October Swim times

Planned swim times for Myrtleville Beach. NOTE: IF THE FORECAST IS BAD, WE MAY SWIM CROSSHAVEN-CAMDEN AND NOT AT MYRTLEVILLE (OTHER THAN MONDAY) SO PLEASE CHECK IN ADVANCE THROUGH THE GOOGLE GROUP. Although a group usually assembles at the listed times, this is not guaranteed.  Swim at your own risk. Don’t swim alone. Always swim in groups.

  • Saturday, September 29: 07:30
  • Monday, October 1: 18:00
  • Monday, October 8: 18:00
  • Saturday, October 13: 07:30
  • Monday, October 15: 18:00
  • Saturday, October 20: 07:30
  • Monday, October 22: 18:00
  • Saturday, October 27: 07:30

The Myrtleville Challenge: 24km

My first time swimming in Myrtleville was last April.  Bernard Lynch swam very slowly with me as I struggled out to the rock (nearly) and back.  Getting out, I fell gracefully in the hole made by the spring on the beach.  I now warn every new swimmer to watch the spring hole.  I’ll come back to that.

Shortly after I started swimming with him, Bernard said he had an idea that it should be possible to swim from Sandycove to Myrtleville or the reverse.  About 24k (maybe 23.5 in a very straight line!) around lots of headlands in real open water.  It would be a real challenge.  Over the Summer  I was improving, so I reckoned I’d give it a shot and go with Bernard.  In my wetsuit.  Not in togs  – my swimming hasn’t come on that much.

Bernard did all of the organising and I just tagged along.  Two RIBs, five fantastic crew (Tom McCarthy, Frank Lynch, Billy Kelleher, Aidan Foley and Dominic Baxter) and a planned Sept. 15 start.  This then moved to Sept. 19 as the weather wasn’t right.  August would be the plan for next time – the water was getting colder for the last few weeks.  Under the master guidance of Tom McCarthy, the route was chosen as Sandycove to Myrtleville rather than the other way, with Westerly winds forecast.  Tom not only viewed the route by water, he walked it to try to judge tides.  Fantastic support.

We started at 1.15, with one hour to low tide in Sandycove.  It’s the first time I was ever in Sandycove. I’ve never done one of the famous laps!

The water was flat calm for a few minutes behind the island, then into the chop of wind against tide as we began to cross the mouth of Kinsale harbour.

First feed was after an hour and Tom said we had 3.5km done, which was good, as we expected to get some benefit from the tide after another couple of hours.  It was rougher than I expected.  The wind was on our toes and the swell made it hard to stay on line.  If I’d known that was one of the easier parts of the swim, I’d have been considering my options!  I had 30 minutes of cramping in my knees and calves but this didn’t go full blown and went away from then for the rest of the swim.

Bernard Lynch crossing Kinsale Harbour

Bernard Lynch crossing Kinsale Harbour

We went inside the Sovereigns towards Blinknure point, just past Oysterhaven, then across Newfoundland Bay towards Barry’s Head and on to Nohaval Cove at around three hours.  We got separated for a bit, but then swam side by side for an hour or more.  Feeding every 30 minutes, Bernard was feeling the cold after three hours and wisely went for Nohaval to finish in 3 hours 30 minutes.  Frank, Dominic and Aidan took the RIB in with Bernard and I continued with Tom and Billy, towards Reanies Point next.

The next hour was with full tide but the swell had come up and there were lots of waves going from my toes over my head.  This meant I didn’t get as much of a benefit as I had hoped, but still covered 4km.  At feed eight, four hours and thirty minutes in, Tom told me if I kept going I’d finish in another two hours and twenty minutes.  I spent the next thirty minutes trying to figure out how he could be so precise.  Then I gave up and just kept swimming.   I had a couple of Gu gels with the feeds (thanks, Carol Cashell) and also tried a choc roll.  That was a mistake.  Hard to open, bitty in my mouth and stayed stuck on my teeth.  Didn’t happen on dry land!  Still, the feeds worked well.



I was going from headland to headland, across the bays, Newfoundland, Reanies / Nohoval, Man of War, Rocky Bay, Roberts Cove.  Each time I got close to a headland I was reminded of Ned Denison’s advice to Bernard that you couldn’t be sure what you’d come up against at each one, with unpredictable currents, swirls and eddies.  Not surprisingly, Ned was right.  I spent my time pushing to reach each headland then dreading it as I did.  The worst was Rocky Bay.  I seemed to spend a long time admiring the stones at the end of the point and feeling like I was going nowhere as the waves rolled up my body and over my head.  Fortunately, I could regularly see Tom doing his crossword so I knew things couldn’t be that bad.  If he wasn’t worried, I wouldn’t be.  Billy’s hand signals to move out or in were a great contact to have also.

Nautical Chart - Old Head of Kinsale to Power Head

Nautical Chart – Old Head of Kinsale to Power Head

Around Roberts Cove and Cork Head, I could see Roches Point and the houses at Myrtleville. This sounds great, but the bloody things didn’t seem to get any closer for a long time.  However, as Billy said, the sun came out to brighten things up (as it began to set!)  and it was definitely calmer for the last hour.  My last line was on the water tower over Fennell’s Bay, but it started to get dark and was grey on the skyline so I watched the RIB lights and finally could see Bunnys’ lights go on.  I stopped for a last feed then headed for the beach.  Each feed from five hours on, my shoulders hurt a lot getting going again.  Four hours was my longest swim before this one, so not a surprise.

I reached the beach in 6:55, two hours and twenty five minutes after Tom told me two twenty was left.  His knowledge of the sea is incredible.  To my surprise there was a small group waiting so I got a round of applause and promptly fell over in the spring hole.  Very gracefully, of course.  Brought me right back to April and Day One.

So that’s it:  the Myrtleville Challenge.  24k, open water.  Bernard is going next August.  If you can supply a RIB and crew, take the Challenge with him.  I don’t know if I’ll have improved enough to try it in togs, but it’s something to work for.

Damian O’Neill

Myrtleville Challenge route: 24km

Results from RNLI Courtmacsherry Open Water Swim 2012

Pictures courtesy of Derek Van Der Byl.

Report from Ray McArdle:

RNLI Courtmacsherry Swim 2012

RNLI Courtmacsherry Swim 2012

The second annual Courtmacsherry swim took place on September 8th on Blind Strand just outside Courtmacsherry.   The swim grew to 77 swimmers this year.
The swim had a 1.5K option (1 lap) or a 3K option (2 laps), with 39 of the 77 swimmers taking the longer option.  The swimmers had to exit the water at the end of lap 1 and run a short distance on the beach prior to starting lap 2.
The swim was supported by 8 kayakers and I’d like to thank each of them.  John Crotty, Annalise Dressel, Ria Meulmeester, David O’Donovan, Richard Murphy, Dave Fleming, Kieran Griffin, Billy O’Donovan.
Additionally, we were provided boat support by some of the local boating enthusiasts and the lifeboat was also there to lend a hand (which wasn’t required, thankfully).
After the swim the RNLI volunteers had prepared warm welcoming soup and sandwiches for the swimmers (which they devoured). All the swimmers were provided with water and Lucozade after the swim, which was donated by friends of the Courtmacsherry lifeboat.
The swim was won by a female for the second year in a row.  Big congratulations to Caitlin Desmond who had a very strong finish to narrowly defeat Ned Denison.
For the majority of swimmers it was a fun day out and an opportunity to test themselves in a 1.5K or 3K distance swim.
Well done to all participants and thanks to everyone who assisted in making this happen:  Carol Cashell, Frances Lucey at registration.  Dave Maxwell with parking.  David Lucey with the signs.  Ken Cashman for all the assistance, including the markers and rounding up boat support.  Liz Murphy for assisting with boat support and the lifeboat volunteers for the food.  Finally thanks to Derek van der Byl for the excellent photos.

301 CAITLIN   DESMOND F No 39.11
302 NED   DENISON M No 39.19
326 GABOR   MOLNAR M No 43.01
338 EDDIE   IRWIN M No 43.04
339 ANDY   LAUGHTON M Yes 43.24
325 LIZ   BUCKLEY F Yes 46.43
305 MARTIN   SAUNDERS M No 46.50
314 CRAIG   MORRISON M No 46.51
304 JOHN   F WALSH M No 47.03
308 BRIAN   O’SHEA M No 47.13
334 PADRAIG   SHEEHAN M Yes 48.07
329 DANNY   COHLAN M No 49.29
309 DECLAN   O’KEEFFE M No 50.16
316 STEVE   BLACK M No 51.22
311 DAVID   GILLESPIE M Yes 51.57
328 PAUL   WALSH M Yes 52.29
306 MICHAEL   FOLEY M No 52.53
313 DAVE   MULCAHY M No 53.41
319 DONAL   COURTNEY M Yes 54.14
336 ROY   MCKNIGHT M Yes 54.22
310 ROBERT   MERRICK M Yes 54.34
333 JIM   BRENNAN M No 55.44
324 PADRAIG   LEAHY M No 58.07
323 SEVY   MCCULLAGH M No 58.40
317 ANGELA   HARRIS F No 59.45
315 JEANNE   DENNEHY F No 1.00.00
312 TERRY   FLEMING M Yes 1.00.31
335 PADRAIG   COURTNEY M Yes 1.00.47
331 MARIE   MARSHALL F Yes 1.02.13
303 MARK   MCGARRY M Yes 1.02.20
327 MAEVE   MULCAHY F No 1.02.29
322 KEVIN   POWER M No 1.02.41
321 ANNMARIE   MULLALLY F No 1.04.29
330 MARIE   KIELY F Yes 1.05.48

1 Lap results

133 MICHAEL   MCKEOWN M Yes 21.30
116 LULU   KEANE F Yes 21.36
318* AIDEEN   CAULFIELD F Yes 21.41
128 BILLY   MULCAHY M No 21.53
112 FRANCES   JUDGE F Yes 23.41
119 BRIDGET   LEHANE F Yes 24.35
113 SINEAD   CAULFIELD F Yes 25.09
105 LIADH   HOURIHAN F Yes 25.15
115 VANESSA   KEANE F Yes 25.23
132 DONAL   O’CAOIMH M Yes 25.46
134 NEDDIE   IRWIN M Yes 26.26
111 EAMONN   JOYCE M Yes 26.28
101 MICHAEL   FOGARTY M Yes 26.34
127 KEVIN   SHEEHAN M Yes 27.03
131 SEAMUS   LANGFORD M Yes 27.18
130 BARRY   LAWTON M Yes 27.32
125 MOLLY   HENCHION F Yes 28.59
117 ELEANOR   MOORE F No 29.06
320* ROB   WRIXON M No 29.26
126 EDWARD   AHERN M Yes 30.26
120 GERARD   SEXTON M Yes 30.29
129 KEN   CASHMAN M No 30.35
102 CAITRIONA   KEHILY F Yes 30.38
106 ADAM   BLAIKLOCK M Yes 30.44
110 MIKE   HARRIS M No 31.05
108 JAMES   NAUGHTON M Yes 31.20
121 SHEILA   HOARE F Yes 31.41
122 KEVIN   MCCAUGHEY M Yes 31.53
136 JACKI   BUSTON M Yes 32.41
107 SALLY   KELLY F No 33.11
135 NORA   IRWIN F No 33.15
103 ANN   SHEEHY F Yes 33.29
104 DENIS   CONDON M Yes 33.31
124 GEORGE   HENCHION M Yes 37.19
118 AINE   FOLEY F Yes 40.30
109 AISLING   BARRY F No 43.10
123 JALAL   NALI M Yes 46.12
137 CAROLYN   O’KEEFFE F Yes 46.25
138 MORGAN   SHEEHY M Yes 46.30

Good luck to Carmel Collins

After lots of swims in Myrtleville (with and without her dolphin, Myrte) and Crosshaven to Camden (not to mention Sandycove, Garryvoe, Inniscarra etc.), Carmel is gone to Dover and waiting for her window to swim the English Channel.  Best of luck from everyone.  Nobody could have worked harder to get ready for this. Here’s a pic with the oldest year-round Myrtleville swimmer, Tom Bermingham:

Tom Bermingham & Carmel Collins 18 July, 2012

Tom Bermingham & Carmel Collins 18 July, 2012

Ballycotton Swim

Carol Cashell and volunteer helpers did a fantastic job by all accounts last Friday night in Ballycotton.  Her note:

Well Done to all 40 swimmers on completing the Ballycotton Swim on Friday. I’ll be calling it Ballycotton Lighthouse swim from now on instead of ‘Around’ Island swim!.

The importance of handicapping proved worthwhile  – all swimmers were home within 18mins of each other from 1st to 40th – which meant the safety cover was not stretched out on the course.

I have heard all good words from the swimmers about the Boat Crew and Kayakers – a HUGE thanks to them all for taking the time to volunteer on Friday night, without them events don’t run so well.  (Liam, Frank, Ray, Owen, Alan, Barry, Lena, Emily, Rob, Sean, Joan, Eddie)

I have attached the results on a spreadsheet – there are 3 versions of the results *by group *by time *by category — check the tabs at the bottom of the sheet.


Thanks to everyone involved – on the water and on land, I had MANY Volunteers helping the make the event run so well. (Liam, Ray, Maeve, Helen, Mike and RNLI to name a few.)

Finally – The Ballycotton RNLI received €750 from the swim which is brilliant.   Well done again and I hope to see you next year.