The Great Islay Swim

On 29 July 2017, Explorers Club Members Chad Anderson and Justin Fornal, along with fellow swimmer Johnnie Mundell, completed the world’s first circumnavigational swim of the 100-mile coastline of Islay. Entitled The Great Islay Swim, the circumnavigation took eight days. The aim of the expedition was to celebrate the island of Islay – to include each of the local distilleries, celebrate the island’s whisky heritage, honour the local ruins and historic sites and retrace the history. Fornal and Anderson’s expedition team included a botanist, an architectural historian and a film crew to record the journey and explore the island’s geography.

To make things even harder, The Great Islay Swim chaps had a quarter cask in tow that they needed to fill with whisky from all the eight active whisky distilleries on Islay. The resulting vatted malt is to mature for several months before being bottled under the name “Explorer’s Cask” by the independent American bottler Single Cask Nation and sold from the beginning of 2018. All proceeds will be donated to the Royal National Lifeboat Institute (RNLI).

On 7 July 2017, Chad and Justin were guests at Kilchoman. Together with Anthony Wills and Robin Bignal, they tasted some drams and took a share of Kilchoman whisky for their cask.