Tragic Loss in the English Channel

It is with great sadness the Channel Swimming and Piloting Federation confirms the death of an Irish swimmer whilst attempting a solo crossing of the English Channel early this morning, July 22.

Páraic Casey from Cork, Ireland began his swim at 9.13am on Saturday morning and was just 1km from the coast of France at around 1:30 this morning when he took ill. Attempts were made by crew to resuscitate him before a French rescue helicopter arrived with medics who tried further resuscitation. Mr Casey was a member of the Sandycove Swimming Club in Cork, Ireland.

He is survived by his wife Riana who has issued the following statement:
“Páraic was an amazing, healthy, tough, loving husband, friend, brother, uncle, son, nephew and cousin who’s recent passion for swimming brought him to great places. I would like to thank everyone for their love and support. We ask that our privacy is respected during this difficult time.”

CSPF Chairman
Michael Oram
All media enquiries to Frances Thornton
+44 (0) 7716505667

St Patrick’s Marymount Hospice in Cork, for whom he was fundraising, in Páraic’s words, ”is a very worthy cause and I would very much appreciate your support in helping me to raise funds for this charity”.

Here is the link to Paraic’s account if you would like to donate.

Páraic was also raising money for St Vincent de Paul. The link he created to their site seems to be down but general link is here:

Our sincere condolences to his wife, Riana, their families and friends. Páraic was a wonderful man.

Ballycotton Island 4km Swim: 31 August, 6.30pm

Ballycotton 4km Island Swim – Friday 31st Aug at 6.30pm.

* €25 entry Fee – online entries on Active:

* Finger Food afterwards with proceeds to Ballycotton RNLI.

* Must be a member of a Swim Irl club.

* Must have done a 3km swim this year.

* Must be able to complete 4km in under 1hr/30.

See link at the top of this page for more details or contact Carol Cashell:, Swim Organiser.

Night Swimming

Leaving no stone unturned in his preparations for his Channel Relay next week, Tom McCarthy was swimming at night with Bernard Lynch.  Some poor unsuspecting young couple on the beach had their plans interrupted when Tom materialised from the dark and insisted they take this picture for posterity.  I hope the two young ones are still together and the trauma didn’t break them up…

Night swimming on Myrtleville Beach

Night swimming on Myrtleville Beach

Swimming in Open Water is just like swimming in the Pool, isn’t it?

This may not be the same advice all coaches would give on rough water swimming but it’s topical in this Irish Summer so we’ll reproduce it here from an Article courtesy of Swim Smooth – Feel for the Water:

Something we often hear on internet forums is that swimming in open water is just like swimming in the pool. Unfortunately it isn’t!

What do you do when you turn up at a race and are faced with conditions like these:

Our tips:

Stay calm before the start and back yourself to cope.

– As soon as you’re swimming, make sure you exhale smoothly into the water, this will help you relax and stay aerobic.

– Use a slightly straighter arm recovery to give you a greater arm clearance over the surface of the water.

Focus on momentum in your stroke: shorten things a touch and keep a strong rhythm to help punch through waves and chop. It’s a little like using a smaller gear on the bike, you turn over quicker but each stroke is easier, keeping the effort level the same.

Avoid over-gliding in your stroke at all costs or you will be swamped by waves and chop, and could end up being swept backwards!

Enjoy the challenge and repeat to yourself a positive mantra that works for you, e.g. when the going gets tough, the tough get going. Cheesy but effective!

Remember that everyone finds swimming in rough conditions hard and swims slower than in flat conditions, even professional athletes. But cope well using the tips above and you will doing better than 90% of the field and will put a lot of time and distance into your competitors.

Whilst you may not be planning to be swimming in rough open water conditions, even a mirror flat lake will be churned into a lumpy, choppy mess by other swimmers in your race. For that reason a super-long pool stroke is rarely effective in open water.