Swim Ireland had more open water races and more swimmers in 2009 involved than ever before. Additionally, there are many local 'pods' growing towards club status and Irish swimmers participated FINA open water international events with the ultimate goal of participating in the 2012 Olympic 10K Marathon Swim.
Irish swimmers also set a Guinness Book of World Record by swimming 685.5K over a period of 232 hours and 52 minutes in Camlough, one of the world's greatest open water swims of 2009.
Winners of the major open water swimming events are posted here with additional open water swims from Ireland’s largest open water league posted here.
Irish swimmers also went overseas to show their talents: Jennifer Hurley and John Conroy completed the Rottnest Channel Swim in Perth Australia, 21 swimmers competed at the European Master Open Water Swimming Championships, Liz Buckley, Sylvain Estadieu, Eddie Irwin, Liam Maher and George Meehan and two relays completed the 26.4K Self-Transcendence Marathon Swim in Lake Zurich. Ten Irish swimmers and five relays also successfully crossed the English Channel in 2009: Diarmuid Boyle, Sylvain Estadieu, Julieann Galloway ( hours and 51 minutes), Charles Harper, Conor Hartnett, Maureen McCoy, Owen O'Keefe, Chris O'Sullivan, Stephen Redmond and a special mention to two-way swimmer Lisa Cummins and 16-year-old record-breaker Owen O’Keefe. Additionally, the Smugairle Róin relay won two awards at the Channel Swimming Association awards ceremony for the youngest and the fastest six-person relay team of 2009. All solo and relays listings are posted here.
On the domestic front, Owen O’Keefe swam an unprecedented 25K from Cork to Myrtleville and Stephen Redmond swam an unprecedented 20K swim from Fastnet to Schull.
Swim Ireland also established a new National Open Water Committee with eight members working under the leadership of Ned Denison (Chairperson), Martin Cullen (Secretary/Communications), Trevor Wood (Safety Officer, Chantal Gibney (Swim Ireland), Ronan Colljns (Connaught), Paul Wynne (Leinster Open Sea Committee), Eoin Gaffney, Anne McAdam and Joe Donnelly (Cork Master Swim Club).
Only a precursor of more good things to come.
Photo by Tony Bagnall.
Copyright © 2009 by Steven Munatones