A Sporting Month


May has been a challenging sporting month for some members of our distillery team.

Twenty year old Josh Wood, warehouseman, ran his first marathon at the weekend, in Stirling, in 3 hours 44 minutes. He says he knows he went out a bit fast, then he “could hardly get up and down the steps on the CalMac ferry” on the way back home to Islay.


Mashman Graham Hayes mountain-biking in South Africa

Graham Hayes, mashman, recently returned from completing a 3 day, 300km mountain biking challenge in South Africa, the Sani2c. He and a friend quickly became known as “the whisky men”, although the only supplies they had with them was the Bruichladdich shirts. En route between Underberg near the Lesotho border and the coast south of Durban, Graham says, “The environment was a great leveller,” as they crossed rivers, rode through bush and plantations, climbing and descending 1000 – 2000m a day before camping overnight. One camp was among the macadamia trees where 1700 steaks were prepared for the racers. Graham says he didn’t mind the uphill at all, “It was a challenge, I like a challenge, just put your head down and you go, you know.” But the downhill sections were hard on wrists and knees; when reaching top speeds of 67km, “All you can smell is the brakes of the guys in front”.

The Bruichladdich team for Etape Caledonia 2017

A Bruichladdich pelaton, including the communications team’s own Carl Reavey, and new CEO, Douglas Taylor, rode for the fourth time in this year’s Etape Caledonia on Sunday, raising more than £8,000 for Marie Curie. [See more details of the associated whisky auction here >] It’s an 81 miles ride for over 5000 cyclists through the lush lands of Perthshire, and over the Schiehallion.

Despite taking a fall on one corner, and having niggling thoughts that he might be getting too old for this sort of action at the weekend, Carl achieved a new personal best on the mountain stages, while Douglas came into the office on Monday morning as Bruichladdich’s “King of the Mountains”.

Meanwhile, our man on the ocean, Phil Sharp, who had a racing season beset with mischance last year, was at last victorious in his Class 40 yacht ‘Imerys’ in the Normandy Race. They sailed from Caen, round the Isle of Wight, between Cornwall and the Scilly Isles, along the southern Irish coast from Tuskar Rock to Fastnet Rock, and back to Normandy via Guernsey – a total course of around 1000 miles.

On foot, on two wheels, and on the water, something of an epic May…

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