Popular Galley Head Swim set to return to West Cork this summer

Popular Galley Head Swim set to return to West Cork this summer

The Galley Head Swim is set to return following three successful years of the event.

The committee of the popular Galley Head Swim has announced the return of the race to Rosscarbery in West Cork this year on July 9.

The fourth Galley Head Swim comes following three successful years of the event. 

The first event in 2019 raised €17,400, in 2020 it raised €55,742 and in July the figure was a significant €113,220.

The charity fundraiser was created during a conversation between friends over pints in Austria three years ago, raising funds for both Marymount Hospice and West Cork Underwater Search and Rescue.

Committee member Geoff Wycherley said: “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.

The Galley Head Swim is set to return following three successful years of the event. Picture David Creedon.
The Galley Head Swim is set to return following three successful years of the event. Picture David Creedon.

“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.

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.

The 10K swim challenge has since caught the imagination of the swimming public with participant numbers growing from 26 swimmers and 15 boats in 2019 to 164 swimmers and 63 boats in 2021.

“What started as an event for the local community using the spectacular natural resources of the West Cork coastline has now drawn swimmers from all over Ireland and the UK.” 

The first event in 2019 raised €17,400, in 2020 it raised €55,742 and in July the figure was a significant €113,220.
The first event in 2019 raised €17,400, in 2020 it raised €55,742 and in July the figure was a significant €113,220.

Last year, the race started in Red Strand in Ardfield, went around the iconic Galley Head with its towering lighthouse before heading back across the long strand, passing in front of Owenahincha and finishing at the blue flag Warren beach at Rosscarbery.

The challenging swim had 40 relay teams and 20 solo swimmers complete the course in times varying from two hours and 35 minutes up to four hours and 30 minutes whilst raising funds for two great charities, Marymount Hospice and the West Cork Underwater Search and Rescue.

These past two years have been extremely difficult for everyone but especially charities who rely on the public's donations and the Galley Head Swim Committee are extremely happy to be able to help.

The Galley Head Swim Committee consisting of Steve Clery, Justin Crowley, Margaret Deegan, Paul Melody, Pat Mulcahy, Tony Rafferty and Geoff Wycherley said they are extremely fortunate to have great volunteers who give their time and effort to make sure this event is a success every year.

“This means that every penny raised by the swimmers is split between the two charities,” they said.

The committee said that the swim is made possible thanks to the beach set up teams, safety paddle boarders, boat owners/captains, barbecue team, Cork County Council and the swimmers who raise the money.

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