The World Heritage Site of St Kilda is the final destination for a hardy group who are aiming to swim there from the Isle of Harris in the first ever charity challenge of its kind.
The St Kilda Swim team aim to swim the distance of around 60 miles in a stretch of the North Atlantic Ocean that is renowned for rough seas and unpredictable currents. To date, no one has ever attempted this swim before.
The swim, which is scheduled for June 28 to July 4, is estimated to take around 50 hours, with a team of nine swimmers swimming relay-style, accompanied by three kayakers and support boat.
The St Kilda Swim is raising funds to support three charities: Yorkhill Children’s Charity (Glasgow); The Leanne Fund (Highlands and Islands), and The Fishermen’s Mission (UK national).
St Kilda is an archipelago in the remotest part of the British Isles, lying 41 miles (66kms) west of Benbecula in the Outer Hebrides. Its islands, with their exceptional cliffs and sea stacs, form the most important seabird breeding station in North West Europe. The evacuation of its native population in 1930 brought to a close an extraordinary story of survival.
Alan Mackenzie, VisitScotland Island Manager, said:
“I would like to wish the whole team the best of luck in their summer challenge and what better sight to be heading for, than the beautiful location of St Kilda? Hopefully they will get the chance to experience this unique natural environment, with its amazing cliffs and seabird colonies at the end of their challenge.
“2014 is a great year for Scotland and we’re gearing up to create a welcome like no other. Although we are lucky enough to be hosting outstanding events such as the Glasgow Commonwealth Games and The Ryder Cup on our shores, we must be pro-active, encouraging visitors to extend their trips here, and get out and about to discover literally every region – and island - from north to south, east to west.”
Many of The St Kilda Swim team were part of the very successful fundraising challenge ‘The Big Minch Swim,’ which took place in June 2012. This saw the team swim from Ullapool in the north west of Scotland, to Stornoway in the Isle of Lewis – a distance of 50 miles open water, which they completed in 34 hours.
Almost £23,500 was raised for the RNLI through The Big Minch Swim and a Motion was even passed in the Scottish Parliament congratulating the team as the first people to ever swim that stretch of water.
For more information about The St Kilda Swim, please visit www.stkildaswim.co.uk
For further information, please contact:
Mon - Wed:
Kim Walton, Corporate Press Officer North, VisitScotland
Tel: (01224) 269187 or 07805 802508
Wed - Fri:
Lorna MacLennan, Corporate Press Officer North, VisitScotland
Tel: (01463) 252432 Mobile: 07785 515469
Notes to Editors:
- Follow us on twitter: @visitscotnews
- VisitScotland is Scotland’s national tourism organisation. Its core purpose is to maximise the economic benefit of tourism to Scotland.
- The organisation has three key roles:
- To market Scotland to all parts of the world to attract visitors
- To provide information – and inspiration – to visitors and potential visitors so they get the best out of a visit to Scotland
- To provide quality assurance to visitors and quality advice to the industry and partners to help the industry meet and strive to exceed customer expectations
- VisitScotland works together with tourism businesses to make tourism a success for everyone and ensure the industry continues to grow.
- The organisation employs 700 people and has offices and VisitScotland Information Centres across Scotland.
- 2014 is the year Scotland welcomes the world, when it hosts the Glasgow Commonwealth Games, the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles and more than 800 Homecoming events throughout the country.For more information on Homecoming Scotland 2014, go to www.visitscotland.com
- The VisitScotland Information Centre network is a unique face-to-face channel engaging with around five million visitors and locals each year. Everyone who uses a VisitScotland Information Centre goes on to spend an additional £5.35, generating over £24 million for Scotland’s economy.
- According to a recent Deloitte study, tourism employs 270,000 people in Scotland in 20,000 diverse businesses. The same study calculates that the industry contributes £11 billion annually (direct and indirect impact, including day visits) and supports around 10 per cent of employment in Scotland. Almost 16 million tourists take overnight trips to Scotland.
- For VisitScotland’s press releases go to http://www.visitscotland.org/media_centre.aspx, tourism statistics and frequently asked questions go to http://www.visitscotland.org/
- Where possible, a Gaelic speaker will be made available for broadcast interviews on request (Far an tèid iarraidh, agus far am bheil sin nar comas, bruidhinnidh neach le Gàidhlig aig agallamh)
- For holiday information on Scotland go to www.visitscotland.com
- For information about business tourism in Scotland go to www.conventionscotland.com
- For more information on VisitScotland’s annual review please go to www.visitscotland.org/about_us/our_focus/annual_report.aspx