Latest NewsGillian Saltire Appeal 2013 Super Saturday Swim

Super Saturday Swim Seventy Five swimmers swam the channel today and flew the flag for the Gillian Saltire Appeal. The Largs Channel may not match the distance of the English channel but for many it is a huge challenge requireing physical fitness, overcoming an unfamiliar environment and braveness. This is the largest number of entrants in the 8 year history of this event and with dark salty waters reaching 40metres deep, Lion Mane jelly fish and other sea creatures lurking it is along way from the participants comfort zone. Raising money to support the seafront apartment in Largs which provides respite for families supporting relatives with cancer is a worthy reason to take the plunge and swim the one and a half miles across from the island back to the safety of the mainland. The first person to complete this was Mark Deans, in just 30.08 minutes. This was just 2 minutes ahead of his brother Scott, second place swimmer in 32.05 minutes. Both times were Personal bests and the fastest yet recorded for this event. The first female was Eilidh Love, aged 14 in just 36.18 minutes and first junior was Michael Alcorn. 14 years in 36.09 minutes. The weather, as ever, influences our outdoor activities and today it was on our side. With sunny skies and gentle winds the sea state was perfect and helped the hardy challengers succeed in their goal. The Gillian Saltire Swim organisers were delighted by the number of participants, supporters and local organisations. Largs Sailing club played host to the event along with sportscotland National Centre Cumbrae who provided the perfect starting point, safety and organisational support. Running into the waters from the watersport centre gives a sheltered starting point as the swimmers embark on their journey. Largs Sailing Club welcomed the event with support ashore and afloat with provision of expertise and resources. It is a wonderful gathering of people where their sheer delight in achieving their conquest is so evident and gladly shared as they reach the shore. Celebrating together everyone gathered in the clubhouse for the medal celebration and enthusiastic exchanges of their experience. For many a 10K run may be a challenge but for a moment think about the alien environment the ocean is for many of us. Wearing wetsuits, neoprene socks, vaseline, goggles and caps is unusual enough before the intrepid deep, salty, weedy and wavy sea. Take account of the temperature and the distance from shore and where you might rest should you need. Combined this is not the average Saturday afternoon activity and Les Ward, from the Gillian Saltire Appeal expressed his gratitude and gave recognition to the efforts of all involved and their commitment in fulfilling the vision of supporting those with cancer. If you are interested in trying this event visit the website and watch out for the 2014 date. www.gillianssaltireappeal.org.uk