Media Release: Length of Britain sailing challenge announces Rock Rose as new sponsor


WITH a record set for sailing the length of Britain – from Land’s End to John O’Groats back in December 2015 – demand is high from sailors from across the world to take on the ‘Length of Britain Sailing Challenge’ and create a new record time.

Hailing from the UK’s most northerly mainland distillery, Dunnet Bay Distillery, Rock Rose Gin was a natural sponsor for the challenge.

The distillery has signed a three-year deal to establish the route from the strong sailing grounds of the south coast of England to the home of Rock Rose Gin, at Dunnet Head.

Excitement around the challenge has built since adventurer, Sean ‘the Beard’ Conway, ran, swam and cycled the distance, partnering up with a sailing team, including class 40 offshore racing yacht skipper, Alex Alley, and Phil Sharp from Jersey, to establish the record in December 2015.

Martin Murray, founder, Rock Rose Gin, said: “We are thrilled to announce our sponsorship of the Length of Britain Sailing Challenge. With the race finishing where we are based in the far north of Scotland it was a natural event for us to be part of. It’s such an exciting challenge and we look forward to welcoming any record-breakers to the distillery for a celebratory wee tipple.”

The national sailing tourism marketing organisation, Sail Scotland, have developed the challenge and will be the official body sanctioning entries to take on the current record of 83 hours 53 minutes.

Daniel Steel, CEO of Sail Scotland, said: “We are delighted to have Rock Rose on board as official sponsors of the Length of Britain Challenge.

“The journey between Land’s End and John O’Groats has always been an iconic challenge.

“With 876 miles in between, it represents the longest distance between two inhabited British points on mainland Britain.

“Sailing from the south of England up the west coast of Scotland is a beautiful and well-travelled route for sailors, which makes it all the more surprising that there was no established record.

“Now, we not only welcome people to take on that challenge but they have the added incentive of a Rock Rose Gin too, waiting for them at Dunnet Head.”

Gordon Ritchie of GRM, the event management company, said: “There is huge interest from sailors all now trying to win the Length of Britain trophy.

“The route can be really challenging and sailors will have to negotiate high winds, challenging currents, and uninhabited islands to break the record.

“We already have some world=class sailors preparing to do it and already have interest from an Australian all female crew and a top Irish Vendee Globe team member.

“We will also be announcing another sponsor in this exciting challenge in the next two weeks.”

Gail Ross, MSP for Caithness, Sutherland and Ross, who was on the pontoon last year, to greet Phil, Sean and Alex at 1am, said: “This is an exciting challenge which will not only provide a stunning backdrop but will also test the mettle of some of the best sailors in the world.

“In 2015, the challenge created a lot of positive publicity along the route and I look forward to the same happening again.

“The seas around the north and west coasts of Scotland are some of the most challenging and dramatic that exist, anything that helps highlight their power and potential is to be welcomed and I look forward to the Length of Britain challenge doing this.”

For further information, please contact:

Gordon Ritchie

Tel: 07973101534


Notes to editors:

  • Follow the Challenge: Facebook: /lengthbritain Twitter: @lengthofbritain
  • Sail Scotland is the Scottish sailing and marine industry’s tourism marketing organisation. It is a membership-based organisation, with members ranging from small holiday companies to large multi-national marinas.
  • For information on sailing and boating holidays in Scotland, go to
  • Rock Rose Gin is hand-crafted by husband and wife team, Martin and Claire Murray, at the UK’s most northerly mainland distillery, in the far north of Scotland. The couple are passionate about hand-crafting spirits that celebrate the heritage and provenance of Caithness and pride themselves on using local, hand-foraged botanicals.
  • Launched in 2014 to critical acclaim, Rock Rose Gin features a carefully-selected collection of local and traditional botanicals, including juniper berries, rowan berries and sea buckthorn, which are used to create a truly exceptional gin that offers a unique taste of the Highlands. It gets its name from one of these botanicals Rhodiola rosea (a rose in the rocks) a botanical that was once pillaged by the Vikings who thought it would give them extra strength and if taken daily would make them live to 200 years old!
  • Rock Rose Gin has received industry acclaim since launch, including being named in the Top 50 Food and Drink products in Britain by Great Taste Awards in 2015.


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GRM contact details…

Contact: Gordon Ritchie
Phone: 07973101534