Brothers bid to turn whisky into water with cross country challenge

Brothers bid to ‘turn whisky into water’ with cross-country challenge

A trio of record-breaking rowing brothers have teamed up with their whisky writer father to launch a charity to raise money for clean water projects in faraway countries.

The MacLean Foundation has been founded by Edinburgh brothers Ewan, Jamie and Lachlan MacLean, along with their father Charles, and will raise cash through collaboration with the whisky industry.

The brothers are embarking on a lengthy cross-country journey to row, run and cycle between malt whisky distilleries around Scotland.

They will visit 120 distilleries to raise awareness of their campaign and independently bottle then sell donated casks to fund clean water projects.

The brothers became the first three siblings to row any ocean during a fundraiser three years ago, as well as the fastest and youngest trio to row across the Atlantic Ocean.

But during a subsequent trip to Madagascar to see clean water boreholes they funded, all three fell ill through contact with dirty water and had to be treated for parasitic worms.

Youngest brother Lachlan said: “When we returned from our trip, the importance of clean water became clear.

“When we got ill, we had access to a free health service back home – Malagasy people don’t have that luxury.

“Clean water is something we all need to live. It is an essential building block to bringing communities out of poverty.

“Waterborne diseases typically kill more people each year than all forms of violence, with most of these deaths being children under the age of five.

“Through our foundation, we will help to widen access to the most basic necessities of clean water and sanitation to those who need it.”

Their father, who has written 18 books on whisky and also starred in the 2012 drama-comedy Angels’ Share, said: “I continue to be so immensely proud of my sons. They showed us that anything is possible during their row.

“When they shared their idea, I couldn’t think of anything more perfect; the chance to work together, combining our passions for whisky and adventure to make a real impact on people’s lives.

“We believe we can achieve something very special together, with the help of Scotland’s wonderful whisky industry, which I’ve been proud to be part of for decades.”

The trio kicked off their journey in Skye on Saturday. Between them, they will travel 2,000 miles by bike, and 150 nautical miles across some of the most challenging bodies of water in the British Isles.

Each bottle sold from their eventual haul will provide at least one person with clean water for life.

Ewan added: “Our foundation is all about combining our passions for adventure and whisky to support people.

“We’re excited to get back behind the oars to make an impact. While there are no world records at stake this time, it won’t be easy.

“It’s a great opportunity to launch the charity while introducing our foundation to the people of Scotland’s whisky industry.

“What’s more, as we are planning another ocean row, it will make for perfect training. We want to make a real lasting impact through our work – this is our purpose, our new focus.”

Published: by Radio NewsHub

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