AN INTREPID 82-year-old from the Wee County is gearing up to sail around the UK for charity, casting off from Alloa this weekend.

Murdoch McGregor, who for many years was the familiar voice of Alloa Half Marathon, is beginning an epic 1,900 nautical mile voyage this Saturday, June 5, at 3pm to raise funds for Mental Health UK.

A late developer, Murdoch only started sailing some 10 years ago, but proved it is never too late to go on the adventure of a lifetime when he sailed in his small Hunter 23 boat, named Artemis, to Berlin all on his own five years ago.

Since then, he has made annual voyages, including twice to Orkney and Shetland, the abandoned island of St Kilda and much more.

Murdoch has been planning to take on a charity voyage for some time and he has been spurred on by the coronavirus pandemic and its effect on everybody.

However, Mental Health UK is also close to his heart as his younger brother Jim “struggled valiantly” with problems all his life, until he sadly passed away two years ago at the age of 75.

The stigma around mental health has reduced since 60 years ago when Jim first started experiencing issues and Murdoch is hoping to support the good cause so it can help others.

“He will be with me on my voyage”, he said.

“I spent some months with him in hospital and I have nothing but total admiration now for the mental health system, hence my choice for proceeds from my journey.”

Normally, Murdoch casts off from Forth Cruising Club at Limekilns in Fife, however, he will begin the journey from his home town of Alloa where he first got a taste for seafaring adventures as a youngster.

He added: “It's a special voyage, it must start at my birthplace.”

Indeed, a young Murdoch is pictured in an archive Advertiser image at the docks in Alloa (the tallest in the photo) as he welcomes a fishing vessel back to port.

Similar experiences, such as spotting ships in the darkness with the harbour master, set his mind wondering what might be out there in the great world.

The upcoming voyage will take the Alloa man, who grew up near the harbour in the Bottom End, out the North Sea, down south toward the English Channel and past Land's End, up north again past Wales, the Isle of Man, the west coast of Scotland and past John o' Groats before the final leg home.

Murdoch, who keeps his batteries fully charged through adventure, has completed some of the legs before – including navigating Cape Wrath and the notorious Pentland Firth, but never all together.

The voyage will take eight to 10 weeks to complete and the Advertiser hopes to share updates along the way.

To support the fundraiser for Mental Health UK, visit