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Displaying items by tag: Frances Thornton Memorial Galway Bay Swim

The Frances Thornton Memorial Galway Bay Swim in aid of Cancer Care West returns to the waters of Galway Bay this July.

Now in its 14th year, the now sold-out event on Saturday 20 July will see close to 130 swimmers taking part this year in one of Ireland's biggest and longest one-day swims.

Starting from Aughinish in Co Clare and finishing at Blackrock diving tower in Salthill, where the recent swim ban has just been lifted, the swim is a distance of roughly 13 kilometres — if you swim in a straight line.

This year there will be 69 solo swimmers as well as 65 relay swimmers taking part in teams of two, three and four.

Since the swim began 14 years ago, 740 people have swam the bay and this year again it will be a mixture of swimmers who have completed the swim every year and complete novices.

Last year’s swim raised over €100,000 for Cancer Care West and it’s hoped to beat that target this year.

The monies raised will help fund the expansion of support services for cancer patients, including a counselling service for children and a dedicated gym rehabilitation space for cancer patients.

Safety is a priority for the swim, and each year the event reaches out to the maritime community in the west to support the swim through boat support.

Ciaran Oliver of Galway Bay Boat Tours and Oranmore Maree Coastal Rescue are helping out again this year.

Each swimmer needs a boat to follow and track their swim, so organisers are again this year asking any boat owner to get in contact with the hope they can volunteer their services on the day.

The most suitable boat is a 5m RIB with a 50HP engine or equivalent.

“Ideally we are looking for motor boats, pleasure crafts between five and seven metres, however we are urging people to get in touch and we can then pull together resources from what we have and ensure that this swim is again a safety success,” Ciaran Oliver said.

The Frances Thornton Memorial Galway Bay Swim will take place on Saturday 20 July. Spectators are invited to go down to Blackrock diving tower in Salthill to welcome the swimmers home from noon.

To volunteer or for more details visit the official website and Facebook page, or contact Dave O’Donnell on 087 908 8587.

Published in Galway Harbour
The Irish Times reports that a Dubliner has become the first woman to swim across Galway Bay twice.
Sorcha Barry, who works as a physiotherapist, completed the gruelling 26km swim last weekend as part of the annual Frances Thornton Memorial Galway Bay Swim in aid of Cancer Care West.
Barry was joined in her effort by Kevin Thornton, son of the late Frances Thornton, with the duo completing the swim in 5 hours, 41 minutes.
The Dubliner is currently in training to cross the English Channel next month.
The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

The Irish Times reports that a Dubliner has become the first woman to swim across Galway Bay twice.

Sorcha Barry, who works as a physiotherapist, completed the gruelling 26km swim last weekend as part of the annual Frances Thornton Memorial Galway Bay Swim in aid of Cancer Care West.

Barry was joined in her effort by Kevin Thornton, son of the late Frances Thornton, with the duo completing the swim in 5 hours, 41 minutes.

The Dubliner is currently in training to cross the English Channel next month.

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Galway Harbour
The Westmeath Independent reports that Athlone man Jim O'Connor is preparing to swim 13km across Galway Bay for charity.
Jim will join 25 other brave swimmers on Sunday 20 August in the Frances Thornton Memorial Galway Bay Swim in aid of Cancer Care West, which is now in its sixth year.
The swim route runs from Auginish in Clare to the Blackrock Diving Tower in Salthill - and Jim is already swimming up to 30km each week at his local pool to ready himself for the challenge.
He is also halfway towards his fundraising target of €1,000 - to which readers can contribute at MyCharity.ie.
The Westmeath Independent has more on the story HERE.

The Westmeath Independent reports that Athlone man Jim O'Connor is preparing to swim 13km across Galway Bay for charity.

Jim will join 25 other brave swimmers on Sunday 20 August in the Frances Thornton Memorial Galway Bay Swim in aid of Cancer Care West, which is now in its sixth year.

The swim route runs from Auginish in Clare to the Blackrock Diving Tower in Salthill - and Jim is already swimming up to 30km each week at his local pool to ready himself for the challenge.

He is also halfway towards his fundraising target of €1,000 - to which readers can contribute at MyCharity.ie.

The Westmeath Independent has more on the story HERE.

Published in Galway Harbour

Fastnet Yacht Race 

This race is both a blue riband international yachting fixture and a biennial offshore pilgrimage that attracts crews from all walks of life:- from aspiring sailors to professional crews; all ages and all professions. Some are racing for charity, others for a personal challenge. For the world's top professional sailors, it is a 'must-do' race. For some, it will be their first-ever race, and for others, something they have competed in for over 50 years! The race attracts the most diverse fleet of yachts, from beautiful classic yachts to some of the fastest racing machines on the planet – and everything in between. The testing course passes eight famous landmarks along the route: The Needles, Portland Bill, Start Point, the Lizard, Land’s End, the Fastnet Rock, Bishop’s Rock off the Scillies and Plymouth breakwater (now Cherbourg for 2021 and 2023). After the start in Cowes, the fleet heads westward down The Solent, before exiting into the English Channel at Hurst Castle. The finish is in Plymouth, Devon via the Fastnet Rock, off the southern tip of Ireland.

  • The leg across the Celtic Sea to (and from) the Fastnet Rock is known to be unpredictable and challenging. The competitors are exposed to fast-moving Atlantic weather systems and the fleet often encounter tough conditions
  • Flawless decision-making, determination and total commitment are the essential requirements. Crews have to manage and anticipate the changing tidal and meteorological conditions imposed by the complex course
  • The symbol of the race is the Fastnet Rock, located off the southern coast of Ireland. Also known as the Teardrop of Ireland, the Rock marks an evocative turning point in the challenging race
  • Once sailors reach the Fastnet Rock, they are well over halfway to the finish in Plymouth.
  • The lighthouse first shone its light on New Year’s Day in 1854
    Fastnet Rock originally had six keepers (now unmanned), with four on the rock at a time with the other two on leave. Each man did four weeks on, two weeks off

At A Glance – Fastnet Race

  • The world's largest offshore yacht race
  • The biennial race is 605 nautical miles - Cowes, Fastnet Rock, Plymouth
  • A fleet of over 400 yachts regularly will take part
  • The international fleet is made up of over 26 countries
  • Multihull course record: 1 day, 8 hours, 48 minutes (2011, Banque Populaire V)
  • Monohull course record: 1 day, 18 hours, 39 minutes (2011, Volvo 70, Abu Dhabi)
  • Largest IRC Rated boat is the 100ft (30.48m) Scallywag 100 (HKG)
  • Some of the Smallest boats in the fleet are 30 footers
  • Rolex SA has been a longstanding sponsor of the race since 2001
  • The first race was in 1925 with 7 boats. The Royal Ocean Racing Club was set up as a result

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