Kidnapped - 130 years on

2016 is the 130th anniversary of the publication in 1886 of the literary classic Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson. The book tells the enduring tale of David Balfour’s kidnapping and subsequent adventure as he is smuggled around the coast of Scotland, surviving ship-wreck off Mull then making his way back overland with Alan Stewart-Breck to South Queensferry and Edinburgh to claim his rightful fortune. 
In May 2016 a team of three will retrace the steps of David Balfour; sailing from South Queensferry on Sunday 22nd May, around the north of Orkney down the Minch to the island of Erraid, off Mull. Leaving from Erraid on 28th May the team will retrace by foot the 270 miles back to South Queensferry. The overland leg will cross some of the wildest and stunning landscapes in Scotland. They aim to take 11-12 days yomping across Scotland - some going!
  • Team of three will retrace the steps of  the literary classic Kidnapped 130  years since first published by R L Stevenson 
  • Sail 500 miles from the Forth around Orkney to Erraid off Mull 
  • Walk 270 miles across some of Scotland’s wildest lands to Edinburgh 
  • Low carbon ambition 
  • Charitable objectives for Parkinson’s UK and Ocean Youth Trust Scotland and  Stevenson Adventures 
  • Sponsorship opportunities 
  • Patrons welcomed 
  • Kidnapped130 is supported by 
  •   PENTAX
  •   RL Stevenson Society 
  •   Stevenson Way   

Follow them at

The Yacht
Trade Winds is a racing Trimaran and was fully refitted in 2013 prior to completing a 2,400 voyage around the UK & Ireland and has twice won the Scottish Islands Three Peaks Race All Rounder’s class. Trade Winds is fitted out for passage racing and has been sailed extensively by the K130 Team. She has reached speeds of 17 knots and will make a good passage time around Scotland cruising at speeds of 9-12 knots. She is fully fitted with the latest navigational and safety equipment, new rigging, sails and communications.
The Route
By Sea;  
The sailing passage will be unaided and non-stop.  
  • Hawes Inn South Queensferry  on the Forth near Edinburgh heading northwards up the east coast of Scotland to Orkney. 
  • Turning south at North Ronaldsay the crew will head for Cape Wrath and down The Minch passing to the west of Skye. 
  • From Skye heading south east passing to the south of Coll and Tiree then land at the island of Erraid at the south west corner of Mull. 
By Land; 
As in the terms of the book the challenges will make their way by foot camping out in the hills, taking shelter and accommodation along the way.  
  • By foot across Mull and ferry to Morvern. 
  • Northwards crossing Loch Linnhe to Appin and from there eastwards by; Glencoe, Rannoch Moor and The Trossachs to the Forth Valley. 
  • Skirting Stirling, along the Hillfoots and on to cross the Forth at Limekilns returning to South Queensferry and on to Edinburgh.  
 The Team
Three experienced endurance athletes, sailors and mountain marathon runners will complete the challenge:


Left to right:
Willie Gibson: Willie has completed more than twenty mountain marathons at elite level. He is a three times Scottish Islands Three Peaks winner. Willie has completed the punishing Ramsey Round in twenty two hours, run the 180 mile route across Scotland from Montrose to Inverary and the 140 mile route from Glenfinnan to Ullapool. Willie is president of Carnethy Hill Running Club

Alan Rankin: The project leader is an ex international athlete, seven times Scottish Decathlon champion, four time winner of the Scottish Islands Three Peaks Race. Alan has successfully project managed and completed two major endurance challenges: First ever singlehanded circumnavigation of Scotland by sail and cycle. First ever full singlehanded circumnavigation of UK and Ireland with 10x10k runs at ten ports.

Richard Marshall will support Alan and Willie during the sailing leg. Richard is a veteran of the Scottish Islands Peaks race and yacht owner with extensive long distance cruising and racing experience.

The Charities
The Kidnapped130 challenge will support three elected charities. Public donations will not be used for any of the costs associated with the challenge. All out of pocket expenses and costs will be met by sponsors or by the Kidnapped130 team.
Fund raising pages for online and text donations for Kidnapped130 will be opened with Just Giving during 2015.
  • Ocean Youth Trust Scotland aims to become the leading provider of youth work at sea in the UK, in a safe yet unique environment. Ocean Youth Trust Scotland provides adventurous educational opportunities for young people aged 12-24 to develop their knowledge about themselves, others, and society.
  • The Parkinson’s UK is the leading charity dedicated to supporting all people with Parkinson’s, their families, friends and carers. The Parkinson’s UK was established in 1969 and now has 30,000 members, 19,000 supporters and over 300 branches and support groups throughout the UK.
  • Stevenson Adventures works alongside organisations and groups who are already involved with disadvantaged young people (14-22 years old). We provide qualified leaders and equipment to take these young folk on day, weekend and week-long walks/expeditions in the Scottish hills and wilderness areas in order to give them a challenge that will help to develop them as individuals.