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Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

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Five brave celebrities have completed a once in a lifetime challenge, arriving at the north pier at Wicklow Bay, Ireland yesterday morning at 08:18am, after a 35 hours and 18 minutes, 56 mile swimming relay across the Irish Sea to raise £1 million for Cancer Research UK.

Afloat's photo though is taken off Sandycove for a 'final' swim ashore at The Forty Foot (for media/PR purposes) though he swim team actually completed the swim beforehead in Wicklow Harbour. Taxis awaited the celebrities at Sandycove and subsequently the support vessels berthed at the East Pier in Dun Laoghaire.

Boy-band legend, Ronan Keating, gadget guru Jason Bradbury, 'fearless' TV presenter Jenny Frost, former British butterfly swimmer and Olympic medallist Steve Parry, and plucky Pamela Stephenson, made up the team of ten, including two members of the public, who swam across the Irish Sea in Cancer Research UK's first celebrity led challenge The Samsung Galaxy S II Swim.

Ronan_Keating_celebrates

Ronan Keating Celebrates in Sandycove yesterday. Photo: Jehan Ashmore

Captain of The Samsung Galaxy S II Swim, Ronan Keating, said: "I can't believe we finally made it to Ireland. Fifty six miles later it's an incredible achievement and I'm so proud of the team. You can still sponsor the team at www.virginmoneygiving.com/team/theswim."

Steve Parry, first to touch land this morning, said: "I've been swimming for the majority of my life and The Swim has been the biggest challenge of my life. It's been a fantastic team of open water swimmers and adventurous celebrities who have come together for an amazing challenge to raise £1million for Cancer Research UK's life-saving work."

Two members of the public swam with the celebrity team across the Irish Sea. The two lucky swimmers were picked from a host of people who signed themselves up for swimming trials in Brighton in August. Olly White (33 year old teacher from Devon) and Nikki Fraser (18 year old student from Yorkshire), are both keen open water swimmers and were invaluable members of The Swim team.

After touching down at the north pier in Wicklow Bay the team are now back on the boat and making their way to the Forty Foot in Dunleary where they will get back in the water and swim to land for a second time this morning to greet their friends and family who are waiting anxiously for them on the shore.

For more information on The Swim or to sponsor the team, please visit www.the-swim.co.uk

Published in Sea Swim
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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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