Western Isles man to row the Atlantic

editorial image
0
Have your say

Two years ago Gaelic presenter Niall Iain Macdonald successfully rowed across the Minch from Stornoway to Ullapool.

Two years ago Gaelic presenter Niall Iain Macdonald successfully rowed across the Minch from Stornoway to Ullapool.

Next year he’s taking on a much larger challenge as he aims to be the first person to row solo from New York to Stornoway – from NY2SY!

“Though it was a small challenge compared to crossing the Atlantic, the Minch crossing ignited the spark for this expedition,” Niall Iain says. “It’s hard to explain the attraction of such a challenge. The solitude, the extreme mental and physical test, the fear of the unknown, the thrill of departure and the joy of the arrival. All of these things come together to make the adventure what it is.”

Whereas his Minch crossing totalled 43 miles and took 26 hours, NY2SY will see Niall Iain complete an epic 3,400 miles journey across the North Atlantic – the equivalent of rowing the Minch 70 times – and anticipates the challenge to take three months.

Only ten people have successfully rowed solo across the North Atlantic, with most following the South Atlantic route between the Canary Islands and the Caribbean.

Niall Iain’s expedition will raise money for SAMH (Scottish Association for Mental Health), a charity that provides expert services and support to people with mental health problems.

Commenting on the challenge, SAMH Ambassador, Sir Chris Hoy, says: “Niall Iain’s challenge to row across the Atlantic to raise funds for SAMH is an inspiration to all of us.”

Seeking sponsors to support his North Atlantic rowing attempt, Niall Iain has already gained the support of popular Celtic rock band Runrig, who invited him on stage to promote the row during their sold-out gig at Glasgow Barrowlands last weekend.

“It was an amazing feeling to walk out in the stage at the Barrowlands during the Runrig gig!,” says Niall Iain.

“It’s an honour to have them involved in my NY2SY challenge and Bruce Guthro even said that he would try and be in New York at the end of May next year to see me off!”

To read more about Niall Iain’s NY2SY challenge, check out this week’s Stornoway Gazette, out tomorrow (Thursday, December 23).

And if you are interested in showing your support through donations or sponsorship, log onto the website at www.ny2sy.co.uk