A Cork woman has expressed her delight at becoming the first ever person to swim from Mizen Head to the Fastnet Rock Lighthouse.
Carrigaline’s Marie Watson completed the 18 kilometre swim in just under six hours on Wednesday.
“I’m thrilled, I honestly can’t believe it,” she said, speaking to the Echo.
“I’m in a state of euphoric glory,” she laughed.
“It’s not just about me though, it’s about the team behind me as well.
“The people on the boat and those who trained with me have been fantastic and I couldn’t have done it without them,” added Marie.
Marie took up open water swimming a number of years ago, joining the Myrtleville swimmers.
She has since completed several 10km swims, the 13km Galway Bay swim and a channel relay.
Seeking a new challenge, Marie contacted the Fastnet Swim team towards the end of last year.
“I wanted a longer swim, something that hadn’t been done before,” she said.
“When I contacted the team, we decided to do Mizen to Fastnet.
“They were fantastic, all of them have been a huge help,” she added.
The team is headed up by coordinator Noel Browne, who Marie praised after completing the swim.
“We also had a great skipper in Kieran Collins who was absolutely immense and of course Jolene Cronin who was a great support, passing me messages of support from friends as I swam.” Marie has been training for the swim since last October but an injury in the summer almost ruined her plans.
“I was injured during the summer months but my coach Dave O’Mahony was amazing, he got me back on track,” she said.
“I really had fantastic support from everyone involved, I can’t thank them enough.
“It was a really special moment,” she added.
Marie revealed that she did not look up during the swim until Kieran Collins told her she had just one kilometre to go.
“I looked up and saw Fastnet and it was great, I felt even stronger then,” she said.
“I realised looking at it, that I would’ve swum to the ends of the earth to get there.”