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Caithness cadets support TV celebrity world record fundraiser


By David G Scott

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Army cadets from Caithness offered comfort to a TV celebrity fundraiser when his world record attempt was halted due to coronavirus restrictions last month.

The cadets, from 1st Battalion the Highlanders, visited Scrabster harbour on Wednesday, December 23 to support Jordan Wylie (37) from Channel 4’s Hunted series. Jordan was raising money for Frontline Children – a charity focused on helping children caught up in conflict and war.

Jordan Wylie happy to see the cadets welcome him back to dry land when he arrived at Scrabster harbour.
Jordan Wylie happy to see the cadets welcome him back to dry land when he arrived at Scrabster harbour.

Jordan, an ex-soldier and national ambassador to the Army Cadet Force (ACF), was raising money for the charity as part of The Great British Paddle – an official Guinness world record attempt to circumnavigate the UK on a stand-up paddleboard – but was forced to abandon the attempt due to Scottish Government coronavirus restrictions which came into force on December 26.

After 149 days, seven hours and 36 minutes at sea and travelling 2377.29 km, Jordan's journey stopped at Scrabster, just 23km from John O'Groats – which would have been a new Guinness world

record in itself for paddling from Land’s End to John O’Groats.

Jordan said: “I said from day one that this was never about world records, awards or any kind of applause. It was about inspiring young people both overseas and back home through the gift of education and the spirit of adventure.”

A small number of cadets and adults from the battalion’s Caithness company met Jordan at Scrabster harbour, while he was packing up for his long drive home to England, to pass on the battalion’s warmest regards and also pass on various messages of support from across the ACF after his incredible journey.

Sergeant Major Instructor Stuart Taggart (right) presenting Jordan with a £500 donation and a Caithness care package, alongside cadets who attended to lend support.
Sergeant Major Instructor Stuart Taggart (right) presenting Jordan with a £500 donation and a Caithness care package, alongside cadets who attended to lend support.

The visit was allowed due to the Highlands, at the time, being in tier one restrictions. After Jordan gave a few short words to the cadets, a small presentation was made to him in which he was presented a battalion plaque and a Caithness care package which included various items of local produce as well as a gift package from Stacks cafe in John O’Groats.

The final presentation the battalion made was a cheque for £500 which they donated to the Frontline Children charity. The presentations were made by Thurso detachment commander Sergeant Major Instructor Stuart Taggart (31).

Jordan started his journey on July 26 in Essex and during his five months at sea, has travelled through five countries and crossed the Irish Sea twice. He still set the record for paddleboarding at sea for the longest time and has so far raised £83,000 for Frontline Children as part of The Great British Paddle.

Charlie Heads into Wick after 24-hour paddleboard journey


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