Great Blackwater Swim

By | July 16, 2018

The assembled swimmers at Castlehyde prior to the swim. (Photo courtesy of Ber Hunter)

The Blackwater Triathlon Club has always endeavoured to be part of the local community in Fermoy. When plans were announced last year for the Fermoy Festival the club decided that this would be something that we would like to be involved with.
In short order a suggestion was made that maybe we should organise a swim in the Blackwater. Shane Collins and our resident open water swimming experts, Declan O’Keeffe and Dave Mulcahy, immediately sprang into action and despite the short time available to them managed to organise the inaugural Great Blackwater Swim. Following the success of that event we decided to give it another go this year and it seems that the swim has now become a popular event on the open water swimming calendar. Once again the swim began at Michael Flatley’s Castlehyde Estate and ended on Ashe quay in Fermoy. This year we had nearly 200 swimmers taking part, an increase of nearly 100% from last August. The day of the swim was warm and sunny as registration opened and swimmers began to arrive, and soon after the first bus load of swimmers and marshals was en route to Castle Hyde. At 11am all competitors entered the river for a mass start which worked very well. It was a fantastic swim and most people commented that it didn’t really feel like a 3.5k swim. The water level was a lot lower this year and we had some very shallow patches to contend with. Hopefully the Council will repair the weir so we can continue running the event. The swim itself was a fiercely fought contest with last year’s winner Maeve Ryan taking the honours once again. Not only was she the first swimmer home, she was the first female home and the first swimmer in skins! Maeve completed the swim in a time of 41:31, just 6 seconds ahead of the second place swimmer, John O’Connell. John was the first male home and first wetsuit swimmer home. The atmosphere at the finish was great and everyone was buzzing after such a great race and devoured a mountain of sandwiches prepared earlier by the BTC family. Thanks to everyone who took part on the day. We couldn’t have had the event without the partnership of Fermoy Lion’s Club. Thanks to Supervalu Fermoy for their sponsorship, Silver Pail Daries, Blackwater Sub Aqua, Killavullen Search and Rescue and all of our club and race series sponsors. We are extremely grateful to Michael Flatley and the team at Castlehyde for once again allowing us the access to their beautiful estate. Tom Cavanagh of Cavanagh’s Coaches very generously provided a coach and driver free of charge to transport the swimmers from Fermoy to Castlehyde on the morning of the swim. Club members and their families were enlisted to act as marshals, to do registrations, to bake cakes and provide refreshments for the hungry swimmers and to paddle the canoes as they shepherded the swimmers down the river. Thanks to Ber Hunter who took photographs on the day, Donal O’Loughlin who took some amazing drone footage which is available to view on the club website and Willaim O’Brien for volunteering to be the bag minder. .
Hopefully we’ll see you all again next year.