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Displaying items by tag: Charity

Six sea swimmers from Ireland have succeeded in their attempt to cross the North Channel in winter — setting a new record in the process.

According to RTÉ News, the members of the Walrus Swim Team completed the 35km relay swim from Donaghadee in Northern Ireland to Portpatrick in Scotland in just under 13 hours on Friday (14 January).

And what makes their achievement even more remarkable is that the sextet — who met while swimming at the Forty Foot in Dublin — took to the chilling waters of the North Channel without the protection of wetsuits.

RTÉ News has more on the story HERE.

Published in Sea Swim

A team of six sea swimmers aim to make history later this week with the first crossing of the North Channel from Ireland to Scotland in winter.

As RTÉ News reports, the Walrus Swim Team comprises regulars at the Forty Foot in south Dublin who met during the pandemic as indoor pools were closed.

This Friday 14 January, the six — Dave Berry, Declan Bradshaw, Vincent Donegan, Ger Kennedy, Niamh McCarthy and Colm Morris — will take to the water at Donaghadee in Northern Ireland for the 35km relay swim to Portpatrick in aid of the the Gavin Glynn Foundation, which supports families fighting childhood cancer.

RTÉ News has more on the story HERE.

Published in Sea Swim
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An intrepid pair of kayakers are now five days into their 10-day adventure paddling the length of the River Shannon from source to sea.

Eoin Connolly and Ronan McDonnell skipped the usual festive fare as they set out on Christmas Eve in their two-person kayak to tackle the epic 360km route.

And it’s all for a good cause, specifically the Rafiki Network which assists young mothers in Zimbabwe by providing them with support for mental health and income generation.

Follow Eoin and Ronan’s progress on their Instagram page as they aim to complete the challenge in the coming days.

Published in Kayaking
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A Donegal octogenarian has set himself the mammoth task of going for an open water swim at as many Irish beaches and piers as possible.

As RTÉ News reports, Paddy Conaghan is living out of a van for the duration of his ‘Ducking & Driving Around Ireland’ charity challenge, which he began at the start of this month.

The 80-year-old from Arranmore is working his way anti-clockwise around the coast of Ireland and most recently has been enjoying the hospitality of Co Kerry’s coastal communities.

What’s more, he’s already raised nearly €50,000 for local counselling service Gemma's Legacy of Hope — and hopes to raise much more before the expected completion of his lap around the island in February.

Follow’s Paddy’s adventures on his Facebook page HERE.

Published in Coastal Notes
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After seven weeks and 500km of open water, ‘Marathon Man’ Alan Corcoran completed his epic swimming challenge from the Causeway Coast to Tramore on Monday morning, 22 July.

Sadly Alan wasn’t able to join supporters in the mass public swim organised to greet his arrival on Sunday, due to poor weather conditions that delated his approach along the Waterford coast.

But with some of those closet to him by his side, he wasted no time early on Monday by taking the first break in the weather at the crack of dawn to swim the final stretch from Ballymacaw to Tramore Strand.

“Four final hours of swimming and I can now proudly say, mission complete,” he wrote on his Facebook page where he’s been charing his adventure.

And Alan is still accepting donations for his chosen charities the Irish Heart Foundation and Solas Cancer Support Centre. See MarathonMan.co for more details.

Published in Sea Swim
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Close to 130 hardy souls will take to the waters of Galway Bay tomorrow (Saturday 20 July) for the 14th annual Frances Thornton Memorial Galway Bay Swim.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the early sell-out event is one of Ireland’s biggest and longest one-day swims — comprising a 13km course between Aughinish in Co Clare and the Blackrock diving tower in Salthill, just west of Galway city centre.

This year’s swimmers will be hoping to beat last year’s fundraising total of over €100,000 for Cancer Care West.

And among them is Christina Hyland, who writes for the Galway Advertiser about her preparations for the open water swim.

Elsewhere, a charity swim of a different kind is being planned for Belfast Lough next Friday (26 July).

As the Carrick Times reports, a local councillor and five fellow swimmers will take on the challenge of crossing shipping lanes between Grey Point at Helen’s Bay and Carrickfergus Castle — a distance of nearly four nautical miles, or 7km.

Published in Sea Swim
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‘Marathon Man’ Alan Corcoran has reached Howth and Dublin Bay, 36 days into his 500km open water swimming challenge from the Causeway Coast to Tramore.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, Alan took on the mammoth task after completing an already ambitious run around the island of Ireland — and becoming the first man to do so — in 2012 tribute to his father, former FAI president Milo Corcoran.

A previous attempt at the long-distance swim in 2017 after his father’s death ended prematurely when his support boat sank, which only made Alan more determined to get it done this time around.

And he surpassed his previous efforts when he crossed the North-South border at Carlingford Lough last week.

While Alan says he’s not as far along as he’d hoped by this stage — due to the typically temperamental conditions around the Irish coast — he’s reminded himself that “it’s a marathon, not a sprint”.

Alan is blogging his adventures on Facebook, charting all the highs and lows of his 80-odd hours of swimming this far — including his first jellyfish sting off the north Co Dublin coast.

And he’s also appealing for swimmers to join him in a mass sea swim event for the final stretch to Tramore later this month — and to raise finds for his chosen charities the Irish Heart Foundation and Solas Cancer Support Centre.

Published in Sea Swim
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There was some disappointment for kitesurfer Eoghan Quinn as his attempt to ride the waves from France to Ireland yesterday (Sunday 30 June) ended prematurely when the wind dropped off Cornwall, just short of the halfway point.

But the 31-year-old, who has Type 1 diabetes and was taking on the challenge to raise funds for and awareness of Diabetes Ireland, arrived in Ballycotton on his support boat yesterday evening to a hero’s welcome.

“A lot of planning went into this but mother nature is the one thing we cannot control, but we achieved what we set out to do which was to raise awareness,” he told RTÉ News.

The route from France to Ireland through the Celtic Sea — dubbed the ‘Kitesurf Road’ — has never before been completed by kite and board.

Quinn had hoped to beat the Cherbourg-Rosslare ferry by crossing in under 16 hours.

Published in Kitesurfing

A Waterford man with Type 1 diabetes is currently kitesurfing over 275 miles of open water from France to Ireland today (Sunday 30 June) in aid of a charity supporting people with the disease.

Eoghan Quinn is attempting to race the Cherbourg-Rosslare ferry and cross the waves of the Celtic Sea in under 16 hours to raise funds for of Diabetes Ireland. (See his EverydayHero fundraising page HERE.)

It’s a route that’s never before been completed by a kitesurfer — and Eoghan will have the added complication of managing his blood glucose and insulin levels along the way.

But such challenges are nothing new to the 31-year-old kitesurfing champion, who has previously completed a 6,000km cycle to Gaza and a 1,000km ride from Melbourne to Sydney.

Diabetes Ireland has more on the story, and you can track Eoghan’s progress HERE.

Published in Kitesurfing

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 Sea Swim
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