General information & Waivers

Yes, the “week” actually lasts 9 days – because you never know how long your big swim will take!

CDW is a volunteer event. I pay (like you) to swim – and take no pay/expenses – and personally clean the port-a-loos. You WILL BE EXPECTED TO HELP – a few examples: taking a 3 litre container back to your lodging and returning with it full of hot water for the next session, helping to erect a canopy, carry the end of a kayak 50 meter and help move picnic materials to a van when a session is over.

You should already have had some reports from friends but here are six more:

  1. A summary of the Cork swim camp from John Tierney (2015 and 2016 swimmer – who did complete the channel):
  2. 60 Minutes Sports  
  3. 2012 report on the week:
  4. Daily News:
  5. Brendan’s Blog:
  6. Daily News with the names/details of swimmers who swam a success in the 100 days after Camp:

If you have a training partner, coach or partner wants to attend and help in a kayak, please email me directly:

7 days:  morning and evening (typically 2 hours a session) in this period – so pay for about 10 swims. Attendance to all of the swims is highly encouraged.

Friday the 7th July will be the Triple Crown Dinner (about 100 attend) – no extra fee.

One day is typically the Champion of Champions (all day): 5 miles, rest, 3 miles, rest and 1 mile

To complete the total number of swims (16 or 17) there will probably be extra swims like on the 9th day the 6 hour Qualification.  These extra swims will require additional safety measures so will be limited to the swimmers who are comfortable, confident, competent, can sight, make good swimming judgments, can stay with a swim buddy, swim faster than 2.6 km/hour AND ATTENDED MOST PREVIOUS SESSIONS/AND SWAM WELL FOR 2 HOURS.  These will be invitation only – for safety reasons.

There will maybe be up to three other OPTIONAL swims (with extra fees) during the week:  usually the Lee Swim, Champion of Champions and Church Bay.  Budget another €150 (maximum total if you want to swim these). You pay your transportation, lodging and food while in Cork.  Typically, foreign swimmers are coming together to rent 4-person cottages (€400 each – or so) with kitchens and split a car rental (these were super expensive in 2022 due to COVID related business factors).  You may need a B&B either side of the rental (depending on flights) – so a bit more cost (most will arrive 30th June and depart 10th July – so 11 nights.  Do your own TOTAL BUDGET calculations.  Landing at Cork Airport is a €10 bus trip to Kinsale – landing in Shannon or Dublin will be longer, more difficult and more expensive to get to Kinsale.

Swimmers will need to show initiative in book and seeking lodging and roommates – with some assistance from the CDW organizers. Swimmers should bring their own individual swim feed powders/gels with them for the duration of CDW.

You will need to belong to a swimming club which includes a FINA competitive membership (US Master, ASA, Swim Ireland, etc.) – for our insurance purposes.  We can arrange one locally for €55-65.

Parking is very hard near Sandycove Island, so priority given to cars with 4 swimmers.   Cars with fewer need to park 0.6 km way and swimmers walk in/out (you can store clothes in nearer cars).

The expectation is that you will have a medical check done between September 2022 and April 2023 and get your Doctor to agree this kind of event.  We will NOT be asking for copies of the check – but we do expect you to update us (in advance) if you have any new conditions which can endanger you or others.

You will be public: your name will be on a public swimmer’s list, many taking pictures/videos for posting to social media and if you earn a place on the CDW towel – we don’t ask permission to add.

This is NOT the place to come to get into physical, mental and emotional shape for your future swimming marathon.  YOU NEED TO ARRIVE READY (with the exception of a few CDW veterans who stay safe and most socialize!)

Please do a “gut check”.  Will you be in great shape physically, mentally and emotionally to complete 9 days in July 2023?

Registration is not transferable and can NOT be delayed a year of more), and no refunds are given.  If you want to save the ACTIVE (registration site) fees – ask and we’ll supply USA, Britain or Ireland bank account details.  There will be a short window (about 2 weeks) to book a place after invitation – so act quickly if you are 100% sure.

Swimmers will pay different amounts depending on many factors. As an example if a swimmer attended several times in the past and then volunteered to manage the catering one year – they will pay €100 or less. A swimmer registering late may pay more than €1,000. The ones paying more essentially pay for all the food/gear for the rest. We expect to provide a towel, cap and shirt plus hot drinks/soups and rolls after most sessions.

One final note about conditions/event cancellations.  Cork has a pretty mild climate and July is not typically a “stormy” month.  In the past 10 years we have had three cases of a couple of Portuguese Man of War spotted – all with September/October storms, one “sewer break” which caused the nearby Dock Beach to close, a few days where massive rainfall brought some agriculture run-off into the sea impacting water quality, a few foggy days and yes even a few days that I hesitated to swim around the island due to rough seas.   We only missed one CDW in 13 years (COVID in 2020).  We did move a swim about 6 times during the last years to more protected waters. In 2 years it was too warm for the 6 hour qualifier to meet the 16C English Channel requirement. In 2023 – we’ll try and negotiate an 8 hour qualifier with CSA and CS&PF if it is too warm.

Suggest you pack odd color ribbons/odd key ring for your car keys. There are usually 30 sets in a box at the end of a sessions – and if they are all black electronic fobs you can’t easily find your set.

We will hold off booking the last 5% of the places until April-June 2023 for swimmers with big goals and poor advance planning.

We have not offered the “total brain/body – torture swim” for the past few years. It just required too many boats and will other boat traffic – was too hard to police.

Directions & Maps

Directions to Sandycove Island (near P17 AY63):  From Kinsale go over the Bandon River bridge, turn right, go 0.3 miles, turn left, go 20 meters, turn right, Go down the hill about 0.2 miles (water now on your left side) to the tiny bridge, Turn left (keep water on left) …go less than 1 mile until you hopefully see parked cars – slipway is below you.

Unless you have 4 in your car – park before you reach the top of the hill (UNLESS you are bringing giant hotwater machine, lots of food, gear and Ned for check in-out dry place in case of rain.  Please do NOT park in the T-junction at the hill.  Please do not “come down to see” – as it causes a 5 minute traffic problem on the narrow road

Directions to Lough Hyne Cork (about 200 meters before P81 CK73 – across the water)(also spelled Lough Ine): Instead of going over the long bridge near Sandycove – go straight/bear right.  Pass Innishannon, Bandon, Clonakilty and Skibbereen.  Keep heading west on the N71 after Skibbereen – after about 3 miles turn left with the sign for Lough Ine (or one of the various spellings).  Just keep driving on the small roads with no names!  When you get to the Lough – there is parking on the East side (so when you are driving the water is on your right). 

If you see loads of parked cars – park immediately – do NOT “come down to see” – as it causes a 5 minute traffic problem on the narrow road

Directions to Annie Mays P81 RV07 for food: Get back to the main road – take a right R595, right before town take left at roundabout go about 500m…..and there is a MASSIVE car park on the left – pub at 11 Bridge Street (in front of the Eastern exit).

Directions back to Kinsale Co. Cork: Get back to the main road –then thru Clonakilty, Bandon and Innishannon to Kinsale.

Directions to Fountainstown (car park near near P43 A529), Co. Cork:  From Kinsale go to Belgooly (1/5th the distance to the airport and right on R611.  This take you to Carrigaline and go right towards Crosshaven (water now on your left).  There is a big turning on the right sign posted to Myrtleville – continue another 0.6 km and follow the signs to Fountainstown.

Trident Hotel P17 NT38/Kinsale….just after the marina

Hamletts P17 RT22….keep Blue Haven (middle of town) on your right – around the corner 50m

Fenit Nearest building to car park V92 NX58) directions:   drive toward Cork City past airport – west on ring road N22 to nearly Tralee (then the city by-pass), N70 Northwest, N86, R556, R551, R558, when you hit Fenit – see the map for the postal code  Leave Kinsale at 6am

6 Hour Swim

Show up at least 30 minutes early – parked and ready with your “feeds”. Bring a big bag with your name marked LARGE and BOLD. Pack your feed cup or bottles – again with your name. If we are to top up with hot or cold water – mark the cup/bottle. If you plan on having a large container of feed mark it with your name, and concentration (example 1X or 2X). See example – and have the top secure.

All will be loaded into a boat and taken to the island – where swimmers will feed. The first feed usually takes a while to fetch, understand and organize……so don’t swim in if there are 3 or more swimmers there already. Try to stay 25+ meters from the island if you are doing another lap before feeding. Finally – there are rocks near the feed point….swim PAST then come back in at 45 degree angle – see sketch


These must be agreed on the booking site – or signed and returned by email. It is not optional.