The annual Frances Thornton Memorial Galway Bay Swim in aid of Cancer Care West returns to the waters of Galway Bay this summer and already is close to being sold out with eager swimmers keen to test their strengths against the waters of the bay for the 13km challenge.
Organisers are also hoping that boat owners will volunteer to accompany swimmers on the stretch from Clare to Salthill.
The swim which is now sold out will see close to 130 swimmers taking part this year, making it one of Ireland’s biggest and longest one day swims. Starting from Auginish in Co Clare and finishing at Blackrock Diving Tower in Salthill, this year there will be 65 solo swimmers and 65 relay swimmers taking part in teams of two, three and four swimmers.
Since the swim began 13 years ago, 569 people have battled the challenge in the Bay and this year again the competitors will be a mixture of swimmers who have completed the swim every year and complete novices.
Safety is a priority for the swim and each year the event reaches out to the maritime community in the west to support the swim through boat support.
Each swimmer needs a boat to follow and track their swim, so organisers are 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 David O’Donnell of Cancer Care West.
Last year’s swim raised €108,000 for Cancer Care West and they are hoping to beat that this year. The monies raised will help fund the expansion of Cancer Care West’s support services for cancer patients including a counselling service for children and a dedicated gym rehabilitation space for cancer patients.
The Frances Thornton Memorial Galway Bay Swim will take place on Saturday July 21. People are invited to go down to Blackrock diving tower, Salthill to welcome the swimmers home from noon on that day.