Aikman Bar ‘Buccaneers’ prepare for rafting challenge

Rafting in heavy snow was all part of the 'fun' for the Aikman's Bar Bistro Buccaneers.
Rafting in heavy snow was all part of the 'fun' for the Aikman's Bar Bistro Buccaneers.

Some describe them as intrepid, others prefer foolhardy, but it is the time of year again when staff and regulars from Aikman’s Bar, St Andrews, throw caution to the wind for a good cause.

For the fourth year, the Aikman’s Bistro Buccaneers are taking part in the annual Chest, Heart & Stroke Scotland (CHSS) White Water Rafting Challenge.

And they are hoping to repeat last year’s race success – they came first – and do even better on the fundraising front by beating their total of nearly £5000.

The aim of the event is to raise funds and awareness for CHSS while having fun at the same time.

However, Scottish weather has been known to spoil the fun element – in 2013 they were rafting in heavy falling snow at temperatures of minus 2 degrees C, not to mention a windchill factor.

CHSS is a Scottish charity that works to develop vital services for those affected by chest, heart and stroke illness across Scotland.

“I feel very strongly about this, having last year lost my aunt who finally succumbed after seven strokes,” said chief instigator Susan McCulloch.

“The support and care she received thanks to CHSS helped her immeasurably in her last years and I feel that the least I can do is help them to help as many others as possible.”

The White Water Rafting Challenge is on the River Tay, between Aberfeldy and Grandtully, on the last weekend in March with nearly 50 teams in total competing.

Each team is required to raise at least £1000 for CHSS and over the last three years, Aikman’s has managed to raise just short of £5000.

Susan said: “Last year we were delighted to win the Sunday race.

“However, my team mates were probably not so happy as I did turn into a cox/drill sergeant half-breed as soon as we hit the water!

“Needless to say, this year I’m aiming for us to get the best time over the whole weekend.

“More importantly, we would like to raise more money than ever for CHSS, and also raise awareness of the event, in the hope that in future years there will be even more teams getting involved and helping such a worthy charity.”

If anyone would like to support the Aikman’s crew, donations can be made online through or there are collection tins on the bar.

The CHSS website – – has more information about the charity. There are also links to fundraising events held throughout the year to encourage more people to get involved.