It’s now mid-May and less than a fortnight to go before the first of the event of the Munster open water calendar, the Union Hall to Glandore Swim in West Cork. There are six swims on this calendar scheduled to go ahead in the next month alone! It’s a great sign that we have so many events on offer, however, these swims are in great danger of cancellation if they don’t reach a critical number of entries reasonably early…
I understand, of course, that swimmers are minding their pockets and don’t want to waste money entering a swim that they might be able to make (I am one of those swimmers) especially given the cost of some swims! I also understand that, early in the season when the water is cold, you might not be sure if you will even be able for the swim, and that you mightn’t be sure of other commitments in advance of the swim. These are all very understandable reasons for delaying entry, but I’d ask everyone to consider things from the event organiser’s point of view for a second.
Many of our events are organised by just one or two people. They organise events for the benefit of their fellow swimmers and most don’t gain anything by running the event. They all invest a huge amount of time and effort and some invest their own money into the event as well. A lot of effort goes in to organising logistics, safety cover, technical aspects and entertainment for the swim and this all hinges on having some idea of how many swimmers to expect on the day. In recent years, many organisers have been faced with the very difficult decision of cancelling a swim due to lack of entries.
Cancelling a swim means that those swimmers who have entered have, in many cases, lost their entry fees and that all of the organisers time, effort and money has been in vain. It means that bodies such as the Blackwater Sub-Aqua Club Search & Recovery Unit, the Bantry Inshore Search & Rescue Association and the RNLI, just to name a few, will lose out in a lot of cases. It’s a big disappointment to everyone involved.
Please, if you want to be able to continue to swim in great local events, enter as early as you can. This is your contribution to helping the event to be the best it can be! Here is a list of the next five events on the Munster open water calendar:
Union Hall to Glandore: Saturday, 25 May at 5:30 pm; 1.1 km swim across Glandore Harbour to open the season; current Swim Ireland competitive membership required; contact Liz Buckley for more information.
Gaddin’ About Garnish: Saturday, 8 June at 6:30 pm; 1 km, 3 km and 5 km swims around Garnish Island in Glengarriff; open to all competent swimmers; more information available on the GaddinAbtGarnish website.
Martin Duggan Memorial: Friday, 14 June at 7:30 pm; 2 km freshwater swim in the River Blackwater in Fermoy; current Swim Ireland competitive membership required; more information available on the Martin Duggan Memorial Swim website.
Slip to Shore: Saturday, 15 June at 11:00 am; 1.9 km swim from Dromatoor Pier to Ballyheigue Beach in North Kerry; open to all competent swimmers; more information available on the Ballyheigue Slip to Shore Swim website.
RNLI Myrtleville to Church Bay: Sunday, 16 June at 10:00 am; 2 km swim from Myrtleville to Church Bay in aid of the RNLI; open to all swimmers who have completed an open water swim of 1.5 km or more in 2013; all information and entry forms available on the Myrtleville Swimmers website.