D’Alternative view.

There’s always a different view to be taken of any event.  Davy Fitz, for instance, is a great man for always seeing things that nobody else can see – “I’m not complainin’, but dere were tings dere dat happened today dat I could say, but I won’t say, ’til anudder day….”.  Well, dis is d’udder day for d’swim.  Firstly, take note of the only guy not looking at the camera – we’ll come back to him.

Open water, sea swimming in Cork, Ireland

Liam ‘There’s always one’ Maher.

There have been reports of young fellas on the beach at all hours of the morning lately, being drawn out by the fine weather.  The Gardaí felt obliged to move on information received and cornered some of the suspects at the swim on Saturday.

Open water, sea swimming in Cork, Ireland.

The long arm of the law catches up with early morning revellers – Pat, Tom and Adrian in custody.

Safety briefings can be a bit fraught, if people don’t listen.  Some stress showed on Mr. Lynch as he tried to get the attention of certain messers looking the wrong way.

Open water, sea swimming in Cork, Ireland.

‘Maher! Maher! Liam! Maher! For Feck sake, listen up!’

Although lots of boats had been organised and arrived before the start, apparently someone saw a break of mackerel over by Bunny’s.  Sure, you couldn’t miss the first mackerel at the beach, so they all headed that way, leaving only the kayakers to shepherd the swimmers along.  Good thing there were so many paddlers.

Open water, sea swimming in Cork, Ireland.

Paddlers in charge of the swimmers as they head for the Dutchman.  Boats gone fishin’.

Fast forward to the finish and the welly-filling competition for the non-swimmers was in full swing.  Kate won it. Tom McCarthy asked if he could swap his skipping rope spot-prize for a Zimmer frame – no fear of him needing that for another 30 years on this evidence- Horse of a man!  BTW,  his neoprene cap and goggles from below are missing, if anyone saw them…. Open water, sea swimming in Cork, Ireland. Pat Lowry arrived for the swim fresh(ish) from another event, wearing fancy leg warmers.  He took them off for the swim, but kept the tattoo and his manners…

Open water, sea swimming in Cork, Ireland.

Gentleman Pat helps a lady from the water.

No jokes about this one, just two happy Myrtlevillains delighted with their first-time completion of the swim.  Certain others should take note of this and not get so upset about their swims. Open water, sea swimming in Cork, Ireland. Certain others, like this guy. With all his distractions at the start, Liam Maher was still convinced he had the beating of Mr. Finbarr.  Picture his delight when he emerged from the water to find Finbarr practically dry and hanging around for the stragglers. Now that’s what it’s all about – ire, spite, begrudgery: great to see.  None of this hugging and general happiness needed in the Maher camp.

Open water, sea swimming in Cork, Ireland.

Liam ‘It’s all about the taking part – never mind who wins – as long as it’s not him!’ Maher.

It’s fair to say Joleen has enjoyed her swimming this year and has done a lot of it, right through the Winter.  She was having so much fun in the warm water on Saturday she wanted to stay in as long as possible.  The safety crews had to gang up and herd her out, to get down to the pub for the presentations.

Open water, sea swimming in Cork, Ireland.

Nobody is going to get left behind at this swim – massed ranks of safety cover.

At the presentations, the strains between the organisers were beginning to show.

Open water, sea swimming in Cork, Ireland.

‘For feck sake, will he ever finish. He’s giving me a headache’ – Chairman Lynch at the end of his tether with The Help, as I start the fifth chorus of ‘Who wants to be a spot-prize winner…..’

Orla Houlihan was the first lady home but got a text from her sister, Andrea, to say she had been disqualified for wearing the wrong hat and not to bother turning up for the presentation.  Fortunately, Andrea just happened to be around to take the prize.

Open water, sea swimming in Cork, Ireland.

You can just tell by Andrea that there’s no way Orla’s ever going to see that prize. Tough luck, Sis!

And so to the celebrations and a great night was had, by all accounts.  International man of mystery, Denis Cregan-Condon, was resplendent in his jacket and – according to himself – a magnet for all of the women.  Best jacket rental he ever did, apparently. Good man, Denis 🙂 Once again, great pictures from Siobhan: just interpreted a bit differently.  See you all  next year.

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