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Dozens of paddleboarders dressed as Santa take to frozen loch for charity event

50 paddleboarders dressed as Santa went out on Loch Morlich despite it being partly-frozen. Picture by Emma McLeoud.
50 paddleboarders dressed as Santa went out on Loch Morlich despite it being partly-frozen. Picture by Emma McLeoud.

Despite Loch Morlich being partly frozen, 50 paddleboarders donned their Santa hats and wetsuits for a chilly trip around the loch for charity.

The Santa SUP (Stand Up Paddle) event was organised by Strathspey SUP and Moray SUP to raise money for Disability Snowsport UK (DSUK).

Emma McLeod who runs Strathspey SUP explained that the charity hosts an annual Santa Run in Aviemore which was cancelled last year due to Covid.

Miss McLeod, alongside Tom and Chloe Wakeford who run Moray SUP Club, decided to host a paddleboarding event to support the charity and their local work at their Glenmore base.

Although the Santa Run went ahead this year the group decided to do the Santa SUP event once more, with all proceeds going to DSUK.

A group of paddlers out on the loch for the charity event. Picture by Neil Wilson.

‘There were a few cold toes’

It was a cold and frosty morning in the Highlands as temperatures hit as low as minus eight degrees, but the paddlers were determined to get on their boards.

Miss McLeod said: “There were a few cold toes towards the end of it but they absolutely loved it.

“Despite being really cold it was quite atmospheric. As they paddled through you could hear the ice crack around you which was really nice, there was still mist between the forest as well which was fantastic.

“I think everyone who was out was just really happy to be out on the water despite half the loch being frozen.”

Sophia Warwick-Parker was one of the paddleboarders enjoying being out on the water this morning. Supplied by Emma McLeod.

Volunteers with paddle qualifications and Covid officers were at the event to make sure everyone was safe, and all participants were given safety equipment.

The event has raised Β£840 so far through tickets and paddleboard hires for DSUK.

In the north-east, clubs were also hosting their own festive events and braving the cold conditions.

The Broch Surf Club hosted their annual Santa Surf and Dip alongside the Salty Water Folk at Fraserburgh beach.

Awesome morning πŸŒŠπŸ§‘β€πŸŽ„ thanks Broch Surf Club for hosting πŸ˜„

Posted by Salty Water Folk on Sunday, 19 December 2021