Buckie RNLI volunteer crowned a world champion twice over for his efforts at sea
Mr Mack (28), who is Buckie Shipyard manager when not saving lives at sea, has not long returned from the Skiffie Worlds 2019 at Stranraer – the triennial world championships for St Ayles skiffs – with not one but two gold medals to his name.
The coxswain, who is with Club Boatie Blest based at Cockenzie and Port Seton near his native Edinburgh, has added the Ladies Open and Mixed 40+ medals to his trophy cabinet, with a silver in the Ladies 40+ to keep it company.
Mr Mack and his colleagues were among 700 teams at the championships drawn from 57 clubs in nine countries. The increasingly high standard of the competition was reflected in the agonisingly close finish the Boatie Blest Mixed 40+ crew had to endure, as Mr Mack explained: ‘After a 2km race, there was only half a second separating the first four boats, it was a photo finish.’
He added: ‘At the time you don't know for sure what the outcome is although you having a feeling you've got a medal, you just don't know what.
'It's a great feeling to get a couple of golds and a silver, the worlds was a great experience. There have been three Worlds and I've been to them all. In 2013, they were held in Ullapool and I got a gold and a bronze and three years later at Strangford Lough in Northern Ireland I won two golds, a silver and a bronze.’
‘The standard is improving all the time as is the popularity of the Worlds. this time round there were around 700 teams while in 2013 there were only 32.’
Success requires commitment and for Mr Mack this means making the trip from Portknockie, where he stays, to Cockenzie every weekend to train all year round.
He added: ‘I usually end up doing about three hours each day, although it can be more as I'm actually involve in six teams.
‘While the regattas are held in the summer the rowing goes on all year round.’
Mr Mack has been part of the Buckie RNLI crew for the last four years.
RNLI media contacts
Alan Beresford, Lifeboat Press Officer, Buckie Lifeboat Station, 07790 023983
Martin Macnamara, RNLI Regional Media Officer for Scotland, 01738 642986, 07920 365929, firstname.lastname@example.org
Gemma McDonald, RNLI Regional Media Manager for Scotland, 01738 642956, 07826 900639, email@example.com
RNLI Press Office, 01202 336789
Key facts about the RNLI
The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and, in a normal year, more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.