Announcement: Final Race 2014 Open Sea Calendar

Saturday 20th September Corrib Prom Swim Galway 

Both men’s race and ladies’ race will start at 4.00pm.

Corrib Sea Swim Flyer







Sunday 21st Half Moon Siobhan McKenna Killiney 

 Half Moon have decided not to run the Siobhan McKenna races next Sunday as Half Moon are hosting a masters water polo tournament that weekend 

Fergal Sommerville Howth to Bray Friday 19 September

Following my successful 4 hour and 55 minute Round Inis Meáin swim on 02 August for the RNLI (  I will, this Friday (19 September), embark on the second of the 2014 RNLI Swims. At 7:00pm I will set out from Howth Lighthouse and swim to Bray. I estimate that this swim will take approximately 8 hours. I I am honoured to be able to fundraise for the RNLI; an organisation of many thousand volunteers who put their lives at risk 24/7/365 to respond to calls for help. The RNLI has been saving lives around Ireland and the UK for over a century.

The tracker link ( will update every 10 minutes after the swim starts. My Facebook page ( ) will also be available with text updates.

I have updated my blog at

I very much appreciate your support on this swim and on my previous fundraising swims which have to date raised over €40,000 for a number of charities. A special thanks to those who have contributed to the 2014 RNLI Swims. You can, if you wish, make a donation at


2014 RNLI Swims

Inis Meáin 






Swim Videos on You Tube.

Inis Meáin, 02/08/14                                          

North Channel; 16/06/2013                              

TV3 North Channel Interview                           

Inis Meáin to Inis Oirr (Two-way), 07/08/13 

International Ice Swim, Lough Dan, 23/02/13

Dublin Bay (Two-way), 13/10/2012                 

English Channel; 23/09/2011                            

Inis Meáin to Rosaveel, 11/08/2010               

Coldest North Channel 16/-06/2013               


Irish Rail & 95th Dublin City Liffey Swim

Irish Rail


To celebrate the completion of the Rosie Hackett Bridge, Irish Rail have given up a one day family return to anywhere in Ireland for the first swimmer (male and female) to swim under the Rosie Hackett and Loop Line bridges. These prizes are in addition to the normal prizes and will be awarded to the first swimmer in each race who exits from under the bridge in each case.

Due to parking restrictions on the quays we encourage all swimmers and spectators to use Dart or Rail when travelling to and from the race.

Swim Ireland Registration and Contacting the Committee


In order to compete in the Leinster Open Sea Races, Swimmers must be registered with a Swim Ireland club for insurance purposes.   If your are not registered and would like to register,  but do not know of any local clubs contacts  etc. please email and PLEASE include your phone number.  We will direct you to your nearest club contact.  Please also give an indication where you based either home or work etc. To register with Swim Ireland  from now until the end of the season (Mid October) costs Euro 13.  

As per previous posts before presenting at your first open sea race please complete novice form.  If a swimmer is under 18 years of age they must have a parental or guardian consent form signed.

Novice Form

Parent or Guardian Consent

If you wish to contact the committee or a member of the committee please email and please ALWAYS include your phone number.   It is often  quicker to call or text somebody then to email etc.  Please do not send messages to the committee via Facebook.  We will not respond to contacts via Facebook. .

Alternatively if you wish to contact the committee  just walk over and talk to a member of the committee at any of the races.  If  however if you have a dispute or a complaint  please follow the following guidance.

In the unlikely event that you dispute a decision of a race official or have a complaint to make, you may put a question or complaint in writing by email to the Open Sea Committee at .

All such questions or complaints must be received within twenty four hours of the race.  Under no circumstances are the handicappers, race referee or race team to be approached directly at the race location or at the presentation after the race.   Disputes will be adjudicated by the Open Sea Committee. Their decision will be final.

The Open Sea Committee will issue announcements and updates on the Leinster Open Sea Races via our facebook and this website . The Facebook page will always be the first to be updated.   Please check these before travelling to races for news of cancellations, postponements and general updates.

  • Facebook Page:
  • Leinster Open Sea Website:
  • Email:

The Open Sea Committee will not issue announcements and updates by way of text, phone or email and will only contact a swimmer in the case of urgent matters.

Bosphorus Cross Continental Swim Sunday 20 July


On Sunday last, 20 July, twenty-two Irish swimmers braved the currents and over enthusiastic VIP, press, and “safety boats” for the 26th Annual Cross-Continental Swim on the Bosphorus, Istanbul.    In all, 1648 swimmers competed from something like 34 nations; of these 45 Did Not Finish and 38 were Disqualified.    All of the Irish made it safely home which was an impressive achievement.    Phoenix, NAC Masters, Glenalbyn, Sandycove, Swim4Life and Eastern Bay were all represented in addition there we’re also a few swimmers not affiliated currently to any club.


The race started with all 1648 competitors being ferried to the Asian side for the start.

It was a large boat and the whole thing felt a bit like a massive away trip for the most mixed national swim team you could imagine.    There was of course the mandatory delay at the start.    Rowan Guinan from Eastern Bay had his two minutes of fame when a local TV channel singled him out for an interview.    A real Oscar moment in fact.    Eventually, we got the Go at which point the swimmers had to jump off a pontoon attached to the boat to start the race.   Timing chips were used so the Lemming-like mass start that took place was not really necessary.    Still, 1600 odd bodies entering the water in less that 5 minutes was quite a sight.  But the Bosphorus is very wide so within a further minute or two the crowd had dispersed and it was possible to swim unhindered for most of the race. And that was perhaps the high point of it all. Cruising down one of the most renowned waterways in the world in clear water watching the marker points roll by: bridges, pylons, fortresses, islands… or at least it was for me.The swim itself was amazing. The water speed made it all a bit surreal – we were current assisted at about 4 to 5kph! It was like being Michael Phelps for a day.  But it was tricky too.    All 22 Irish will have their own different stories to tell about those bridges and power lines and islands but one thing we all could agree on was that the moment of breaking out of the flow and making towards the finish is a game changer. We all either started into the finish either too early or too late! You can get a sense of this from the spread-pattern evident in the picture taken by the drone at the finish. Of course, sticking a  three deck VIP boat directly in line of sight most swimmers needed on the finish pontoon did not help either. But nevertheless, there we were in or around an hour to ninety minutes later, clambering ashore on the Europe side. Cross-Continental Swimmers all.

Luckily, the thunder and lightning storm that happened on Saturday did not reoccur. If it had, we were told with great enthusiasm by the organisers, the race would have been cancelled or abandoned. In the latter case “almost” every swimmer would have been taken from the water. Some it seems we’re expected to find their own way ashore or perhaps make land somewhere along the Sea of Marmara.

In a way this reflects the rather scary part of it all. The event was marked by lots of enthusiasm but also by organisation that appeared to be haphazard at best.  Disorderly Queues were the order of the day.  Queue for accreditation, queue for the bag drop, queue for the boat, queue to start the race, in some cases queue to finish it, queue for your cert, queue for your bag…. with “Queue”  being open to a very loose reading! The safety boats seem to cause most of the safety issues.  One of our own swimmers came very close to an encounter with a jet ski.  I myself had a boat heading straight for me and had to stop and to wave for about 90 rather anxious seconds until the pilot saw me and changed course.

That said, when well clear of the chaos, most of the Irish swimmers felt they would like another go at it now that they have had the experience! Each of us probably thinking they could make a better job of it the next time. But for the watchers and supporters it might be harder to say. It’s one thing to see a bit of the chaos taking place among the race fleet from water-level. Seeing the whole thing unfold from the shoreline was very probably fear-making of a different scale!

Notable Age-Group results

  • John Redmond, Sandycove, 14th
  • Rachel Doyle, Phoenix, 6th
  • Jenny Hickey, NAC Masters 10th
  • Sandra O’Leary, NAC Masters 3
  • Anne Marie Kendrick, Phoenix, 3
  • Dymphna Morris, Swim4Life, 1
  • Anne McAdam, Phoenix, 1

Full results can be found at ttp://

Photos of the event can be found at

Dymphna Morris

Ice Milers at Sandycove

The enchanting Sandycove Island, Kinsale, Co. Cork in Ireland calls open water swimmers from around the world to a week of swimming, training and creating lifelong friendships. On Saturday, 12 July, at the first swim of the camp organised by Ned Denison (IISA Executive Member) a number of International Ice Milers gathered to join with the camp and share their experiences. Pictured are


Back Row (L-R); Ciaran Byrne, Finbarr Hedderman and Ned Denison (all members of host club Sandycove Island Swim Club), Jeremy Irvine,

Front Row (L-R); Haydn Welch, Sabrina Wiedmer, Carmel Collins and Fergal Somerville.

st Cork) and Sabrina Wiedmer (1st Swiss) who on the previous weekend became the 20th and 21st individuals to swim the North Channel in times of 12:34 and 10:13 respectively. Amazingly, that was Sabrina’s first ever solo swim and she was guided across the channel by expert pilot Quinton Nelson, swimming from Donaghadee to Portpatrick.

Eight swimmers, ten International Ice Miles and world’s fastest woman over the distance. You can feel the warmth amongst the ice milers……

Eastern Swim Club has ran and invitational ice mile swim in Lough Dan in Co. Wicklow for the last two years and hopes to run the even again in 2015. Anyone interested can contact Fergal Somerville on  Ice swimming is an extreme sport which requires substantial training. Invitations are issued to swimmers who demonstrate consistent swimming in cold water in preparation for the event.

Fergal Somerville