Irish Sea Swim Relay From Holyhead to Dublin
6 swimmers – Ger Kennedy, Richard Dunne, Ger Devin, Dee Newell, Anna Mc Carthy and Garreth Mc Dermot – swam 94 km in 38 hours 52 minutes between 10:26 pm on September 17th and 1:20 pm on September 19th 2019 with Pádraig Mallon and Nicky Donnelly serving as escort pilots and Milo Mc Court serving as a crew member with observer Ian Conroy.
Mallon described the relay, “Some years back, we were contacted by Ger and his team asking if Infinity was able to pilot a team of swimmers across the Irish Sea. I’m a firm believer in this saying, “If your dreams don’t scare you, you’re not dreaming big enough.” I love a good challenging adventure.
How can anyone refuse such a mammoth challenge – physically, mentally and logistically. This would be a true testament to swimmers, organizers, pilots, and navigators. This is before you bring in the tides, sea conditions and weather. All that was needed to pull it all off was a big spoonful of luck.
Ger Kennedy started The Irish Sea Relay channel swim at North Stack on the rugged coastline of Wales, where the full force of the currents could be felt. But Ger swimming at a blistering pace battled through the standing waves to leave the shore of Wales.
Richard Dunne was next up. Richard has a distinct swimming style similar to water polo players, at full attack mode – basically, someone who you do not want to bump into, even by mistake. But a pure gentleman underneath it all. Richard never dropped one beat throughout the whole swim and set a good foundation to the team.
Ger Devin took over from Richard at a similar speed, but he was working on stats. Ger was constantly being fed stroke rates, time taken, time remaining throughout his swim, and was clearly exhausted after each rotation; he left it all in the water.
Anna McCarthy dove in from the support boat with a glistening smile even in the dark. Anna has a beautiful stroke, smooth and gentle, but we were not be fooled by this. She cut through the water and is super efficient. She is full of guts and determination.
Dee Newell took over from Anna, casting her calmness over the pilot boat. You can see the joy in her eyes with every stroke. Dee swam strongly with every stroke with every kick in full control. This lady was unrelenting.
Gareth McDermott completed the rotation as he entered the water. You can clearly see the work and effort that Gareth put into the preparation of this swim. His work rate constantly increasing during his swim.
Logistics team showed that there was great organization and thought put into every aspect. The Support boat 188 and the team on the support boat – Tony McGregor, Eugene Power, and Dave Stynes – were fantastic. They were constantly calm and in control at all times. Ian Conroy, as always, is the gentleman interested in the finer details watching every moment and always got a witty reply. He was backed up by Milo McCourt whose eyes never left the swimmers or the sea.
Co-pilot Nicky Donnelly was precise in every adjustment, constantly analysing all aspects of the water. The navigators Charles Stewart and John Conlon possess the knowledge and advice for this stretch of water that was vital for success.
This is only the people on the front; there is many many more people behind the scenes that helped make this a successful achievement.
Let’s not forget what its all for, to help create awareness and fundraise for the Gavin Glynn Foundation. For more information, visit here.”
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