­ing part in this chal­lenge along with my hus­band John Forteith. Our son was di­ag­nosed with MS aged 16, and this equip­ment will help MS pa­tients build their arm and leg mus­cles re­gard­less of how dis­abled they had be­come.’

John, who last year raised £6,500 for the centre by rid­ing his mo­tor­bike 6,500 miles across 14 coun­tries, added: ‘In the Oban area there are re­ported to be over 200 MS suf­fer­ers. The equip­ment will also be used by the lo­cal gen­eral hos­pi­tal to treat se­verely phys­i­cally af­fected pa­tients suffering from a vari­ant of con­di­tions, not just MS.’

Loch Ness is 23 miles long, 900ft deep and con­tains more wa­ter than all the lakes in Eng­land and Wales com­bined. The chal­lenge is ex­pected to take at least 12 to 14 hours of non-stop pad­dling, and, if the weather is against them, it could take up to 16 hours. ‘We’re go­ing to have arms like Pop­eye,’ John said.

They will have the lo­cal Coast­guard and RNLI on hand should they en­counter any mon­ster-like crea­tures on their way. For fuel, lo­cal busi­nesses have do­nated tablet and gin­ger bis­cuits baked to com­bat sea-sick­ness. ‘ We’re not go­ing to go hun­gry,’ John added. ‘ We’ll prob­a­bly have gout.’

The team have raised £ 3,000 to date and are look­ing for peo­ple to get be­hind them and help them reach their £6,000 tar­get. The team have a my­do­nate page, with a link via their Facebook page 504-ms Loch Ness Chal­lenge.

The in­trepid team aim­ing to be the first peo­ple to kayak around Loch Ness – and raise mony for a very good cause.

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