Camden to Spike Island swim

From Ian Venner;

What started as a chat about swimming home from Spike Island after a 5k run saw four Myrtleville Swimmers jump on a rib at 0830 on Saturday 29th July and head for the West Camber at Fort Camden. Gary Frost (togs), Ger Venner, Ian Heffernan and Maeve O’Connor (wetsuits) were about to embark on the First Known attempt to swim from Camden to Spike and back – a measured distance of 7k.

This is a challenging route, as there are several tidal streams to contend with – the Crosshaven tide, the set across the Curlane Bank, the main channel tide, the back of Spike and the Backchannel. Planning, and sticking to the plan, was key.  Harbour traffic of all sorts was also a feature – ribs, angling boats, yachts, powerboats, ferries large and small, not to mention local wildlife!

The breeze picked up to 15-20kts under a few clouds, creating a heavy chop at the corners of Spike. First feed stop was at the NE corner, in the shelter, where Sammy the Seal’s harbour cousin popped up to inspect these strange visitors.

  Around the back of the island in very sheltered conditions, picking up some of the beginning of the ebb/wind driven current towards the pier. Ferries to and from the island were avoided, and another small stop was had west of the pier prior to the push for home.

The tide running out the back channel helped a little at this stage, but that also created wind over tide conditions which meant the swimmers were dropping off waves or going through them. The waves & falling tide also made sighting and course made good very challenging. The closer to Camden they got, however, it became more about the tide and less about the waves. The four swimmers crossed the mouth of the Owenabue in two batches between traffic, and fought the outgoing current to land on the pier at Camden, 2 hours 50 minutes and 8k covered distance after setting off.

The swim represented a new max distance for three of the swimmers (we all know Gary has been playing in that other place…). Ian Venner was pilot for the swim, and Jeannie McCarthy support crew.
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RNLI Myrtleville-Church Bay Swim 2017

With 311 entries, this was by far the largest entry we have ever had for the swim.   Thanks again to everyone involved – to all of the volunteers, the RNLI, Coast Guard, Order of Malta, Funkytown, Gardai, Centra staff, Sea Scouts, Jimmy Long and local residents in Myrtleville and Church Bay.

Conditions were excellent and every swimmer completed the course in under an hour, which was fantastic.  Antoinette Wilson and Mark Neaves battled it out for the honour of getting first mention on this report but they were so nice to each other, we’ll give them both equal billing.

At the other end of the field, Amy Wolfe was determined to show Bernard Lynch she was actually doing some training, despite what he told her during the week.  Leading the field home shut him up on that one.  Well done, Ms. Wolfe.  

Lizzie Lee was the second lady home, transitioning back from Olympic marathon running!  Jenny Smith was the first lady home on togs.

Brian Desmond from Galway in a wetsuit led the men home with Trevor Malone and Ned Denison behind him knocking lumps off each other all the way to the finish.  There was no way to separate them, so they’re going to try again in the Lee Swim next Saturday 🙂

The youngest competitor was Mae Irwin, who swam with Angela Harris.  Well done, Mae!

Not be outdone by Angela, the oldest participant was Mr. Harris.  It wouldn’t be the same without him 🙂

Full results are available at this link

Siobhan Russell once again produced a brilliant photo record of the evening.

This year was our first chip timing and a floating finish.  Anne Sheehy gave us a new perspective on the swim with lots of pictures as swimmers hit the finish.  Well worth having a look through here.

Thanks again to everyone involved.

RNLI Myrtleville-Church Bay Swim results

Thanks to all of the volunteers who helped to make this evening’s swim a success – the RNLI, Coast Guard, Order of Malta, Funkytown, Gardai, Centra staff, Sea Scouts, Jimmy Long and local residents in Myrtleville and Church Bay.

Results are online on http://www.sportstiming.ie at this link .

Lots of pictures to follow on Facebook and from our always fabulous photographer, Siobhán Russell.

Parking at the beach

Jimmy Long has very kindly offered to open up the old Coast Guard station for parking for swimmers this afternoon.  This will hold a maximum of 35 cars so come early if you want one of these, rather than the spaces available at the Rugby Club.

Drive past the beach and there will be a volunteer guiding cars into the station, if there are places left!  I’d say don’t bother if you’re not there by 5.00!  These gates are the way in and will be open.

Parking in Crosshaven Rugby Club today

Crosshaven RC have very kindly offered to allow swimmers to park at their grounds this evening.  The club is on the left at the top of the hill turning down into Myrtleville.

It’s 1km down the hill – a pleasant stroll!  Please consider leaving some cars there and car pooling to the beach and to Church Bay after registration.

It’s going to be very busy at the beach – the sunshine will bring lots of non-swimmers down there and parking will be at a premium.

Come early to register from 5pm or even a bit before.