Swimmers invited to make a big splash

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A skiff club is looking for big-hearted swimmers and kayakers to help it get more young people out on the water.

Organisers of a sponsored swim across Loch Awe on Saturday August 31 are hoping it will raise enough money to buy a set of junior oars so Kilchrenan, Inverinan and Dalavich (KID) Coastal Rowing Club can encourage younger members to get onboard.

Seven people have already signed up for the 580-yard swim across the loch from the Portsonachan Hotel to the Taychreggan Hotel on the west side but lots more are still welcome.

Safety boats are organised for the day, as well as a first aid crew, but more kayakers are needed to come and give swimmers back-up support.

People who take on the swim will be asked to agree that they do so at their own risk.

To help refuel everyone after the swim, there will be a celebratory barbecue, said KID founder Gordon Leveratt.

It is hoped swimmers will give their sponsorship to KID to buy the specially-made lightweight oars but for a donation to cover costs of the event, people can also raise money for a charity of their own choice.

The club already has two full-size skiffs and is starting to save up for a Wemyss skiff, a smaller boat that is ideal for younger people learning how to cox and row.

Earlier this year, the club organised its first Loch Awe adventure regatta, attracting skiff crews from far and wide. The event winners were from Arran.

KID members will also be taking its first boat, Mingulay, to Taynuilt Highland Games on July 20 to help raise funds with a Loch Awe-inspired treasure hunt. People will also be able to book rows and rides out on Loch Etive for later in the summer.

‘We are really trying to recruit young families to come and join us. We have already got some teenagers as members but would like to see more, that’s why we are wanting our own junior oars and smaller skiff,’ added Mr Leveratt.

Coastal rowing has taken off worldwide in the past few years with more than 70 clubs in Scotland alone and some 150 boats built by communities, including Seil’s Selkie.

KID will have two boats competing in this September’s Castle to Crane race up the Clyde involving 100 skiffs.

To find out more about KID and its sponsored swim event, call 01866 833425 or email gordonleveratt@uwclub.net.