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Talisker® announces sponsorship of the ‘Mutiny on the Bounty’ recreation expedition as Australian Captain Don McIntyre returns to his roots on Skye

Monday 17th November 2009, Isle of Skye, Scotland: Talisker, the famous single malt whisky distilled on the Isle of Skye today announces its sponsorship of an epic sailing adventure which will be the first to recreate the exact journey of Captain William Bligh's epic 4,000-mile open boat ‘Mutiny on the Bounty ’voyage. Led by Australian adventurer Don McIntyre and a crew of three, the reenactment will follow the journey across the Pacific from Tonga to Timor and aims to raise vital funds and awareness for the world’s first international research centre into Motor Neurone Disease, currently being built by the Sheffield Institute Foundation.

McIntyre returned to his roots and the roots of Talisker on the Isle of Skye to trace his Scottish ancestry, and hold a Clan reunion at the famous Talisker Distillery. His grandparents Thomas and Mary McIntyre emigrated to Australia shortly after their marriage in 1901 and this is Don’s first visit to the island and Scotland. The 54 year-old adventurer, who successfully sailed single-handed around the world in 1992 and has led a series of expeditions down to Antarctica, brought with him the 25ft replica of the Bounty Boat to give his fellow McIntyres an insight into the extraordinary fight for survival that Captain Bligh and his crew faced following the infamous mutiny on HMS Bounty led by Fletcher Christian.

McIntyre and his three-man crew will face the same deprivations as the original Bounty Boat crew, with little food, no charts or toilet paper and only the limited navigation implements that were available to Bligh. They will start the adventure on the same day, at the same time and in the same place 221 years after the original mutiny journey.

Fiona McIntyre, Talisker distillery employee, said:As a McIntrye myself and employee at the distillery, it was a proud moment for Talisker to announce our sponsorship of this wonderful adventure and welcome Don to the Isle of Skye to meet his fellow McIntyres. It’s amazing to think that Don and the crew will sail thousands of miles in the very open boat he has brought to the island and we’ll be supporting them every step of the way.

Don McIntrye, adventurer, said: “I am bowled over by the warm welcome I have received on the Isle of Skye. It has been like coming home, and to have met so many of my namesakes has been fantastic. I am also surprised by the number of people on the Island who have had a direct experience of Motor Nurone Disease. It is a fatal disease that we know far too little about. I hope that this voyage will raise far greater awareness and fund vital work by The Sheffield Institute Foundation to find a cure.

Steve Wood, global marketing manager for Talisker, Diageo, said:
This is an incredibly exciting adventure for Talisker to sponsor and we are urging people to support the expedition by visiting www.taliskerbountyboat.com. Not only will we be a part of sailing history but the expedition will also raise vital funds for research into Motor Neurone Disease through the Sheffield Institute Foundation. Talisker is the only malt whisky made on the Isle of Skye and has a strong affinity with the sea.

Click here for video  DAY 1  | DAY 2

The Voyage

McIntyre and his crew will follow in the footsteps of Capt. William Bligh when cast adrift from HMS Bounty in the Pacific on April 28, 1789. They will board their 25ft ‘Talisker Bounty Boat’ in the same position exactly 221 years to the day of the Bounty Mutiny. They will first sail to Tonga to find extra food and water, before heading westwards across the top of Fiji and the Vanuatu Island groups, bound for the Queensland Coast, Australia to land, like Bligh, on Restoration Island. They will then sail north inside the Great Barrier Reef to Thursday Island, and then through the Torres Strait to Kupang and Timor. If successful, this will be the first time that anyone has sailed the same course in the same way that Bligh did. Previous attempts in 1983 and 1990 both used almanacs and charts for navigation, torches, modern timepieces, and also made unscheduled stopovers, did not follow the same route or were escorted part of the way. McIntyre’s crew will have no charts, no almanacs, modern timepieces or navigation equipment, torches, or toilet paper.
A GPS tracking system: locked away from the crew, will track The Talisker Bounty Boat every 2 hours for the outside world to follow. The only other concession to the 21st Century will be a life raft and other essential safety equipment, together with a satellite computer link for the 4-man crew to send daily blogs, photos and audio clips to tell their story.

McIntyre and his team are using the voyage to monitor sea life and water temperatures in the Pacific and compare their findings with the detailed log that Bligh kept. Scientists will also study crew stress levels, sleep patterns and their medical well-being.

The original mutiny

April 28, 1789: Fletcher Christian led a mutiny on HMS Bounty, then set sail for Pitcairn Island. Bligh and 18 men are abandoned in a longboat with just 150lb (68kg) of ships biscuits, 16 x 2lb (0.9kg pieces of pork, 6 quarts (5.6l) of rum, 6 bottles of wine and 28 gallons (127l) of water. Their overcrowded boat had just 8-inches (0.2m) of freeboard. They set sail for Tofua - one day away.
Sunday May 3: Landed on Tofua  - one man killed by natives. Bligh sailed away and headed for Fiji.
May 7: Bligh sailed through Fiji Islands chased by hostile natives in canoes, so could not stop.
May 14: Bligh passed through the New Hebrides Island, but fearing attack, decided not to stop. Bligh and his crew continued on across the storm-tossed Coral Sea bailing to stay afloat 24 hours a day, and desperately short of food and water.
May 28: First sight of New Holland and the Great Barrier Reef. Next day, after 26 days at sea, they landed on Restoration Island half dead. Bligh and his crew gorged on oysters, berries, birds and fish - and suffered acute gastranomic discomfort!
June 12: Timor is sighted and 2 days later, Bligh landed on Kupang, 48 days and 4000 miles after the mutiny. Their ordeal became one of the greatest open boat voyages in maritime history.

The gear that McIntyre 
and crew will rely on

Navigation equipment: 18th century octant and sextant, two 18th century pocket watches, nautical tables, boat compass, telescope, rope knot meter, lead line, ink pens and ink, note books, log book, magnifying glass. No charts allowed, no modern watches, no nautical almanac, and no compass light.

Clothing and personal kit - each crew: Sun hat, warm hat, expedition shirt, expedition long pants, tough shorts, thermal top, thermal pants, waterproof shoes, Gore-tex weather jacket and pants, sheep skin, inflatable life-jacket/ safety harness with knife torch and strobe, 406-GPS POB.
No torches, no iPod, no books: Talisker Bounty Boat will set off with the same weight of food and water that Bligh had when he was cast adrift from the Bounty.
Talisker Bounty Boat details
Construction: Traditional lap strake/clinker
Length overall: 25ft (7.62m)
Beam 6.3ft (1.92m)
Load displacement with 4 crew: 1.6 Tonnes



SIF - Sheffield Institute Foundation

The Bounty Boat Expedition will raise money and awareness of research into Motor Neurone Disease (MND) pioneered by the Sheffield Institute Foundation. SIF has been working tirelessly over the last few years to raise funds needed to build the Sheffield Institute of Translational Neurosciences (SITraN), and finance it for the first 5 years. It will be the first of its kind in the World, and will continue to grow and develop into a pioneering Institute attracting first class scientists and professors from around the World, such as Professor Pam Shaw.

About MND

Motor Neurone Disease is the name given to the group of diseases, which are caused by the death of motor neurones. These are the nerve cells that link our brain to our muscles, sending electrical impulses to control muscle movements. Also known in some countries as ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease, MND is a fatal condition with no cure and virtually no form of treatment. From diagnosis, sufferers live on average for only two years and only about 10% of sufferers live beyond five years.
MND attacks and destroys motor neurones, disrupting these vital links within the body; without the stimulus of electrical impulses, the muscles cease to function and waste away. Eventually this muscular atrophy leads to a complete loss of mobility, speech and the ability to swallow; death typically comes from paralysis of the breathing muscles. MND is devastating, usually leaving the sufferer with full retention of their mental faculties but trapped in a living hell. This is compounded by the speed at which the disease takes hold, giving little opportunity for clinicians to help patients and their families adjust to the condition. For these reasons many doctors regard MND as the worst disease known to medicine.
We now have a chance to play an important role in changing this future. The creation of the Sheffield Institute for Translational Neuroscience will establish the world's first stand-alone institution dedicated to fighting MND. By supporting this expedition in aid of SITraN, donors will not only be giving us much needed encouragement, but make a vital difference in helping to achieve a major leap forward in bringing an end to the devastation caused by MND.


About Diageo

Diageo is the world's leading premium drinks business with an outstanding collection of beverage alcohol brands across spirits, wines, and beer categories. These brands include Johnnie Walker, Guinness, Smirnoff, J&B, Baileys, Cuervo, Tanqueray, Captain Morgan, Crown Royal, Beaulieu Vineyard and Sterling Vineyards wines. Diageo is a global company, trading in more than 180 countries around the world. The company is listed on both the New York Stock Exchange (DEO) and the London Stock Exchange (DGE). For more information about Diageo, its people, brands, and performance, visit us at Diageo.com. Visit www.drinkaware.co.uk and our global resource www.DRINKiQ.com for information and guidance on responsible drinking. In Great Britain, Diageo is a member of The Portman Group and supports The Drinkaware Trust. 
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