Write-up by Bernard Lynch
There were a couple of changes to the second RNLI Open Water Sea Swim this year, but it didn’t distract the excitement and spectacle of the race which took place around the harbour on Sunday the 12th of June 12th, around the harbour.
Due to a strong swell and difficult conditions, the original starting point of Myrtleville strand had to be abandoned, after safety officers deemed it unsafe at noon. Perhaps a more suitable location was located shortly afterwards as the 67 swimmers started from the Fort Camden shoreline, with a quick adjustment to equate the 2 kilometre distance to the finish at the RNLI station in Crosshaven.
The alternative ‘Plan B’ location proved to be a big hit with all concerned, with swimmers and spectators situated in a dramatic location with the backdrop of Fort Camden looming behind them as they set off. As the swimmers set off on their race to the finish, numerous small craft, including members of the Funkytown Canoe Club, the Irish Coast Guard and RNLI kept a safe watch on the swimmers as they headed into open water then into Crosshaven harbour.
Bernard Lynch, who organised the event, said that he was delighted with the huge number of swimmers who took part on the day and added that upwards of 30 swimmers from as far away as Galway, Limerick and Clare had to cancel at the last minute due to adverse weather conditions.
“Many of those who took part in the event are seasoned Open Water swimmers, and taking part this year we had swimmers such as Lisa Cummins, Ned Denison, Ossi Schmidt, Finbarr Hedderman and Imelda Lynch to mention but a few”. He added that the event, despite only being in its second year, has attracted a high class field of swimmers and expects the event to become a major national and international swimming event in the not too distant future.
First home this year, in a time of 29:30, was Chris Mintern, who also won the event last year. Carol Cashell came in second place in 30:45. The winners were duly presented with their prizes by Barry Woods, Chairman RNLI at a reception held at the RNLI station afterwards.
Speaking after the race, Bernard Lynch went onto thank the co-operation and assistance given by Safety officer Jon Mathers Crosshaven RNLI , Alan Barton, Operations manager Crosshaven RNLI; Vincent Farr of the Coastguard and the Funkytown Canoe Club, with grateful thanks also being given to timekeepers Conor Middleton, Suzie Lee and Kate Heslin. A very special thanks was given to Paul Brierley of the Rescue Camden Committee who provided the Fort at a moments notice, with Bernard remarking that the organising committee ‘would look at starting the event from the Fort in the future’ such was the effect on the swimmers and organisers alike starting from Fort Camden this year.
Photos courtesy of Howard Crowdy.