Corkman Stephen Redmond, the first person in the world to complete all seven open-water swims that make up the Ocean’s Seven Challenge has been lined up as the guest speaker for Meet West networking dinner on November 20. Having already swum the Irish Channel, The English Channel, The Strait of Gibraltar, The Cook Strait, The Molokai Channel, and The Catalina Channel, the former rugby player swam the 12.5 mile Tsugaru Strait in Japan in July 2012 to complete a goal he set himself in 2009.
During this time Redmond had to contend with plummeting water temperatures, strong currents, bad weather, bad sunburn, injury, the constant danger of shark attacks, and the indescribable pain from jellyfish stings. Describing the challenge as ‘the seven summits of the sea’, Redmond said: “It’s a very Irish thing. You tell an Irish person they can’t do something and they’ll do everything they can to prove you wrong.”
A former London Irish prop, Redmond’s swimming career was rekindled when he helped form West Cork Triathlon Club with Pat Bailey and John Kearney. Redmond soon discovered that his legs were no longer able to propel him the way they were once able to, and his love of swimming was born.
The 47-year-old, who was raised in London, moved to Castledermot, Co Kildare, and now lives in Cork, combines high performance with mental toughness, belief, and a never give up attitude. When asked how he keeps going he says: “Once you’ve done one and you’ve gone through it and come out the other side, you forget about it and you do it again. The fear of failure is something that drives you on, and the fear of regret is a bigger factor again.” For his achievements, Steve Redmond was named ‘Man of the Year’ from the World Open Water Swimming Association in January 2013.
The epitomy of inspiration, determination, and motivation, he will inspire delegates at Meet West with his own personal story of endurance, failure and success. Meet West 2014 takes place in the Galway Bay Hotel, Salthill on Thursday November 20 and Friday November 21. Registration for Meet West 2014 is now open on www.meetwest.ie