Three Scottish Swimmers to Swim The Minch
06th July, 2018
On Monday 1st July a swimmer was hospitalised with jellyfish stings trying to swim the Minch. 6 days later, three more swimmers try it
On Saturday 7th July, three renowned Scottish swimmers will attempt to swim the Minch from Orinsay on Lewis to Rubha Reidh near Gairloch in Wester Ross.
Colleen Blair, 39, from Perth, Colin Macleod 46, from Stornoway and Norman Todd, 46 will be aiming to swim across the treacherous 25-mile stretch in 15-18 hours supported by a flotilla of boats and kayaks. Among the many challenges the three swimmers aim to overcome are fatigue, dehydration, lions mane jellyfish, strong tides and the possibility of Orca appearing alongside.
‘I am a middle lane swimmer and certainly not the fastest, however, I have been training for this for 9 months and it will be the biggest challenge of my life.’ Norman Todd
There have been multiple attempts to swim the Minch but none have yet succeeded. The most reason attempt was on Monday 1st July when South African swimmer, Phia Steyn had to abandon her swim after four hours due to multiple jellyfish stings that hospitalised her.
Offshore worker Todd, whose ice swimming video went globally viral this year is a relative newcomer to long distance swimming. ‘I am a middle lane swimmer and certainly not the fastest however I have been training for this for 9 months and it will be the biggest challenge of my life.’
Highlander Todd has swum alongside Hebridean Macleod on several previous occasions, creating a strong partnership. Macleod, who has already swum the 17-mile Little Minch this year, aims to add the Minch to his already impressive swimming resume.’ Swimming the Minch has been on my bucket list for years and I am well prepared to take on this epic task’
Unlike her two fellow swimmers who will be wearing wetsuits, Colleen Blair shall only be wearing a swimsuit in accordance with the British Long Distance Swimming Association’s rules. Colleen is regarded as one of Scotland’s top long distance swimmers. She swam the English Channel at the age of 20 and has gone on to be one of a select few to have swum the Northern Channel and the first to cross the Pentland Firth. If she completes this then it will be regarded as the greatest ever accomplishment in Scottish open water swimming history.
‘ The Minch swim was suggested to me 20 years ago by a college friend who was from Lewis, the idea has intrigued me ever since. I started to plan this swim three years ago but for various reasons including the weather the opportunity has not arisen until now. When the guys offered me the opportunity to swim with them I couldn’t refuse, it’s also in aid of great charities. It’s a long, cold swim, which has never been done as a solo swim before so why wouldn’t you give it a go.’