Gatacre plans to use paddle power to embrace kayaking challenge on Scotland coast

PUBLISHED: 14:00 15 May 2020

Jack Gatacre is planning to kayak 700 miles around Scotland in 14 days later this summer

Jack Gatacre is planning to kayak 700 miles around Scotland in 14 days later this summer


Hammersmith resident Jack Gatacre is hoping to kayak 700 miles in 14 days to raise money for charity later this summer.

Jack Gatacre and friend Raf after completing their London to Land's End kayaking challengeJack Gatacre and friend Raf after completing their London to Land's End kayaking challenge

Planning to start and finish his journey in the fishing village of Pittenweem in Fife, he will be supporting the Fishermen’s Mission in honour of his girlfriend’s father, who retired after 50 years of fishing.

Gatacre will pass Edinburgh, Falkirk, through the Forth and Clyde canal to Glasgow, and past the Isle of Arran, Kintyre, Jura, Scarba, Mull, Fort William, before joining the Caledonian canal.

And after passing Loch Lochy, Fort Augustus, Loch Ness and Inverness, he will enter the North Sea to pass Nairn, Lossiemouth, Buckie, Fraserburgh, Peterhead, Aberdeen, Montrose, Arbroath, Dundee and St Andrews.

The 28-year-old, who works in London as a commerical account manager, said: “While fishing is a great and noble trade, culture and way of life, it can also be difficult and dangerous for fishermen and their families.

“This year has also been particularly difficult for fishermen financially as Covid-19 has reduced the value of their catch to such an extent it is currently not economical to leave the harbour in their boats.

“The Fishermen’s Mission aims to help by providing financial assistance, support and life saving during storms.”

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Gatacre aims to kayak 50 miles a day in his Taran 18 kayak between dusk and dawn and will have a friend – who is also a professional film maker – accompanying him at certain points to capture images of the landscape of in different light and weather, sleeping in a tent by night.

He added: “I grew up on the coast in Sussex and love the sea. Since the age of five I was in boats, even in rough seas.

“At 14 I began to teach sailing and sailed across the Solent to the Isle of Wight for a day trip. I got very into kayaking when I went to Exeter University and would take my kayak down the River Exe or out to sea for expeditions, including a four-day trip to Cornwall and camping on the cliffs at Brixham.

“I kayakaed around the Isle of Wight in a weekend and canoed unsupported with a friend from London to Land’s End in two weeks two years ago, but was a less experienced kayaker with a slower kayak and not sponsored.

“I gained a large amount of attention and publicity for the MS Society and raised £4,000, inspired by my colleague who suffers from this condition.

“Long term, I hope to canoe from London to Istanbul and southern Turkey over a few months, but consider a trip around southern Scotland to be a step up from my trip to Cornwall and practice for that journey.

“I have been training since 2017 for these adventures.”

To follow his progress see

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