Sunday, October 24, 2010

Provisional Date for 2011 swim:

After much discussion, the provisional date for next year's swim has been set for Sunday, 17th July. Traditionally, the swim has always been held in early June. Unfortunately, this year, due to my Leaving Certificate Exams, the Irish Age Groups Division 2 Gala in U.L., the Fermoy Regatta and the Irish LC Youth/Senior Championships in the N.A.C., the only remaining date is the 17th of July. Hopefully, this will allow the water to heat up a bit more and should allow you to get a bit more training in before-hand.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Important notice regarding Entry Requirements for 2011

In order to comply with new Swim Ireland regulations, we have had to make it compulsory for all swimmers to be members of Swim Ireland before entering for the swim. If you are already a competitive member of any Swim Ireland affiliated club, in any aquatic discipline, this does not affect you.

In order to become a member of Swim Ireland, you need to join any swimming, diving, water-polo, masters, synchro or open-water club which is affiliated to Swim Ireland, for most of you, it may be easiest for you to join the new Sandycove Island Swim Club. Contact Ned Denison at if you are interested in joining.

Many of you may be members of Swim Ireland but may have non-competitive status. You can change your status to competitive so that you can take part in open-water events by contacting your club.

If you have any questions about this issue, please do not hesitate to contact me on +353 87 2278242.

Monday, July 5, 2010


Just a very quick video of the starts. First is the 6km swimmers all starting together, second is the under 16s starting the 2km and finally the remainder of the 2km swimmers... The video is a bit too big for this site so here is the YouTube URL:

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


First of all well done to everyone who took part on Sunday and thank you for your co-operation in helping the event run as smoothly as possible. I hope that everybody had an enjoyable swim despite the slightly adverse conditions. This year we were amazed by the sharp increase in demand for places. Our largest entry ever was 45, and this year, we had to cap entries at 70, just two weeks after opening. Despite the large numbers, the event still ran smoothly as almost everybody had registered well before the start of the briefings, and in a not so typical Irish fashion, we started 5mins early!

The 6km race began with a mass start at 1:55pm. There were two clear leaders from early on. They were Sarah Clifford and Colleen Mallon. They stuck together, stroke for stroke for the entire race and as they approached the finish line, it was very difficult to decide who was leading. In the end, it had to go to a photo-finish, and it was decided that the winner was Colleen Mallon from Newry, in a time of 1hr 38mins 08secs. Well done Collen! We would also like to wish Sarah the very best of luck with her 18km Strait of Gibraltar swim this July. Full results can be downloaded from this site.

The 2km race started 1hr later in a double start. First off were all the under 14s: Billy Mulcahy from Dolphin SC, Emer Herlihy, Karen Sheehan, James O'Mahony, Seán Hegarty, Paul Noonan, Ellen Brooks, Conor O'Brien and Philip O'Flynn, all from Fermoy SC. They were followed shortly by the rest of the field. All swam a great race and in the end it was Chris Mintern from Sunday's Well SC who finished first in a time of 25mins 26secs. Well done especially to all the young swimmers for whom this was their first open-water race, you all did brilliantly! Full results can be downloaded from this site.

The prize for the youngest swimmer went to Ellen Brooks from Mitchelstown who swims with Fermoy SC. Ellen was just 12yrs 26days old when she swam the 2km on Sunday in a time of 37mins 34secs. She beat the previous record for the youngest swimmer (held by her brother Stephen) by 197 days! Well done Els! In the picture attached, Ellen is presented with the Martin Duggan Memorial Shield by Bernie Duggan (mother of Martin Duggan) and Stephen Brooks, who won the shield last year. It might also be worth noting that the 12 fastest times in the 2km were all achieved by under 16s!

I would also like to thank a number of people who made this swim the success that it was. Firstly, a huge thank you to Fermoy Rowing Club, who provided us with the venue, even while it was being refurbished for the forthcoming visit of President McAleese next week, and provided us with two support boats and crew, it is greatly appreciated. A great thanks is also due to all the members of Phoenix Kayak Club, led by Dónal Clancy, we are very grateful for your continued support and thanks to Gaelscoil de hÍde who provided parking for the kayakers. Blackwater Sub-Aqua Club were also a huge help on the day with boats and a very impressive array of safety equipment! Thanks also to our referee, Jackie Power, and our timekeepers, Sinéad, Imelda, Elma, Auveen and Dierdre. Finally, I would like to thank Riordan's SuperValu for supplying us with two large trays of sandwiches, Noel McCarthy Carry Out who kindly donated all the soft drinks for the day and all of the people who made sandwiches and cakes and helped out with the teas and coffees etc. afterwards. If I have left anybody out, my apologies...

As a final note, the swim raised €250 for the Ballycotton Lifeboat. Thank you to everyone who donated to this cause on the day. If anyone has some photographs that they would like to send on, please do, and we can use them in the slideshow for next year. I hope you all had a very enjoyable day and we look forward to seeing you all again next year.


Owen O'Keefe
Event Co-Director

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Reminder on times...

Just a quick reminder that all 6km swimmers should aim to arrive at 12:30 on Sunday. You need to get there early to avoid parking difficulties and to be in time for the safety briefing... All 2km swimmers should aim to be at the Rowing Club at 13:30.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Pre-Swim Briefing

Hi Everyone,

Just one week to go now until we will be seeing you all in Fermoy for the annual Blackwater Swim. It has been a great season for swimming in the River so far, the water has been warm, there is very little flow and water quality is excellent. Fingers crossed that the weather will be good on the day!

This year we have been overwhelmed by the popularity of the event. We received 90 entries within three weeks of entries being opened. Unfortunately, we could only accept the first 70 for insurance reasons. Hopefully next year we will have more spaces available. We also boast a very impressive line-up of swimmers this year, including:

1. Two one-way English Channel Soloers and Ireland's only two-way soloer, Lisa Cummins.

2. Seven English Channel hopefuls for 2010.

3. Two 70km Round Jersey Hopefuls for 2010.

4. Two past 26.4km Lake Zurich swimmers plus three who hope to do it this year.

5. The Irish Record holder for the 18km Straits of Gibraltar (Europe to Africa) swim and two 2010 aspirants.

6. Jen Hurley who has swum Rottnest twice and is going again this year. She is also swimming the English Channel this year.

7. Colm Breathnach who is planning to swim the equivalent of the English Channel from Dungarvan to Dunmore East.

8. Rob Bohane who is the only person to have swum the 16km from Sceilg Mhichíl to Portmagee.

9. Two swimmers who are on the Irish Triathlon squad.

10. Eleven swimmers under the age of 16 and many swimmers travelling from the UK.

So now you can include yourself in that line-up!

1. Registration for the 6km swim will open at 12:30 and will remain open for 1hr. If you miss registration then you will not be able to swim. A safety briefing will be held immediately after registration closing and the swim will be in the water at 2pm sharp.

2. Registration for the 2km swimmers will open at 13:30 and will remain open for 1hr. If you miss registration then you will not be allowed to swim. A safety briefing will be held immediately after registration closing. The swim will be in the water at 3pm sharp but the under 16s will start a few minutes before the rest.

3. After your swim, showers will be provided in the Rowing Club. Then, please join us upstairs where there will be plenty of food and refreshments available, you can see pictures of the swim on the big screen and prizes will be presented to the fastest swimmers in the 2km and 6km and a special prize will be presented to the youngest swimmer.

4. You should get there early so that you will have time to register and get settled in. Registration will take place upstairs in the Rowing Club. A voluntary donation can be made to cover the cost of the swim, and the remainder will go the Ballycotton Lifeboat.

5. Directions to the swim are as follows:

From Cork:

1. Take M8 motorway for DUBLIN Baile Átha Cliath.

2. Once through the toll (€1.90 for a car), take Exit 15 (signposted R639 FERMOY Mainistir Fhear Maí).

3. At the roundabout, take the 1st exit (signposted FERMOY Mainistir Fhear Maí).

4. Once you come into the town, go straight through the crossroads at the traffic lights.

5. Take left lane onto Pearse Square (town centre) and then left again onto Ashe Quay (just before the bridge).

6. The Grand Hotel should be on your left and the Blackwater River should be on your right.

7. Take the first available parking space and walk the last 100m to the Rowing Club.

From Dublin:

1. Take M8 motorway for CORK Corcaigh.

2. Go past Exit 13 for MITCHELSTOWN Baile Mhistéala, take Exit 14 (signposted R639 FERMOY Mainistir Fhear Maí).

3. At the roundabout, take the 2nd exit (signposted FERMOY Mainistir Fhear Maí).

4. Go across the motorway and take the 1st exit off the roundabout (signposted FERMOY Mainistir Fhear Maí).

5. Halfway across the bridge in the town centre, signal right and turn onto Ashe Quay.

6. The Grand Hotel should be on your left and the Blackwater River should be on your right.

7. Take the first available parking space and walk the last 100m to the Rowing Club.

*Note: It's a Sunday so parking is free, as far as I know.

I would also strongly suggest car pooling as there will most likely be few spaces. Please see attached map of Fermoy also.

6. If you have any other questions or problems regarding the swim, please do hesitate to ask by e-mailing me at or calling me on +353 87 2278242.

We look forward to seeing you on the day,

Owen O'Keefe
Event Co-Director

Monday, April 26, 2010

Clarification on Schedule...

For the 6km swimmers, registration is open from 12:30 until 13:30, upstairs in the Rowing Club. A safety briefing will be held immediately after registration closes and the swim will start at 14:00 sharp. For safety reasons, if you miss the safety briefing, you will not be allowed to swim.

For the 2km swimmers, registration will open at 13:30 and close at 14:30. Again, a safety briefing will be held immediately after registration closes. The swim will start at 15:00 sharp so the all of the 2km swimmers will finish between the first and last 6km swimmers.

When you finish there will be showering and changing facilities available and plenty refreshments upstairs in the Rowing Club. Once all of the swimmers are dressed, there will be a short prize-giving for the first home in the 2km and 6km events and for the youngest swimmer on the day.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Entries are now OPEN...

Hello again everyone,

Entries are now open for the Martin Duggan Memorial Swim 2010 in the Blackwater River, Fermoy. Please click here to download the Entry Form. Once you have downloaded the entry form, please fill it in (accurately please) and post it to Owen O'Keefe, 3 Springfield, Fermoy, Co. Cork. Entries are limited to 70 places so get your entry form in early! Please click here to download the Parental Consent Form if you are under 16yrs old.

For your information, our Event Safety Management Plan and Under-Aged Swimmer Policy are also available for download. Please note that there is no fixed entry fee, but donations will be taken on the day.


Friday, April 2, 2010


Hi Everyone,

Welcome to our new blog, dedicated to the Martin Duggan Memorial Swim. The purpose of this blog is to keep everyone up to date on the developements in the lead up to the swim and to publish the results and photographs afterwards.

This year's swim will take place on Sunday 13th June in the usual place, Fermoy Rowing Club, Ashe Quay, Fermoy, Co. Cork. This year there will be two separate events; a 2km swim and a 6km swim. The 2km event will start exactly one hour after the 6km swim so that there will be a great social atmosphere in the Rowing Club afterwards.

Entry forms will be available soon. If you would like to receive one, please let me know by e-mailing me at as soon as possible.

More news later,
Owen O'Keefe.