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Meet Our Supporters – Fiona and Dave, Miles for SMR

Meet Our Supporters – Fiona and Dave, Miles for SMR

02nd May, 2022

Fiona Flanagan and Dave Acari are taking part in Miles for SMR and both are aiming to complete the 56 miles challenge.

But they are doing things a bit differently by completing the distance, a mile for every call out in a month, on a paddleboard!

Fiona runs a popular bed and breakfast in Balmaha and Dave is a full-time touring musician and songwriter. With their shared enthusiasm for the sport they recently set up a Facebook group for folks living in – or visiting – East Loch Lomond so they can share tips and advice, buddy up for trips or give those who haven’t been on a board the chance to try the sport for themselves.

Their plans were recently featured in the Stirling Observer.

We at Scottish MR caught up with them to ask a few questions.

Why are you taking part and what made you think of taking part by paddleboard?

Scottish Mountain Rescue teams do a lot of fantastic work in our area and  we both enjoy the outdoors – hillwalking and mountain biking as well as paddleboarding. We chose paddle boarding as it gives us an excuse to get out on the water and raise money for a good cause!

What is your strategy for completing the distance?

As paddleboarding is a little more reliant on the weather, we’ll likely try and get a few longer distances in as soon as possible. A ‘longer distance’ is only five or six miles tho’…it’s slow progress on the water!

If the weather isn’t favourable on our local Loch Lomond, we will use the challenge as a good excuse to explore some of the smaller and more sheltered lochs within easy travelling distance.

We are hoping not only for calm weather, but for it also to co-incide with our availability to go out on the water.

What you are most looking forward to about the challenge?

Really just getting out on the water and making the most of May’s general decent weather.

What you think will be the hardest bit?

Fifty-six miles doesn’t sound far, but it is when you’re on a paddle board! The inflatable boards are quite susceptible to wind – and even when the water’s calm it’s usually slow going.

I guess we’re mostly concerned about good weather and our free time co-inciding!

How you can get involved in Miles for SMR

To support Fiona and Dave’s fundraising for Scottish Mountain rescue, visit

If you would like to take part in Miles for SMR, it is not too late to sign up, you can join the event at


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