Courtesy of Jacqueline Mcclelland, Infinity Channel Swimming and Piloting Services.

No two races in the open water swimming world are the same.

Even the same swim over the same course in the same venue is usually different year to year – especially in the notoriously fickle North Channel between Northern Ireland and Scotland.

So it makes sense that many awards given to swimmers in the open water world are creatively different and unique.

Jacqueline McClelland describes the H20PLAY swim series, an Irish series that awards a H2OPLAY crown for the series winners.

The crowns were designed by Pádraig Mallon and hand crafted by Brian Muckian of Masters Choice.

This year, the series offers 20 races in the 2018 H20PLAY Swim Series with races in all over Ireland. Who will be crowned the KING and QUEEN of the 2018 H20PLAY Swim Series?

4th Annual Schedule:
May 26th: The Battle of Carlingford Lough Swim 7.5 km Co.Louth
June 16th: Aura Boyne Swim 2.7 km Co.Louth
17th June: Rock Around the Point 1.5 km Co.Down
24th June: SWIM ULSTER Open Water Championships 1.5 km Co.Down
July 1st: Rostrevor to Warrenpoint 3.7 km Co.Down
July 1st: Slip to Shore 2 km Co.Kerry
July 7th: Sheephaven Bay Swim 3.5 km Co.Donegal
July 14th: Around the Head 2.5 km Co.Louth
July 14th: Green Buoy Swim 1 km Co.Louth
July 22nd: SWIM Belfast 1.5 km Co.Down
August 11th: Gartan Swim Challenge 3.8 km Co.Donegal
August 11th: Joe McElhaw Lord & Lady of the Lake Swim 2.7 km Co.Armagh
August 12th: Maria Murphy 5K Ulster Championships Co.Armagh
August: A GIANT of a SWIM 1.6 km Co.Down
August: Eddie Skelly Memorial Swim 1.5 km Co.Down
September 9th: Big Bay Swim 1.5 km Co.Down
TBC SWIM Groomsport 1.5 km Co.Down

The purpose of H20PLAY Swim Series, now in its fourth year, is to harness and develop open water swimming venues and attendance. Camlough Lake Water Festival manages the point system. All previous results are archived at

Wetsuit & Non-wetsuit (Skins) Series Point Allocation
1st 10 points (wetsuit) 12 points (skins)
2nd 9 points (wetsuit) 11 points (skins)
3rd 8 points (wetsuit) 10 points (skins)
4th 7 points (wetsuit) 9 points (skins)
5th 6 points (wetsuit) 8 points (skins)
6th 5 points (wetsuit) 7 points (skins)
7th 4 points (wetsuit) 6 points (skins)
8th 3 points (wetsuit) 5 points (skins)
9th 2 points (wetsuit) 4 points (skins)
10th and lower wetsuit get 1 point or 2 points for skins

Top 10 male and female juniors and seniors receive a H20PLAY swim series NI medal. The overall King and Queen junior and senior of the H20PLAY swim series are presented each with the H20PLAY swim series 2018 crown [see above].

For more information, contact

For unique awards from the SCAR Swim Challenge in Arizona (belt buckles), visit here.

For unique awards from the Race For The Conch Eco-SeaSwim in Turks & Caicos (conch trophies), visit here.

For unique awards from the Kingdom Swim in Vermont (walking sticks and woodals), visit here.

For unique awards given to Ice Kilometers swimmers at the IISA Ireland National Championships (paper crowns), visit here.

For unique awards given to Triple Crowners (English Channel + Catalina Channel + Around Manhattan Island), visit here.

For unique awards given by the Marathon Swimmers Federation (MSF Spork + MSF Navigator Award), visit here.

For unique awards given to South End Rowing Club members for North Channel crossing (cherrywood plaque), visit here.

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