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Former Irish Rugby Star is Second Irish Woman to Complete Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming

15th October 2022
Rosie Foley pictured in training
Rosie Foley pictured in training for her remarkable marathon swimming challenge Credit: Dunphy Communications

A former Irish rugby international has become only the second Irish woman to complete the Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming.

Rosie Foley recently crossed 32.3km between Catalina Island and the mainland of Southern California to match the rugby union Triple Crown achieved by her late brother Anthony Foley.

It followed her nearly 46km circumnavigation of Manhattan Island this past June as she made an effort this year to complete the trifecta begun in 2014 with her 33.5km crossing of the English Channel.

Rosie, who embarked on the challenge in aid of the Mid-Western Cancer Foundation, children’s charity CARI and CRY, now joins an elite pantheon of open sea swimmers — fewer than 280 people have achieve the Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming.

Speaking about the, Rosie’s sister fellow marathon sports fundraiser Orla said: “Childhood sibling rivalry has helped many a sportsperson summit their Everest in life and even though he is dead nearly six years Anthony is still inspiring his family and others to reach for the stars.”

She adds: “In 2014, prior to Anthony’s death, Rosie achieved her childhood dream of swimming the English Channel and swimming the Shannon to Killaloe to which her younger brother quipped, ‘Have you ever heard of using a boat Rosie?’ or ‘There are easier ways to get to France – say a plane?’”

Closer to home, a new record was set for the North Channel as a 14-year-old Indian boy became the youngest person to swim the span between Scotland and the island of Ireland.

As the Times of India reports, NA Snehan from Theni in Tamil Nadu was part of a six-member team that swam from Northern Ireland to Portpatrick in Scotland in 14 hours and 39 minutes on Tuesday 20 September.

Snehan was exposed to cold-water swimming in his homeland to adjust to the chill of the North Channel, and as his coach Vijayakumar says: “He now aspires to undertake long-distance swimming across [the] English Channel, Gibraltar Strait and international channels.”

Published in Sea Swim
MacDara Conroy

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MacDara Conroy

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MacDara Conroy is a contributor covering all things on the water, from boating and wildlife to science and business

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