Alan Rankin hopes to become the first person to circumnavigate Scotland by sail and power 10/2/06

Alan Rankin, Chairman of Ocean Youth Trust Scotland, has announced a Solo Round Scotland Charity Challenge aboard a Beneteau 50Pegasus. In his efforts to raise funds for the Ocean Youth Trust Scotland (OYTS) and the Parkinson’s Disease Society (PDS) Rankin hopes to become the first person to singlehandedly circumnavigate Scotland by sail and pedal power.

Rankin is a regular competitor in the Scottish Island Peaks recording (aboard Pegasus) a win in the fast monohull class and a second in the gruelling all-rounders class where crew must also run the mountains as well as sail the 120-mile course.

Rankin’s latest challenge is scheduled to commence in April but chatting to earlier today Rankin says it very much depends on the weather. “I currently have meteorologist Fiona Campbell analyzing the weather situation and obviously getting the right weather window will be the key.”

The idea is to start off Balcary Point near Kirkcudbright on The Solway Firth and then sail non-stop 900 miles round Scotland and its islands including St Kilda, Rona and Shetland and then south to Berwick upon Tweed. Rankin will then hop on his brand-new, hi-tech carbonfibre road bike and complete his circuit by cycling 150 miles back to the starting point near Kirkcudbright, crossing the Scottish border at Gretna.

Chatting about the most challenging part of the sailing section Rankin added: “I think the 180-mile St Kilder leg to the Shetlands section will be fairly tough and the sea state at Muckle Flugga will be far from pleasant. The chances of a south/south-westerly breeze are fairly high which would however, give me a farily swift passage north.

“The challenge for me will be the singlehanded aspect. Although I’ve done a bit on this boat, the west coast of Scotland and Ireland, they’ve only been three or four-day stints. This one’s going to take about six or seven days.”

Rankin is motivated by his two chosen charities. All funds raised will be shared between the OYTS, an independent Scottish sail training charity and the PDS, which is dedicated to supporting all people with Parkinson’s, their families, friends and carers.

Rankin concluded: “Sailing has been such an important part of my life and I hope that through this charity challenge I can give something back to two causes that mean so much to me. I lost my Dad as a result of Parkinson’s and so I know first hand the impact that this condition can have on a family. I am also a big admirer of the OYTS and the life changing opportunities they offer to a number of young people.”

To find out more about the challenge and how to help Rankin raise his £10,000 target log on to