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The Swim

Cancer Care West LogoFrances Thornton Memorial Galway Bay Swim

The Frances Thornton Memorial Galway Bay Swim in aid of Cancer Care West, now coming into its 10th year, will take place on Saturday July 25th, 2015.

The swim across Galway Bay from Auginish in Co. Clare to Blackrock Diving Tower in Salthill is a distance of approx 13 Kilometres (Km) and is the only bay swim crossing on the Wild Atlantic Way. Last year €75,000 was raised for Cancer Care West bringing the total raised to over €500,000. In that period the charity has launched several new services to the people of Galway and the rest of Connacht. Expressing his appreciation to all the swimmers David O'Donnell of Cancer Care West said, “We are hugely grateful for the support and interest shown by all the swimmers in the work we do here at Cancer Care West". The charity use these funds to help meet the costs of residential and cancer support services, which are provided free of charge to cancer patients and their families. Find out more by visiting their website: www.cancercarewest.ie

Getting physically and mentally prepared for this type of swim is a huge challenge. The water temperature is approximately 15 degrees Celsius in July and the mental strength needed to overcome this is paramount. The weather conditions are unpredictable and totally out of the swimmers hands. They will simply do their best not to disturb passing seals while trying to avoid the jellyfish and passing vessels! Speaking about the event, organiser Kevin Thornton said: "The swim has seen its reputation as a serious challenge organised to a high standard grow leaps and bounds. We have seen interest explode with swimmers applying from all corners of Ireland. We are proud of where we have gotten to with the swim over the past several years and more importantly the monies we continue to raise to support the great work of Cancer Care West"

This year we expect to have 50 swimmers attempting an individual crossing with also 10 relay teams. In total there will be 75 swimmers supported by over 80 boats and 100 crew in the bay. For the final 250 metres into Blackrock diving tower, we will have paddle boards and kayaks guiding the swimmers home along with many more supporters and volunteers on the land. The swimmers safety will be co-ordinated and managed by a team of local boatmen, sailors, fishermen and the RNLI. 

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