Swimmers complete Achiltibuie to Ullapool challenge

Photos: Noel Hawkins

Two open water swimmers swam 14 miles, from Achiltibuie to Ullapool in Wester Ross, last weekend.

Norman Todd (45) from Ullapool and Colin MacLeod (45) (pictured above) from Stornoway spent nine hours in the water. Earlier in the year the pair undertook an eight-mile swim in Loch Broom. Deciding to look for another challenge, they opted for the coast between the two communities which had never been done previously.

They also used the swim to support a local marine project, the Living Seas project. Both the start and end beaches selected had previously been cleaned by project volunteers, and the swimmers wanted to support efforts to keep the coast and sea free from litter.

The pair also decided to use the swim as a fundraiser for another Living Seas project, the Dolphin Snorkellers programme which has been training school children snorkelling in Ullapool swimming pool – the youngsters are then taken them out into the sea to experience real snorkelling and seeing the marine life and environment for themselves.

A fishing boat, leisure craft and kayaker accompanied the swimmers last Sunday, not only supporting the pair with liquids and nutritional bars and drinks but also keeping a watchful eye out for fishing boats, ferries and even naval craft currently taking part in Joint Warrior – the UK’s largest military sea exercise. They were joined by a number of small craft, rowing skiffs and yachts, escorting them from their send-off from Achiltibuie at 11am to a reception of over 100 people cheering them in to Ullapool Harbour in the dark after 8pm.

To donate see justgiving.com/crowdfunding/bigswim