SIXTY-ONE-year-old Ned Denison is aiming to be the first person to swim around Cork City, over seven weirs and under 30 bridges.
Mr Denison, who works in the IT sector, is hoping to complete the 8km challenge in his togs, beginning in the river near the Kingsley Hotel, by the Lee Fields, on Monday, June 3 in one hour and 45minutes.
Ned, who has been swimming from the age of five, said he is looking forward to securing his place in history as the first person to swim around Cork City, during the Cork Harbour Festival, which kicks off on Saturday, June 1.
“I am especially interested in being the first. Somebody will eventually be faster – but there is only ever one first.”
The endurance Open Water swimmer, who is a dual Irish and American citizen, has been planning this circumnavigation by the water for the past 10 years and said he is constantly driven to try new swim routes.
“I was part of the original planning group for the restart of the Lee Swim in 2003/2004 and did the trial swim in 2004. I have always wanted to explore the rest of the river.” In order to complete the swim, Mr Denison had to get special permission from Cork Port, which he said is not an easy thing to achieve and he will be accompanied by a kayaker at all times throughout the swim.
“Permissions are impossible to get – if you aren’t organised and do not have a track record.
“I have met with the Port many times in the past 15 years and been part of teams which received more than 15 approvals over these years.
“Before seeking approval I had a fully developed plan and stated crew – plus I have a resume of 49 epic marathon swim (10-61km in length). These things helped give the Harbour Festival and Port the confidence to say yes.” After the swim, Ned said he would be calling the Port to formally end the swim before buying his crew a drink to say thanks for looking after him.
Looking ahead to his next challenge, Mr Denison said he would be doing a 27km along Northern Spain during the summer.
“The Batalladerande swim is from the Islas Cies to Ilsa S. Simon. There are more than 100 swimmers and a handful will be without wetsuits.
Ned will begin his swim at 6.15pm on Monday, June 3 and aims to be finished by 8pm. If you want to catch a glimpse of Ned in the water, have a peek in the river as he passes the South Mall Boardwalk around 6:45pm, the Lapp’s Quay Boardwalk around 6:55pm and swims back upriver on the north channel.