For the past six weeks a group of 15 or so swimmers from around south Mayo have been in serious training with the aim to be the first swimmers to swim the width of Lough Mask. The eight kilometres from Cushlough Bay Near Ballinrobe to Paddy’s Bar, Cappaduff, Tourmakeady, is the goal.
This is a unique challenge as the width of Lough Mask has not been swum before. Swimmers will have to plot the route in advance by placing buoys across the lake in as straight a line as possible while trying to avoid rocks and islands. The official date is to be the weekend of August 29 or 30, depending on weather conditions. The 15 swimmers will embark at 3pm for the two and a half to three hour swim, leaving from Cushlough Bay, three miles from Ballinrobe where the World Cup fishing competition is based.
The swimmers will be supported by the Corrib/Mask lifeboats as the challenge proceeds will go towards the upkeep of the lifeboat. Each swimmer will be buddied with a kayaker to make the venture as safe as possible.
The unique scene of swimmers in wetsuits wading in from the lake towards Paddy’s Bar, Cappaduff, Tourmakeady, will definitely be one for the books and it is hoped a big crowd will be waiting to greet the swimmers.
This swim has never been done before, and the aim is to highlight what can be done by using the natural facilities around us (the lakes ). The swimmers taking part are normal recreational swimmers who have done some training to give this challenge a real go. Groups meet every Wednesday evening from 7pm at Cahir pier and all are welcome. All that is needed is a proper swimming wet suit, goggles, and a swim hat.
If anyone thinks they have what it takes to have a go just turn up for the Wednesday evening training sessions, a trial will be held on August 12 to select the final swimmers for the bid.
Tom Tracey Pharmacies is sponsoring special edition swim hats and the McWilliam Hotel in Claremorris is sponsoring polo shirts to commemorate this epic challenge. For more details contact Padraig on 087 799 2857.