West Cork Swim Set to Raise €60k for Charity

Participants at the Galley Head swim 2019

Over 150 people will hit the water off Galley Head in West Cork this Saturday to raise over €60,000 for two Cork Charities.

The third annual Galley Head Swim will start from one of West Cork’s most popular beaches Long Strand on Saturday July 17th at 9am. The 10km swim consisting of 50 boats, 19 solo swimmers and 21 relay teams will go from Red Strand Beach to Warren Beach with the first swimmers expected to cross the finish line between 11.30 and 12pm.

The idea for the Swim came about in a very traditional Irish Way back in January 2019 when a couple of friends from Clonkility and Rosscarbery were having a few pints together on holidays in Austria. “We were talking about how the West Cork Underwater Search and Rescue volunteers had to buy their own equipment and felt something needed to be done about it” said Geoff Wycherley of Smugglers Cove one of the committee members.

“The conversation later moved on to the bereavements suffered within the group – one had lost his wife to cancer in 2018 and the another’s sister was in Marymount Hospice at the time (she sadly passed away later in April 2019) but the one thing that came across was that both received wonderful palliative care in the hands of Marymount’s highly trained professional team” added Geoff. The conversation ended in a goal to raise much needed funds for both organisations by organising something a lot of the group liked doing, swimming.

A committee was formed that night consisting of Pat Mulcahy, Justin Crowley, Geoff Wycherley and Tony Rafferty who made the decision that they would hold a 10km “marathon” swim around the iconic Galley Head with the aim of raising funds for both Marymount Hospice and West Cork Underwater Search and Rescue.  The inaugural charity race took place on 27th July 2019 with 11 solo swimmers, 15 relay swimmers, 23 boats and over 100 people in and on the water.

The first event was so well supported by local boat owners, fishermen and businesses that all costs were covered. This meant that the entire €17,400 raised by the swimmers went to the two very deserving charities.

Last year the committee welcomed a new member Paul Melody and the race is kindly being sponsored by Secon, Smugglers Cove, The Lagoon Activity Centre, The Celtic Ross Hotel and A Cut Above. With an increase in numbers this year it is hoped that they will raise over €35,000, full details of the race can be found on www.galleyheadswim.com

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