Now in its 14th year, the Frances Thornton Memorial Galway Bay Swim in aid of Cancer Care West returns to the waters of Galway Bay this July.
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 Aughinish 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 69 solo swimmers and 65 relay swimmers taking part in teams of 2,3 and 4 swimmers. Since the swim began 14 years ago, 740 people have swam the Bay and this year again it will be a mixture of swimmers who have completed the swim every year and complete novices.
Last year’s swim raised over €100,000 for Cancer Care West and we are hoping to beat that this year. The money 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.
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. Ciaran Oliver of Galway Bay Boat Tours and Oranmore Maree Coastal Rescue are helping out again this year.
Each swimmer needs a boat to follow and track their swim, organisers are again this year asking any boat owners 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 year’s swim across the Bay”, explained Ciaran Oliver of Galway Bay Tours.
Ciaran went onto say, “Ideally we are looking for motor boats, pleasure crafts between 5 and 7 metres, however we are urging people to get in touch and we can then pull together resources from what we have and ensure that this swim is again a safety success.”
The Frances Thornton Memorial Galway Bay Swim will take place on Saturday July 20th. People are invited to go down to Blackrock diving tower, Salthill to welcome the swimmers home from 12 Noon.