THINGS are certainly looking ship-shape for the NY2SY Solo North Atlantic row this year as renovation work carries ahead apace on the ocean rowing boat to be used by island adventurer Niall Iain Macdonald in his epic fund-raising challenge.
In May this year Niall Iain hopes to embark upon a 3,400 miles solo row from New York to Stornoway (NY2SY) in a bid to raise £100,000 to aid the Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH).
And his rowing boat is readying rapidly thanks to the generosity and sponsorship of a number of island businesses, most recently Hughson Vehicle Service and Stornoway Plastics who have assisted in the nautical refurb through a new paint job and the making and installation of oar stanchions.
“She looks fantastic with her new paint job, all ready for all our sponsor logos to be put in place,” Niall Iain said. “And I’m pleased to have the stanchions in place, they’ll carry my spare oars and also help keep me in the boat a little I hope!
“I’ve now got most of the equipment and I have to thank Woody’s who have been really good at getting everything to me. I had questioned at times if refurbishing the boat on island was the right thing to do, it seems it’s easier to get things delivered to America than here, but Woody’s have helped out a lot with that.
“We’ll be installing the equipment over the next few weeks. She’s gone through quite a transformation already and now feels a bit more like my boat.”
And another tick off the NY2SY to-do list has come with welcome confirmation of a state-side berth for the ocean-rower boat at Liberty Landing Marine, based over the Hudson and across from Manhattan in the Big Apple.
Niall Iain continued: “Having the berth booked is a weight off my mind and we’re now waiting on confirmation of a shipping date to get the boat over there. It’s looking like towards the end of next month, and once I know that I’ll have a better time-scale for everything to flow on and getting going.
“It’s all feeling a little strange, I want to get going but I am getting an apprehensive awareness of what lies ahead.”
Niall Iain has discovered however that he won’t be alone miles into the middle of the ocean with news that a Canadian female rower intends to traverse the North Atlantic this summer also.
“She’s going to be starting from Newfoundland, so we’ll be a few thousand miles apart, but the race is on!” he chuckled.
To find out more about NY2SY, visit www.ny2sy.co.uk