Media Release: BBC ALBA charts the ambitious recreation of one of Scotland’s truly great historic sea crossings

Heading for St. Kilda

SCOTTISH couple, Hamish and Anne Gow, created history in 1965 when they became the first kayakers to make the treacherous 40-plus mile sea journey from the Western Isles to the mystical islands of St. Kilda.

Now, 47 years later, BBC ALBA is on hand to witness two women from the Isle of Lewis, Dolina Swanson and Christine Stewart, attempt to recreate this historic voyage.

Filmed during May and June 2012, Trusadh: St Kilda and the Kayak Girls, charts Dolina and Christine’s efforts, following them from the design of the boat through to the journey onto the precarious waters.

Armed with the original boat plans, the Stornoway Canoe Club on the Isle of Lewis – of which both Dolina and Christine are members – commissioned the experienced local boat builder, Angus Smith, to re-create the Clyde double kayak.

Made of plywood and canvas, the kayak is a far cry from the modern equipment used by clubs across Scotland and with the build only starting in May, time is not on Dolina and Christine’s side.

St Kilda and the Kayak Girls goes on to chart both the success of the build and whether they can go on to complete one of Scotland’s truly great historic sea crossings – all told with the help of an interview with Hamish Gow detailing the original journey along with his own classic cine footage and stills.

St Kilda and the Kayak Girls, produced by MacTV for BBC ALBA, will be shown on Monday 17 September 2012 at 9pm.


For further information please contact Gary McQueen at Media House on 0141 220 6040 or email

Notes to editors:

BBC ALBA is available on the following platforms:

  • Freeview 8 (Scotland only)
  • Virgin Media 188 (Scotland only)
  • Sky 168 (UK)
  • Freesat 110 (UK)
  • Live on BBC iPlayer (UK)
  • 10 hours of content per week is also available to view on demand via the BBC PC iPlayer and the BBC iPlayer on Virgin Media

BBC ALBA is run by MG ALBA in partnership with the BBC. MG ALBA is the operating name of Seirbheis nam Meadhanan Gàidhlig, the Gaelic Media Service. Find out more about MG ALBA and the partnership at or visit for scheduling and programme information.

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Contact: Gary McQueen
Phone: 01412206040