A PIONEERING pedalo crew from Monmouthshire crossed the length of Loch Ness in eight hours, setting three records, in memory of a teen from the county who died last year.

The crew took on the 22.7-mile Monster the Loch challenge on Saturday to raise money for a Cancer Research research fund in the memory of Tom Walker, from Devauden, who died last year aged 13.

Free Press Series:

Tom Walker

Tom's father Tim was part of the four-man pedalo crew which left Fort Augustus, on the loch's southern shore, on Saturday.

He was joined in the boat by Tom's schoolmate Angus Whitehead, as well as Angus' father Adrian and godfather Nick Roberts-Wearing.

The team gave it their all in gruelling conditions and reached Dores, on the northern shore, seven hours and 50 minutes later.

Angus' mother, Angela, was the brains behind the challenge and cheered the crew on from the shore.


“It was a fantastic effort from four brave and courageous people," she said.

“This was one of the most inspiring and emotional days. It was an epic journey over the world’s most famous loch.

“It was harder than anything physically they had ever done before but they kept going and encouraged each other every second of their incredible journey.”

Mrs Whitehead was joined in supporting the crew by her daughter, Ailsa, Tom's mum Debbie and sisters, Holly and Emily, and former Monmouth School for Girls' student, Katie Cameron.

The crew became the first pedalo fundraising team to cross the length of Loch Ness. Angus, aged 17, is the youngest person to cross the loch in a pedalo - and at a combined aged of 184 years, the four are the oldest team to complete the feat.

But rather than set records, their primary challenge was to raise money in memory of Monmouth School for Boy's pupil Tom, who was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia in June 2018, and died after failing to recover from an operation required to start treatment.

The pedalo crew raised £2,000 – including £260 donated by the crowd at Monster the Loch, for Tom's cancer research fund.

Research students can now apply for a three-year Tom Walker Cancer Wales PhD Studentship for Acute Myeloid Leukaemia after Tom’s family, friends and the Haberdashers’ Monmouth Schools’ community united to raise £100,000 in 11 months.

Fundraising is continuing and to support the Loch Ness pedalo challenge, visit: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/monsterthelochfortom