Ben Nevis Trek & Pentland Firth Cycle Challenge
A Fishermen’s Mission flag, which two weeks earlier was held up on top of Ben Nevis – the highest mountain in the UK – was then held aloft at Kirkwall Harbour by two cyclists at the weekend, at the end of a major fundraising effort by a group of Orkney men, which has so far raised over £4000 for the charity.
Organised by keen Fishermen’s Mission supporter Craig Taylor from Kirkwall, he along with family members, George Currie, Erlend Currie, David Currie and Magnus Currie trekked up Ben Nevis in early June.
The sponsored trek took the team 7 hours to complete, hiking to the snow capped summit and back down on Saturday, June 11.
Two weeks later, on Saturday June 25, the second part of the endurance event saw Craig along with Roy Norquoy, a Fishermen’s Mission Port Officer for Orkney, cycle a total of 108 miles on Saturday on roads in Orkney and Caithness.
The ‘Pentland Firth Cycle Challenge’ saw the pair setting off from Kirkwall Harbour at 6am, cycling to St Margaret’s Hope, where they caught the 7.45am Pentland Ferries sailing to Gills Bay, then cycling on to John O’ Groats, Duncansby Head Lighthouse, and on to Wick.
The next part of the route took them between Wick and Watten, on to Castletown, Dunnet village, Dunnet Head Lighthouse, the most northerly part of the UK Mainland, before cycling on to Scarfskerry, back through Dunnet village, Castletown, Thurso and Scrabster, in time for the NorthLink Ferries 7pm sailing to Stromness.
The final leg of the journey saw them cycling from Stromness, to the finish line at Kirkwall Harbour, arriving just before 10pm at the end of the 16 hour, 108.5 mile challenge.
Earlier in the planning stage the pair had planned to cycle 75 miles, but looking at the time they had, and knowing if they went at the right speed while in Caithness, they could manage over 100 miles, and they were delighted to do so.
The day started off foggy, but ended in sunshine, and the light winds also helped the cyclists during the journey.
Craig, an associate member of the Fishermen’s Mission, said that the fundraiser was arranged following two separate tragedies at sea earlier this year, in the Western Isles and off Orkney, which claimed the lives of four fishermen.
Craig explained that he was already planning on carrying out a fundraiser for the Mission sometime this summer when the tragedies occurred.
The tragic events galvanised the decision by all involved to do something worthwhile for the Fishermen’s Mission, and support the charity which does so much to support so many throughout the UK, discreetly and behind the scenes.
He added that the team thanked both ferry companies for providing complimentary travel for both events and supporting them in the events.
Craig also thanked Cycle Orkney bike shop in Kirkwall for preparing his bike before the trip, saying that they been a great help.
He also thanked Caithness based Fishermen’s Mission area officer Colin Mackay – who the cyclists met up with in Wick – for his valuable support.
Craig added: “On behalf of us all, a huge thank you to everyone who has sponsored us so far, the support has been fantastic. To allow for any further donations and pledges to come in we will keep the fundraising going until July 16, and then arrange a cheque presentation for the full amount to be handed over to the Fishermen’s Mission.”
Donations can be made online to add to the total at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Craig-Taylor-Orkney
Craig Taylor and Roy Norquoy holding the Fishermen’s Mission flag at Kirkwall Harbour after their 108 mile ‘Pentland Firth Cycle Challenge’ which took place on Saturday.
Pictured on top of Ben Nevis are from left, Craig Taylor, David Currie, Magnus Currie, Erlend Currie and George Currie.
Craig Taylor and Roy Norquoy with Colin Mackay at Wick Harbour.