September 16th 2017 Sandycove Island Challenge Swim @ 3.30pm
High Tide 02.07 (3.34m)
Low Tide 08.42 (1.18m)
High Tide 14.50 (4.33m)
Low Tide 21.25 (1.10m)
This is the 22nd annual Sandycove Island Challenge swim, organised by Cork Masters Swimming Club and Cork Lions Club. For me it is my third year swimming in this event. The distance is 1.8 k and the ” Challenge” for me is what lies behind the island, and to get some good photographs while swimming.
There is a squad of Lough Hyne Lapper’s although not all here in this photo. It was impossible to get us all together in amongst the 350 swimmers, who were gathering to get into the water. We were told when we registered at Hamlets in Kinsale, that the water temperature had dropped, and was between 11 and 12 degrees, they urged us all to wear wet suits.
We are staggered and allowed into the water in groups. This is me getting in and a good few swimmers are with no wetsuits. Mine is on and after a rush back up to the car to get my goggles, I am ready to get in.
As usual I let the other swimmers in first, so I take a few shots before swimming.
The water feels fine, I was waiting for a shock of cold, I have a rush of adrenaline and try and keep on course and avoid any contact with other swimmers, while stopping to get some shots, to my left.
Straight ahead to the first corner of the island.
Looking back to the start and the next gang of swimmers are on their way.
Over to my right. Now, swim on Paula.
All of a sudden a swarm of swimmers fly past me.
From below it is amazing to see the action, bubbles feet, hands…
It may be a grey cloudy day, but the light and colours underneath are magical.
As I get around the corner, I am half hoping for drama, waves and crashing splashes against the rocks. It is calm and there seems no change in temperature or any kind of a swell.
Over to my right, the Atlantic Ocean and a safety boat. A huge thank you to all the support team and kayakers who kept a watchful eye on us all.
Marion smiling while swimming.
Swimmers seem to be keeping very much to the edge of the island, so I follow, only at one stage do I feel too close and the kayakers are there to guide us.
The rocks slide into the water and the movement of the sea weed is mesmerising, very much like the sea weed at the rapids in Lough Hyne.
Swimmers who are skilfully on the clock, skim the edge and the rocks below , leaving a trial of bubbles as they fly past me.
While I stop to capture the wild life and them.
What seems like no time at all I am taking the last corner of the island, and there is another rush of swimmers. One hits my snorkel and it flies out of my mouth. The swimmers stops and asks if I am ok. I did get a fright, but I am fine.
I suppose that is what I should be doing rather than snorkelling. However I find I can see more with the snorkel and leave the breathing to the pool.
We are heading to the finish line now and I can feel the energy in the water and the need to push on.
A quick look back.
I am not the only snorkeler, I spot Aisling a mile off.
Great to see lots of skin swimmers, I have so much admiration for them.
Past Mike Harris’s yatch he and fellow swimmers sail to Sandycove for the swim.
Nearly there, and I am sad that it is over, I could go around again.
I met this gentleman at the start and he very kindly offered to take my photo, thank you for that, however Lough Hyne Lapper’s were flying into the finish line, so I had to keep snapping. Marion and Alice also above and medal winners too, congratulations ladies.
Aisling and Brian.
Anne-Marie with her fantastic smile and Gold medal winner for the second year running the amazing “just go and do it” Denise.
Siobhan Russell was the official photographer she took this lovely one of Aisling, myself, Marion, Alice and a swimmer I do not know her name. We are all pretty delighted with ourselves, and it is such a great feeling being in the water and coming out to be with great people. Maria with the red scarf another medal winner. Also congratulations to Alex Jeffers who won the Harris Trophy.
As I was getting changed there was cheering and clapping. I found out later the cheers were for Joe Cashman from Clonakilty who at 72 years young and two years after a stroke completed the Sandycove Island Challenge. I can only just imagine how he must have felt at the finish, what an amazing achievement, much congratulations to you Joe. Again a huge thank you to all the organisers, support teams and everyone who made it such a special swim. I cannot wait till next year.
I am finding out more info on more Lough Hyne Lapper medal winners Liam Nolan won a medal too and hope to see you swimming lots more with us Liam.
Also the Whats app was pinging all morning as Declan and James are swimming from Cape Clear into Baltimore. Best of luck lads you have the most perfect day and we are all behind you all the way, swim, swim, swim.
Declan and James getting in at Cape.
This secret mission was for Declan to swim from Cape Clear into Baltimore. With Gary, Noel and James as support. However James ended going in with Declan and the pair of them swam together. The Whats App was going mad, I was working in my studio and could not concentrate. Gary and Noel were updating us and well wishes from all the Lapper’s were pinging in at a rate of knots.
I went up to the Beacon and met Joe, Denise and Paul to cheer the lads on as they came into Baltimore Harbour.
At Coney Island, come on lads nearly there..
Into Baltimore Pier.
Congratulations to James and Declan. 8K in 4 hours, what an achievement we are so proud of you both. Noel and Garry did a great support job too.
A big gang of Lapper’s to welcome the lads in from their epic swim. Whoop whoop.