A TEAM of athletes were forced to abandon a fundraising bid to row the length of Loch Lomond in one go by bad weather.

The Loch Lomond Rowing Club members - five of them from the Helensburgh area - tried to tackle the 24-mile distance on Saturday, September 23 to help repair the roof of their clubhouse.

But adverse wind and rain forced them to be pulled from the loch’s freezing waters by the club’s safety officer just 10 kilometres in.

Coach Heather McKenzie told the Advertiser: “Unfortunately crews rowing the loch only made it about 10K of the way before we were called off the water by the club’s safety officer, Martin Claxton, due to adverse weather.

“However, we still had a barbecue and get together on the day and I am very proud of everyone who took part.

“The later sunrise’s as we get into winter as well as colder water temperatures mean we wont be able to attempt the challenge again until spring.

“We want to give a massive thanks to everyone who sponsored us.”

Although disappointed they were unable to complete the task, the group is determined to cover the distance, even if it is off the water, and intend to complete the remaining distance on rowing machines as a way of thanking everyone who supported them.

The team has raised £3,307.78 already, with more money coming in and have already decided they will tackle the same challenge again next year.

The participants were Eilidh McGowan, Alex Clark, Martin Claxton, Rory Sullivan, Munro Dunlop, Heather McKenzie, Fiona Davidson, Laura McKenzie, Louise Bissett, Evie Gage, Wendy Denton, Innes Dunlop, Freya Buchanan, Martha Coombes, Lucy Steel, Kim Denton, Lily Young, Lachlan MacKinnon, Sophie Morris, Alex MacKinnon, Jess McQueen, Amy Morris, Mark Sullivan and Euan McKenzie.

Previously the Advertiser told how the clubhouse used was deteriorating and that the roof had started to leak. The members of the club had been organising fundraisers in order to repair the roof.

Heather said: “The clubhouse is the main meeting point for all our members – we store the boats we use for rowing there, train there during windy weather and it is the hub for everything rowing-related in Balloch.”

The club have set up a JustGiving page, with the aim of raising £20,000 towards the cost of repairs and all the money raised from their Row Loch Lomond attempt has been added to the fund.

To support the club visit https://www.justgiving.com/campaigns/charity/lochlomond-rowingclub/newrooffundraising