Saturday, September 19, 2009

10 Days To An Amazing World Record

In picturesque Camlough in northern Ireland, a world open water swimming relay record was set by a group of 220 swimmers after 9 nights and 10 days of non-stop swimming. Officially called the Guinness World Record for Longest Continuous Open Water Relay Swim, the relay took 232 hours 52 minutes and 30 seconds to complete 685.5K (426.5 miles).

The relay easily broke the previously record of 480K.

From the first swimmer, Conor Murphy, who started swimming on September 9th, to the last swimmer, Donna Cooke, who finished on September 19th, the enthusiasm, extensive planning and logistical support was overwhelming.

The idea was the brainchild of local swimming enthusiasts Aoife McCourt-Lynch and Padraig Mallon who worked tirelessly to recruit and then provide the operational support of swimmers of all ages and abilities from across Ireland. Together with the support and involvement of the local community, the 10-day effort was a triumph shared by many.

Media coordinator Maria Murphy said, "The level of participation by everyone in Camlough and the wider South Armagh area was fantastic. This was a very serious and ultimately very successful attempt to break the world record for the longest continuous open water relay swim, but it’s fair to say that there was a really buzzing, carnival-type atmosphere at the Lake over the course of the 10-day marathon swim."

The pride in the record was shared by many locals who have since moved from the area. Paul O’Callaghan, Chairman of the London Armagh Association, said, "It’s really amazing that so many people have worked so hard to bring this great achievement to Camlough. There’s a real sense of pride amongst Armagh people here that we’ve broken the world record and that we’re up there now with the best of them." Hugh Meehan, now living in Boston, said, "It’s great to be in a city like Boston with people from every country on the planet living here, and be able to say that my part of the world, South Armagh, holds this world record. It’s a credit to everyone involved."

After the final swimmer completed his lap, a lap of honor was swam by Aoife Mc Court-Lynch, Padraig Mallon and a group of local children who had trained in the lake all summer. A fitting end to a remarkable collective marathon swimming effort.

Copyright © 2009 by World Open Water Swimming Association


Anonymous said...

To confirm, Donna Cooke was not the last swimmer!! Hugh Cumiskey was the last swimmer.

Steven Munatones said...

We apologize for that mistake. Our information came from a press release received from the organizers.

Anonymous said...

Very proud of everyone who took part in the relay and the organisation behind it. It has put Camlough back on the map.

Freda Mackin

Steven Munatones said...

You are absolutely correct. The logistics, pre-swim planning and organization of the effort were as amazing as the collective swim efforts of the individual athletes. On land and in the water, this event was remarkable. Congratulations.

Steven Munatones said...

Dear Anonymous, We clarified the name of the last swimmer so there is no difference between this blog and the official Guinness Book of World Records documentation. Donna Cooke was the last official swimmer to complete the course and set the new record at 685.5K.

Hugh Cumiskey completed a circuit of the course after the world record attempt was completed. The reason his swim was not included in the official attempt was because he failed to register on the September 9th at the start of the relay. Therefore, according to the criteria set by Guinness World Records, Hugh was not eligible to take part in the swim.

Thank you very much for your understanding that the verification process is very important to the official swimmers and support team because all the rules have to be adhered to and there is no margin for error in an event this important.

Sue said...

A MASSIVE well done to all.!!
What an achievement for our wee country.
Superb organisation and amazing craic..!!!
Priviledged to have been part of it.

Anonymous said...

I am after discovering your webpage i was a photographer that was present at the record attempt and i was not made aware that Hugh Cumiskey wasnt the last swimmer and neither was he, so i would say that if this was ingnored then the record attempt obiviously was a total farce.

Steven Munatones said...

I do not think the relay was a total farce as you allege. As a reporter, I depend on the official press release and recollections by the organizers.

Anonymous said...

I thought this swim was about community spirit in an attempt to break a world record? OBIVIOUSLY i was mistaken? Why is Hugh Cumiskey not getting any recognition ? I was a spectator present at the swim and i have video footage of Hugh Cumiskey completing a lap coupled with evidence of a speaker reading over the microphone that Hugh Cumiskey was the last swimmer!!! I suggest that you contact the organisers and ask them to adjust their press release so it does not give any misleading or unjust information to the public with regards to the world record attempt!!

Steven Munatones said...

The organizers and the Guinness Book of World Record present the official record of the relay which we report. The Daily News does not wish to change the facts as reported by the organizers and certified by the Guinness Book of World Records. Please contact the organizers directly to change as you state. If the organizers change their results as a matter of record, then the Daily News will similarly change its story.

hugh cumiskey said...

I swam the last leg of the camlough swim as any one present that day can verify.I wish to thank my one anonymous supporter.I wish to record my at hurt at the way i was ignored when my name was not recorded on the plack with all the other swimmers Hugh cumiskey.