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Castletown firm North Coast Watersports wins national title in Journal Magazine Awards

By John Davidson

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North Coast Watersports offers surfing experiences in Caithness.
North Coast Watersports offers surfing experiences in Caithness.

A Castletown business has been named best in Britain after making a splash in the outdoor adventure sector.

North Coast Watersports was voted the Best Outdoor Business in Britain at this year’s Journal Magazine Awards, which celebrates the best independent businesses across the UK.

The most northerly surf school in Scotland beat off competition from the likes of England-based Endless Adventure and the popular Perthshire destination Highland Fling.

One of the judges, Alison Edgar, who is regarded as "Entrepreneur’s Godmother” to many of the world’s most successful business leaders, nominated the surf business as a finalist from over 600 nominations and since then the public has voted in their thousands.

North Coast Watersports was formed in April 2019 by Iona McLachlan and Finn MacDonald with the aim to share their love for surfing and the north coast.

Based in Castletown near Thurso, it provides award-winning cold-water surfing experiences among the best waves in the UK.

The area is due to host the Scottish National Surfing Championships this weekend.

Speaking about winning the award, Ms McLachlan said: “I am absolutely blown away. Thank you so much to everybody who has voted for us and supported us. We wouldn’t be where we are today without them.

"To have the backing of the local community means so much and to be recognised in this way is an incredible feeling.”

Iona McLachlan and Finn MacDonald set up North Coast Watersports in 2019.
Iona McLachlan and Finn MacDonald set up North Coast Watersports in 2019.

The Journal Awards is sponsored by the luxury and lifestyle online platform Mór and CEO Urchana Moudgil said: “We have been delighted to support some of the most exciting, innovative and independent brands across the UK during these awards.

"It’s important that we continue to encourage the next generation of talented entrepreneurs and businessowners like Iona and Finn.”

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