Festive Splash

Jan 11 2013 Posted by Office Administraton

Many clubs took to the water over the festive season, some in wetsuits or cosy dry suits but some braved the elements, here is a snap show of some with pictures below.
Hook SAC continued with their annual Christmas swim this year for the 30th year in a row. Members from the very first swim in 1982 are still taking part. (Do they ever get sense ?)

For the 30th year running, the river Blackwater would prove the ideal venue for the clubs Christmas time sponsored finswim. With steady rainfall over the preceding few days, the swim was always likely to be quite brisk and with many of the club members carrying out finswimming training in the river over the past two months; the likelihood of a very fast training swim was increased even further. The first group of finswimmers would hit the 6 degree water at ballyhooly bridge at 10 am in the morning, with the second group doing the shorter course of Castelhyde to Fermoy.Ballyhooly bridge to Fermoy is 6 miles and is quite a considerable finswim is such cold water, whereas Castlehyde is 2.5 miles to the finish point at the river quay at the bottom of Barnane walk in Fermoy. For the first part of the swim as well as the cold water everyone has to contend with four sets of rapids before Castleyde where the water greatly speeds up and gets shallow and if the swimmer dosent judge the flow correctly there is a very real risk of collission with the river bed or a piece of a tree branch and with this in mind a small group had checked the course the previous week to ensure no endemic hazards. With such shallow water above Castlehyde house, the clubs rescue launch can only get as far as Castlehyde and from there to Ballyhooly club diving officer Stephane would carry a water proofed mobile phone in case of any contingencies. As usual the swim went fine and the emergency planning did not have to be put into use (although it is nonetheless a vital component of any water based event). After 1 hour and 24 minutes of very hard swimming the first divers made the slipway in Fermoy, just 1 minute outside the fastest time ever for the swim !!!!! and everyone else finished over the next 20 minutes with the safety launch covering the rear of the field to the finishline.
Well done to David Carey who is the only club member to have partaken in all 30 christmas finswims since the clubs foundation in 1982, a considerable feat.


New Year’s Day for Sheephaven SAC is always a return to its roots with a dip at Marblehill care of the Doe Amateur Swimming Club.  A recently discovered photo from the clubs early years shows club members running as quick as they can to get back out, similarly this year it was rush to get in and just as quick a rush to get back out for a warming cup of soup or maybe something stronger to banish the cold.