Privilege fees for Myrtleville Swimming

Things have got ridiculous. There were over 100 swimmers last Saturday and much the same on Sunday.  In October.  FFS.  I can can hardly get parking  It has become much harder to gain access to the beach and people keep getting in my way in the sea  there are safety issues about so many people in the water at the same time.  There are just too many swimmers in Myrtleville at this stage.  Through #supporttheweakercounties, we’ve tried encouraging people to move to the West, where there are wide open empty, grey islands.  No takers.  Hardly suprising, but it was worth a try.

It hasn’t been an easy decision but we are left with no option.  Following a special EGM of The Committee for Appraising Stuff Holistically Concerning Open Water Swimming (The CASHCOWS),  we’re going to start charging for use of the beach.  That might cut down on the numbers, or at least give us some dosh to go off out foreign for a break from the crowds.

The Committee have created a number of packages to give choices to users queuing to pony up for the privilege (and it is a feckin’ privilege) to swim in Myrtleville.  Note that the dirty word “Membership” has not been mentioned at any stage – there’s no club here.  You’re just paying for the privilege of access to the beach, the ambience, street cred etc.  The CASHCOWS will mind the money.  Don’t worry about that. 

To ensure fair pricing, guidance was received from Mr. F. Murphy c/o Pairc Ui Chaoimh.  Mr. Murphy is a noted expert in setting pricing at levels requiring finance to afford them.  All the Credit Unions are lending, by the way.

The Privilege Packages are as follows and each comes with its own host at the beach. 

The Condon Classic Privilege Package – €5,000 PA.   Five year tickets available for €20k.

This is the ideal level for the daily dipper who wants to spend up to 18 hours a day at the beach. Condon Classic ticket holders will be guaranteed a bench seat (as long as there’s room – no guarantees, like) and can loiter at the beach all day, being fed by other swimmers.  There may be some swimming done, but mostly it’s about the social scene, cakes and chatting. Your host, Bishop Denis, will be on hand for spiritual guidance, while you’re cooking his rashers.

Bishop Denis of New York. Star of the silver screen.

Bishop Denis of New York. Star of the silver screen.

The Lobster Executive Privilege Package – €7,500 PA.  Five year tickets available for €30,000.

This is an enhanced version of the Condon Classic, involving fresh lobster meals (when available) provided by your host, Bernie Lynch (Note: no actual lobsters have been harmed in any way during the lobster hunting season so far, so don’t be too hungry when you arrive).  This is perfect if you’re into long swims exploring from Church Bay to Fountainstown and beyond.  Bernard will show you caves, rocks and shaley beaches you didn’t even know existed – even though you’re swimming past them every day.

One man and his pot. B. Lynch in action.

The Anonymous Privilege Package – €10,000PA – no cash trail.  €45k five-year option available.

This one took a lot of deliberations by the Committee, but we had to recognise and confront the issue head on.  Part of the problem with the numbers in Myrtleville is all of the “Sandycove” swimmers who just happen to spend all of their time in Myrtleville – bar the odd trip West for show, or if there’s something on down there. Very rarely, in other words. We don’t subscribe to name and shame tactics so we’ll keep your names quiet, once you pay up. Or, of course, if you prefer, there’s always de upliftingly-coloured grey island to go to. No? Thought not. Sign here.

Anonymous package purchasers will receive a bonus DVD on signing, with classic tracks like Grey Day by Madness, Fade to Grey by Visage and films like The men who stare at Goats.

Just another club chairman showing his true colours.

Hat-wearing, non-swimming Privilege Package –  €1,500 PA.  

This package is perfect for former swimmers who like to flaunt their Myrtleville hats and towels on holiday, but haven’t turned up for a swim in ages. James Slowey, Harry Casey – you know de lads. This package confers the privilege to retain their gear but have no actual swimming rights.

This is the only level without a longer term option, as it’s hoped that purchasers will cop on and get back swimming – at full package rates, bien sûr.

Open water, sea swimming in Cork, Ireland.

James Slowey – ‘Have you seen this man?

Privilege Packages are available from Lynch’s Centra Crosshaven from November 1st.  The Credit Union is just next door, handily enough.

Financial Advisors will attend this weekend’s Vampire Swim for guidance on loan options.

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Vampire Swim – Saturday 27th, 2018

The world’s largest, greatest and most superduperest (yes, it’s most bigly a word) Vampire Swim will take place next Saturday at 12.00 on the beach in Myrtleville. 

Registration is via email to vampireswimcork@gmail.com and will be also on the day from 10.30-11.30.   No registration number, no swim.

The Safety Briefing is at 11.50 and must be attended by all swimmers.

Be there…if you dare.

Swim Safety – READ THIS

For those who don’t access Facebook, this is a really important article from Ned Denison.  Please read it.

Time to tell the disturbing stories of the last two Cork swims. There are too many safety issues to summarize – so read to take them all in. The purpose of this story is to EDUCATE the openwater swimming community and IMPROVE going forward:

Sherkin Island

As with every year and every West Cork openwater swim – the last swimmers arrived late. Perhaps they failed to allow enough time; a few tractors on the road or they failed to count on 20 minutes needed to park, walk to registration, change, drop a bag and walk to the ferries.

The ferries were chartered for specific times so the first swimmers hurried on.

Safety Impact 1: No real safety briefing possible (an abbreviated version for some swimmers)

The time between the first ferry and mass start was at least 20 minutes – thankfully the early morning bitter cold had passed. Some swimmers still haven’t figured out to stay warm before getting wet.

Safety Impact 2: A swimmer cold before the start is more likely to have difficulties in the swim.

The mass start was ok. Because times were not being offered the swimmers safely shuffled forward and started with the fewest possible collisions. The slipway is pretty narrow and a record 300+ swimmers – so the mass start will always involve a difference of at least 1 minute for the first and last swimmer getting wet. There were sufficient ribs/crews and a line of kayaks to keep the swimmers all on one “path” (the best ever in the event’s history > THANKS ALL).

The water was a tiny bit rough but very swimmable. Again, at least 10 swimmers were unable to complete the course even close to the maximum time.

Safety Impact 3: Not able to finish in the maximum time has so many possible safety implications – we’ve added some since the last group message.

The swimmers get cold and tired, the spread of swimmers is too long, injuries possible in trying to pull swimmers, volunteers want to get home and IT DELAYS THE FINAL CHECK OUT PROCESS. It was at least 30 minutes after the maximum time before the last swimmer was checked out. So – more time passes before an alarm can be raised.

The overall tally matched registration – but 3 swimmers numbers were noted as “??” No numbered bags were left to be taken and the organizers relaxed considerably. Because of the late finishes the swimmers were now spread from the showers to cars to pub to 50km down the road in their cars going home. The three missing names were yelled out at the pub and two quickly identified. The last was phoned and phoned and phoned.

Eventually the emergency contact was called (his wife).

Hopefully this last line hit you like a slap across the face.

Yes – “any chance you heard from your husband who was unaccounted for after the swim? But don’t worry one person came out and we didn’t get their number – so pretty sure he is ok somewhere.”

Now is probably not the time to mention that we are always looking for swim organizers…a lot of work and some really horrible tasks.

An hour had passed since the maximum time for the swim passed. The ribs, crews and kayaker were all in (accounted for – yes you need to account for them as well), the RNLI was not called > nobody is searching the water for the missing swimmer.

Then it became known that one swimmer, running late, skipped registration, jumped on the last ferry and swam.

Turn your face for a slap to the other side.

So, the overall count might just be short by 1 – unless of course several folks were running late?

Safety Impact 4: Swimming without registering is stupid, theft, inconsiderate and puts others at risk.

Absolute best practice (as seen in Lee and Sandycove Island Challenge [and some other swims]) is that swimmers are checked thru a gate into the water and back out again. No problem – get another 6 volunteers, hire barriers and try to keep back families at the finish. Perhaps get timing chips and raise the fee by 15 Euro and of course do timed waves and lengthen the time of the entire event and keep swimmers lined up getting cold longer (aaaggghh). And we have to have the swim late in the year when harbour traffic is at a minimum. Perhaps we then fight with swimmers to force them to wear the event cap and lay on two more volunteers to deal with lost caps before the start because once on the Island we can’t imagine successfully telling a swimmer without their cap that they can’t swim.

Still not to late to volunteer to organize an event….

Thankfully the missing swimmer (the one we knew was missing) called in (and spoke to his worried wife). He chose not to finish the swim and got out into a friend’s rib. He was dropped at stairs (correctly the rib didn’t try to come to the finish slipway). He walked to finish but failed to tell the “check-out crew”. He was mortified and apologized.

The person who failed to check in had never paid/registered. They planned to pay/register on the day but were running late and knew another swimmer who had paid and wasn’t coming. Their initial reaction was that it was funny. We are hoping for a change of attitude and considering options from public outing of the name to selective to wide-scale banning. Something MUST happen – it doesn’t end as a joke.

Now – we examine the timing and negative possibilities. If the organizer had called the RNLI 90 minutes after the end of the swim to report a missing swimmer – who died of hypothermia after hanging on to the big green navigational buoy for 2 hours. Or, if a body with number 535 (made up) on their wrist washed up in the morning.

We are trying to run safe events. We need more HELP and for sure we need fewer swimmer avoidable mistakes.

Swimmer organizers Ned Denison and Bernard Lynch have had the experience of FORMALLY DECLARING a missing swimmer. The organizer can’t breathe, the world collapses and you scare EVERYONE despite trying to be matter of fact. The RNLI are called, all swimmers look, crews search the waters/shores and land-based folks look for the missing swimmers. Thankfully the swimmers were ok in these past situations.

Sandycove Island Challenge

So on to the Sandycove Island Challenge the next day. Funneled swimmers to start so best practice checking into the water. The conditions around the back of the island flared up before the swim – so an inside the island course was laid out. A problem however.

Three wetsuit swimmers ran into difficulty doing the first leg to the island. They needed to get into a rib. This took a rib out of the safety system and lowered the safety of all other swimmers. One was sea sick (it can happen – but possibly caused by too little experience in the sea?) and in the opinion of the organizers the other two swimmers would not have been able to complete the entire island swim in even flat calm conditions. Unfortunately, we didn’t record the two names. PLEASE – you will know who you are. PLEASE either get much more experienced or do not enter another similar event – you are putting yourself in danger and lower the increasing the risk for others.

Safety Impact 5: Not being able to swim the advertised conditions is worse than exceeding the maximum allowed time.

In a normal year these two swimmers would have needed a rescue from the water from the back of the island. In almost all respects wetsuits improve safety. The one negative is that the buoyancy/warmth can deceive a swimmer into thinking that a 2k swim is a dawdle.

In the last safety note I encouraged you all to keep a current swim resume. We don’t think these two swimmers ever swam a mile. Interestingly for the Myrtleville > Churchbay 2k swim the organizers “invite” swimmers who must be vouched for by one of 8 named swimmers based on recent openwater swimming appearance. It is their top safety measure and rigidly enforced. Easy to understand how they arrived at that position.

Folks – please take a minute to re-read the safety impact lines. Please try NOT to contribute to one of these safety issues in the future.

RNLI Myrtleville to Church Bay Swim 2019

The 2019 RNLI Myrtleville to Church Bay 2km open water swim will take place on Thursday, June 20th, 2019 at 7.00 pm. 

Entries will be online and will open early in 2019.

If for safety reasons June 20th has to be postponed, the back-up date is Thursday, July 4th, 2019 at 6.30 pm.  If this date can not proceed, there will be no event in 2019 and all entry fees will be donated to the RNLI.  

Sprat. Or…?

The number of sprats all around the beach and over towards Church Bay and Fountainstown was really noticeable over the weekend.  I’d never before seen them all around my feet as I walked in, just flooding in thousands around me.  They usually push out a bit when swimmers start getting in at the beach.  These ones had attitude – like they weren’t happy with their turf being invaded and might do something about it.  

I say “sprat” but some shoals of them looked a bit bigger than sprat and had a different colouring.  It started me thinking.  That’s never good.

Enjoy your swim!