Unlucky 13, or lucky for some as the annual Frances Thornton Memorial Galway Bay Swim in aid of Cancer Care West returns to the waters of Galway Bay this July. The swim was officially launched on Saturday 2nd June with the first official time trial at Blackrock in Salthill.
The swim which is now sold out will see close to 130 swimmers taking part this year it is now one of Ireland’s biggest and longest one day swims. Starting from Auginish in Co. Clare and finishing at Blackrock Diving Tower in Salthill, the swim is a distance of roughly 13 kilometres….if you swim straight.
This year there will be 65 solo swimmers and 65 relay swimmers taking part in teams of 2,3 and 4 swimmers. Since the swim began 13 years ago, 569 people have swum the Bay and this year again it will be a mixture of swimmers who have completed the swim every year and complete novices.
Safety is a priority for the swim, each year the event reaches out to the maritime community in the west to support the swim through boat support.
Each swimmer needs a boat to follow and track their swim, organisers are again this year asking any boat owner to get in contact with the hope they can volunteer their services on the day.
“The most suitable boat is a 5.0m Rigid Inflatable Boat (RIB) with a 50HP engine or equivalent and we are again asking people to help support the swimmers in this years swim across the Bay,” explained David O’Donnell of Cancer Care West.
Last year’s swim raised €108,000 for Cancer Care West and we are hoping to beat that this year. The monies raised will help fund the expansion of our support services for cancer patients including a counselling service for children and a dedicated gym rehabilitation space for cancer patients.
The Frances Thornton Memorial Galway Bay Swim will take place on Saturday July 21st. People are invited to go down to Blackrock diving tower, Salthill to welcome the swimmers home from 12 Noon.