Girvan kayakers’ epic Ailsa Craig paddle

Three Girvan kayakers braved the high seas to paddle to the Ailsa Craig and back to raise money for cancer research.

Iain Stirling, Ian Coulter and Sandra Gallacher, all from Girvan, paddled the 10.1 miles out to the Craig and the same distance back again in just over nine hours.

They were ably supported on the sail in aid of Cancer Research UK by Andrew Marr in their support boat.

The trio left Girvan at around 8.30am on Monday morning and after five hours had reached the halfway point on the Ailsa Craig.

And they had an unexpected companion on the high seas as a juvenile basking shark showed some interest in the kayaks and even bumped into Ian’s kayak.

After a break for lunch they were on the sea again and took only three and one quarter hours to return, getting back to Girvan beach at 6pm.

Donations and sponsorship money is still coming in with a final total to be announced next week.

Iain said: “It was brilliant, really good. We even met a young basking shark about a mile out. But it was freezing, the Ailsa Craig is a cold place!

“It was fairly rough on the way back, we were fighting against it the whole way.”

You can still sponsor or make donations by logging onto the ‘just giving’ website and searching for Sandra Gallacher.