Ice Swimming Association Challenge: Eastern Bay Swim Team Invitation International

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Updated: January 24, 2013
ice swimming

Eastern Bay’s resident Channel Swimmers John Daly (2010) and Fergal Somerville (2011) are hoping for cold, cold, very cold weather in Dublin for the next few days  (and a scorching summer !). 

On Saturday morning, 26 January, they will lead the Eastern Bay Swim Team Invitation International Ice Swimming Association Challenge; swimming from the shelter of the Bull Wall Statue of Our Lady to the Wooden Bridge at Dollymount and back to the shelter.

The International Ice Swimming Association (IISA) is an organization officiating Ice Swims around the world. IISA aims to establish Ice Swimming as a recognised sport.

The Association was founded in 2009 by Ram Barkai. Its vision is to include an Ice Swim race in the winter olympics….one day!. Well
these two hardy Dubs might not make the Olympics…… but they have trained diligently, spending, on average, 30-45 minutes in the very cold waters of Dublin Bay.

So far, only 40 people in the world are registered as International Ice Swim record holders.
The list includes  three of Ireland best known open water swimmers including Anne-Marie Ward, from Donegal who was International World Open Water Swimmer of the Year in 2010.  Only this month .Nuala Moore (Kerry) and Padraig Mallon (Armagh) joined the illustrious ranks.

Given the conditions set out by the IISA the swim will take place on Saturday, starting at precisely 10:00am. Both swimmers are
measuring the water temperature on regular training visits. On Saturday, 19 January the sea was a cool, very cool, 4 degrees at Bull
Wall. The lads were there training and swam a distance of 1,700m in a time of 42 minutes.

As you might imagine there is a huge amount of preparation involved. The swim is invitational and only accomplished winter sea swimmers have been invited to participate. Before taking to the water each swimmer must have a recent medical examination (ECG) and a track record of swimming times and distances.

On hand will be two doctors (Nicola Gilliland and Brian Marsh). Nicola is one of Eastern Bay’s star swimmers and is a hugely popular doctor, based in Sutton Cross. Ger Kennedy of the Irish Long Distance Swimming Association and Wicklow Swim Club is a confirmed invitee.

All of the planning would come to nought if it was not for the assistance of the 5th Port Dollymount Sea Scouts and their Skipper,
Daniel Kennedy. Thanks to Daniel and his team, each swimmer will be accompanied by a kayaker at all times. Skipper Daniel will pilot the Club RIB.

So be sure to pop along to Bull Wall on Saturday and help Fergal and John achieve their lifelong ambition.

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