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