Roches Point to Ballycotton

Congratulations on a great 21km swim yesterday to Carol Cashell, Eddie Irwin, Bernard Lynch and Liam Maher.  Excellent organisation and fantastic weather made it a day to remember.  Siobhan Russell, as ever, was on hand to record the day.  Here’s a few of the great pictures.

Open water, sea swimming in Cork, Ireland.

Getting ready – Bernard explains the vital feeds to the highly experienced crew of Billy Kelleher and Tom McCarthy. Every swimmer has a different preference and Billy and Tom always get it right.

Open water, sea swimming in Cork, Ireland.

Leaving Roches Point.

Open water, sea swimming in Cork, Ireland.

Flat calm for a synchronised swim.  Eddie and Liam.

Open water, sea swimming in Cork, Ireland.

Carol passing Ballycroneen – at speed!

Open water, sea swimming in Cork, Ireland.

Liam, Eddie and Bernard.

Open water, sea swimming in Cork, Ireland.

Heading for the lighthouse. Apparently it was visible to the swimmers for hours and felt like it would never be reached!

Open water, sea swimming in Cork, Ireland.

Into Ballycotton for Bernard.

Open water, sea swimming in Cork, Ireland.

Happy swimmers in the RNLI Station in Ballycotton.

Open water, sea swimming in Cork, Ireland.

The swim track.

Well done to all of the crew and swimmers.

Ballycotton to Ardmore

Carmel Collins completed the first ever swim from Ballycotton to Ardmore (Cork to Waterford) last weekend.  She plans to put a complete account of the swim on her blog, but has done a summary here of the great swim.  Very well done from everyone in Myrtleville.

From Carmel:

I had my eye on that swim for a few years now, but originally I wanted to go to Youghal.  After the Myrtleville to Monkstown swim this year, I started planning it and so I thought, “Why not make it longer?” . The distance is 25km as the crow flies but I ended up swimming 27km in 11.37.55.

When we were bringing the stuff aboard there was a funny moment when I picked up a basket which I thought was the Jacobs Cradle.  I said to Imelda, “How in the name of God will I fit in that?”  After she laughed her heart out, she then informed me it was a lobster basket – LOL!  After months of planning and the last few windows falling through, it finally came.   The start was 4 am on Sunday the 23rd at Ballycotton pier. I was very excited.  My crew members were my daughter Kayleigh Collins, Imelda Lynch, Annamaria Mullally,Tadhg Harrington,Skipper Jack Hickey, Ann O’ Connell, Noel Ruaney and Robert Scarrott with Ossi Schmidt.

I was very relaxed and happy before the swim – I was in great form. When I got onto the boat and when I was getting greased up my legs got a little shakey.  Nerves kicked in and I got a little worried for a moment . There was a slight wind there.  After getting greased I made my way off the boat and over to the start which was a ladder at the side of the pier. I got down very slowly.  Every step was nerve racking in the pitch black.  I said to myself, “This is it.  Just go for it and do your best”.  The whistle went and I was off.

The tide was with me for the first 2 hours and after 5 hours it got rough – pulling and pushing.  Every time I turned for a breath, I was lucky to get air.  A lot of the time I couldn’t get any. I got pain in my right arm at this point also, so I had a bit of a break down because I was swimming and not getting anywhere . It was very frustrating  – so my crew were saying “You are moving!” and I was saying “I’m not!!”



I wanted to land in Youghal at that stage so my first support swimmer came in for an hour, Tadhg Harrington. I managed to put my head down and with kind but firm words from my crew kept going right until the end .

I had trained for this in Myrtleville and Sandycove.  I did the Myrtleville to Monkstown swim, then trained away. Then I did the Distance camp and I completed a 6 hour at the end of it . I also did a little triathlon training – so it was a bit of cross training. Most of my swim training was done in the sea.


Irish Examiner Report on Carmel's Swim.

Irish Examiner Report on Carmel’s Swim.


It’s not a glamorous job, but nothing works in our open water swimming world without volunteers.  Whether it’s the crew for a top marathon swimmer (“There’s no such thing as a solo swim”) or the many helpers we get each year for the RNLI swim, the volunteers make it happen.

Sometimes it’s an eye-opener what has to be done behind the scenes – Gary and Peter Frost didn’t know that between the start in Myrtleville and arrival of the first swimmer in Church Bay, 101 sets of gear had to be carried down the Church Bay slope to the beach.   It’s a busy twenty minutes. Good training for them both and great help from Peter and several others as Mr. Middleton unloaded the Centra van 🙂

So, here’s some pics of the volunteers rather than the participants – thanks to you all and apologies to any I can’t include.  First up, Yvette McKeown and Kate Heslin (and some guy photobombing them).

Kate "I have everything - and I mean everything - under control" Heslin with the most experienced timekeeper, Yvette McKeown.

Yvette McKeown and Kate Heslin.

The flotilla of safety boats and kayaks is unrivalled.  We don’t have pics of them all, but thanks to every one of them.  That rubber boat looks like it might need rescuing too!

Paddy Kayak - master of Funkytown and a much appreciated supporter of the swim every year.

Paddy Kayak – master of Funkytown and a much-appreciated supporter of the swim every year with his big team of kayakers.

Mike - regular swim supporter through the year in Myrtleville. With some guy.

Mike – regular swim supporter through the year in Myrtleville. With some guy.

Antoinette: swapped timekeeping duties this year for more hands-on support.

Antoinette: swapped timekeeping duties this year for more hands-on support. Lovely picture!

We had three new timekeepers this year.   It was a baptism of fire for them.  Without chip timing, this job is tough going for the 30 minutes or so it lasts.  Great work by all, led by Yvette, whose previous experience was invaluable on Saturday.

Timekeeping team - Yvette McKeown, Claire Canning, Aisling Barry, Gary Frost & Peter Frost. It's a tough job and they did it!

Timekeeping team – Yvette McKeown, Claire Canning, Aisling Barry, Gary Frost & Peter Frost. It’s a tough job and they did it!

Thanks to Audrey Burkley for insisting on taking this last picture.  It’s not often the three of us get into one pic and never before so colour co-ordinated.  He’ll hate this, but the event wouldn’t run at all without Bernard’s organisation and management. He’s the man!


If you’re available to give some time for any swim – volunteer. Take a day out from competing yourself.  It’s worth it, it gives you a very different perspective on swimming and the organisers will be grateful!

Marathon swim sabotaged?

Marathon swimming legend, Ned Denison, finished third in our RNLI swim last Saturday.  He quietly skipped the presentations to get ready for an attempt to swim from the Fastnet to Baltimore on Sunday.

Unfortunately, things went against Ned from the outset.  Having graced the pesky Myrtlevillians with his presence, he discovered on Sunday that his prized hat and ear plugs had been stolen, swiped, lifted or otherwise robbed – by a villain, no doubt.

Suspicion centres on Myrtlevillians out to sabotage Ned’s 10,072nd Marathon swim. Accusations are flying that there are Myrtlevillains* amongst us Myrtlevillians**.  We strongly refute this allegation.  There are no villains in the Myrtlevillians.

It’s not as if there’s any proof it was one of us – although there was some phone footage of a dodgy looking character from outside Cronin’s on Saturday night.

Ned's Hat 2 Ned's hat 3 Ned's hatYou’re still a legend, Ned.  Welcome in Myrtleville any time.  We’re short dry-robes and towels, if you wanted to bring a few spare with you the next day.  We’re grand for hats – if you want a loan of one.

*Villain:  A bad guy – or gal.

**Villian: Denizen of the ‘Ville.

***Ned: Denison, not a Denizen of the ‘Ville.  Always welcome, though.

RNLI Myrtleville-Church Bay Swim 2015 – Report & Photos

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The event went off very successfully, with 101 swimmers who all completed the course. Our thanks again to all of the volunteers, the RNLI, Coast Guard, Gardaí, Funkytown and many individuals who helped with boats, kayaking, course marking, registration, van loading and – the hard bit – unloading, timekeeping, results preparation etc.  It’s easy to run an event when there are so many willing helpers.


Trevor Woods took first place in a new course record of 24:24.  Fantastic swimming.  He was ahead of Trevor Malone and Ned Denison in second and third places.


Charley Breen produced a great swim to win the ladies race, ahead of Carol Cashell and Orla Houlihan.

11870876_1197825993576619_1141109243915820825_nAs well as these top swims at the head of the field, there were excellent performances right through the 101 swimmers in challenging conditions.  With wind and waves to deal with, it wasn’t an easy swim.  To see everyone home safely in 53 minutes was fantastic.

Special mention to two performances on the day.  Abby and Drew Lynch – daughters of Bernard and Frank – swam together and finished in the top thirty swimmers.  It’s a joy to see this kind of courage and ability in two young girls.  Very well done to both of them. Lots more to come from them in the future.


The other performance to mention was at the back of the field.  Dan Murphy only learned to swim less than a  year ago and has been in Myrtleville continuously all Summer.  On Saturday – with support all the way from Carlos Amaja – he completed the course in 53 minutes.  It’s a fantastic achievement and should be an encouragement to anyone to take up the sport.  Very well done, Dan.


Thanks to Siobhan Russell for capturing the day and for all her hard work.  All of the photos are online here.

Trevor Malone - 2nd.

Trevor Malone – 2nd.

Open water, sea swimming in Cork, Ireland.

Carol Cashell and Orla Houlihan – 2nd & 3rd Ladies – just as they were at the National Championships last weekend!

RNLI Myrtleville-Church Bay Swim 2015 – Results

Thanks to the RNLI, Coast Guard, Kate in Centra, timekeepers, Funkytown and all the other volunteers who assisted today.  Well done to everyone who took part.  101 swimmers and everyone completed in a great time.

RNLI Myrtleville-Church Bay Swim 2015 – Results – August 15 2015


RNLI Myrtleville-Church Bay Swim 2015: Entrant information

For participants, please read the PDF below.  Important information is included on the first page.  Directions to Myrtleville and to Church Bay are also provided.  This PDF was emailed to all participants who were registered at 12.00 today, Friday, August 14.  Later entrants will not receive an email and must download it from the link below:

RNLI Myrtleville to Church Bay Swim 2015 – Participant Information

Registration from 14.45-16.15.  Safety briefing at 16.30.  Race start at 17.00.

The forecast looks reasonable.  The downside of this is that the beach and Church Bay may be busy, so park carefully.  Do not under any circumstances block residents from entering or leaving their homes or any access to roadways.  Park further away if necessary – consider the walk as a warm up for the swim.

Open water, sea swimming in Cork, Ireland.

Participants for RNLI Myrtleville-Church Bay 2014

The Norseman cometh

Or was it The Iceman cometh?  Either way, James Slowey cometh back from the Norseman xTreme Triathlon and was down for his first swim this morning.

Norseman xtreme triathlon

Return of the Norseman, complete with two important Hats.

He not only had his race hat, no. 188, he had the all-important black t-shirt for those who finished at the top of the mountain.  Suits him!

Black T front

He’ll be signing autographs at the RNLI Myrtleville-Church Bay swim on Saturday – even better reason to get entered:  RNLI Myrtleville-Church Bay swim 2015 entry form .

RNLI Myrtleville-Church Bay Swim 2015

All entrants to date will receive an email today, Monday, to confirm they are entered.  We would ask anyone who has entered but can’t make it, to let us know.

If you haven’t entered and want to do so, do it here: RNLI Myrtleville-Church Bay Swim 2015.

Domestic Science

With so many domestic goddesses in Myrtleville vying to outdo each other with their confections, I feel sure some must have had the pleasure of studying Domestic Science in their school days.  If so, they would possibly have used this excellent book.


I never got the chance to do Domestic Science in school myself.  If I had, I feel certain I would have remember the fantastic advice contained therein concerning sea or open-air bathing….

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LoneSwimmer has been writing about this stuff for years, but there it all is in a nutshell from a 1976 book.

So, all future swims in Myrtleville will be at 11am each day when the vitality is up.  I think Denis already sticks to that.  They will be of about ten minutes duration (suits me fine) – but certainly ending when one feels chilled.

On exiting the water, one will expect the high standards of cookery already evident at the beach to be maintained.  Any questions – just look up the book.