Event Day Info
  • Event Day Info

Event Day Info

Sign-in and swim briefing for all swimmers will take place the evening before the swim on Friday, July 20th, 2018 at 6.00pm in The Harbour Hotel, The Docks, Galway. The timetable is listed below:

Attention: In case of poor weather conditions, the organising committee may change the start time, date and even the distance of the swim. Should this happen, updates will be sent via email and also posted to Facebook, Twitter and our website.

Pre-Swim Registration & Swimmer Briefing
18.00 – Meet and greet:
18.15 – Swimmer Registration Opens
19.00 – Swim Safety Briefing and allocation of swimmers to their swim wave.
20.00 – Finish

Note: Swimmers will need to arrange to meet your boat captain / designated crew member for your bag drop and to give your swim nutrition, drinks, spare goggles, etc.  If in a relay team, you will also need warm clothes on your support boat for when you complete your section of the swim. Note: It is the swimmer’s responsibility to communicate with your boat captain and crew.

Route - Click to Enlarge

Boat Captains and Crew Briefing.

If you are launching your boat from Galway Docks, all boats to be in the water in the Galway docks, beside the RNLI boathouse – a section will be cleared by the Harbour Master for the Bay swim boats.

Saturday – Swim Day (Note: Times for your wave and bus departure time from the Salthill hotel will be confirmed at the swimmer registration and briefing on Friday night. Swimmers making their own way to Aughinish should leave Salthill a minimum of 2 hours prior to their swim start time. Due to the limited parking at the start line, we recommend that all swimmers avail of the (free) bus transfer).


– Wave 1 Bus Departure for Start in Aughinish, Clare – Venue: Salthill Hotel, Salthill. (Arrive 15 mins prior to your bus departure time)


– Boat Captains and support crew depart Galway docks (beside RNLI station). Relay team members 2 (and 3 and 4) board their relay team support boat at Galway docks.


– Wave 2 Bus Departure for Start in Aughinish, Clare – Venue: Salthill Hotel, Salthill. (Arrive 15 mins prior to your bus departure time)


– Wave 3 Bus Departure for Start in Aughinish, Clare – Venue: Salthill Hotel, Salthill. (Arrive 15 mins prior to your bus departure time)


– Wave 1 starts swim from Aughinish


– Wave 2 starts swim from Aughinish


– Wave 3 starts swim from Aughinish

12.30pm – 3.00pm

– Swimmers estimated arrival time in Blackrock, Salthill

Post Swim Refreshments:

Tea/coffee and soup and sandwiches will be provided to all swimmers at Blackrock. Bananas and water will also be provided at the finish line.

7.00pm: Medal presentation and finger food along with video and photos of the days events:

Venue:  To be Confirmed

Pre-Swim Registration – Friday before the swim


In order to participate in the swim, you must complete the following:

  • Swimmer check-in:
  • Checking of swim trial/affidavit: No Trial – No Swim
  • Checking that the Swimmer medical form has been submitted: No Medical – No Swim
  • Cross checking assigned boat and skipper and that boat captain has registered their boat online: No Boat Registration – No Swim
  • Checking that the designated crew member(s) supporting the swimmer has completed the online registration form.

Note, it is the swimmer’s responsibility to ensure that their boat captain and designated crew member have registered online:http://www.galwaybayswim.com/forms/

    • Handing over of monies raised for Cancer Care West. Proof of having raised at least €500 for Cancer Care West. (€1000 for Relay teams). You can show proof of your fundraising web page.
    • For fundraising forms or any queries regarding Cancer Care West, email Dave O’ Donnell david.odonnell@cancercarewest.ie
    • Collecting of race bag (swim hat, goodies)
    • Proof of all of the above items.  If you have pre-submitted the information online, then we will have a record of this.

Swim rules

  • Swimmers must organise their own crew member on their boat. This is the swimmers’ responsibility.
  • Wetsuits are not mandatory for all swimmers but they are recommended.
  • Swimmers may grease up before the swim (Vaseline or Goose Fat).
  • Body Glide or Lanolin are also recommended to avoid friction burns for those wearing a wetsuit.
  • All swimmers will be provided with a brightly coloured swim hat that MUST be worn for the Swim.
  • Mandatory: All swimmers must use a tow-float on the initial section of the swim (2.5km) until they meet their support boat.
  • Swimmers must not use fins, paddles, boards, pull buoys.
  • Swimmers may hold the boat during their ‘feeds’ as long as the boat is in idle and is not moving the swimmer forward.
  • Swimmers must not go on land or onto the boat at any time during the crossing. The only exception is where the swimmer’s boat breaks down. In this case, the swimmer must exit the water onto the boat and they can continue their swim once a back-up boat arrives. If this occurs, the boat captain needs to notify the command boat of their location and the swimmer they are supporting.
  • Swimmers must follow the course by passing within 10m of the three buoyed swim gates on the crossing or they will be disqualified.
  • The total cut off time to finish the swim at Blackrock is 6 hours. The intermediate cut-off points for the swim are as follows:
    • Half-way marker buoy (at approx 6km) – Swimmers must reach this buoy in less than 2.5 hours.
    • Three-quarter way point (at approx 9km) – Swimmers must reach this point in less than 4 hours.

    Swimmers must reach the cut-off points by the designated time to be allowed to continue on the swim. Safety requirements in place for the swim dictate that swimmers will be required to leave the water if the cut-off points are not reached by the designated times. The Race Director’s and Safety Officers decision is final and needs to be respected by all.

  • If during the swim, the swimmer is struggling with the cold, tiredness, injury and, or requires medical assistance, the safety officers and the organisers of the Galway Bay Swim reserve the right to remove the swimmer from the water.
  • All swimmers must make contact with your boat Captain and crew in advance of the swim – at the LATEST, July 1st.

Swim Pack:

Each swimmer will be given a race bag. In this you will be given:

  • Frances Thornton Memorial Galway Bay Swim (FTMGBS) Hat (Mandatory to be worn throughout the swim)
  • FTMGBS Swim T-Shirt
  • FTMGBS Towel
  • A variety of other sponsored items

Swimmer Support: Each swimmer will have a boat and a captain whose role is guide the swimmer across the bay and to provide safety coverage for their swimmer and crew. It is mandatory that each swimmer also have their own crew member on board to help with their drink and feeds and manage the swimmers on board gear.

There will be threes waves leaving Aughinish beach. Swimmers will be placed in each wave according to their ability (based on Time Trial (TT) times!). The committee retains the right to place you in whichever wave we deem appropriate.

Swimmers will be checked in by entering the water one at a time through a start gate. A marshal from the ground support team will make note of each swimmer as they enter. It is important that every swimmer is counted in as they enter the water. Swimmers will NOT be permitted to enter the water unless their support boat has checked in with the Command boat via VHF radio.

The course is approx 13km from Aughinish Beach in Co. Clare, to Blackrock Tower in Galway. En route you must pass within 10m of three buoyed gates:
The first gate will be at Deer Island.
The second gate will be at the 6km mark.
The third gate will be 1km from Blackrock tower and the finish line.

Each swimmer must pass through all three buoyed gates to complete the course or they will be disqualified.

A command boat will be on the course and will communicate via VHF with the swimmer support boats (RIBs). Each swimmer has a designated boat (RIB).   The boats dictate the direction – the swimmer dictates the pace.

Each swim wave will begin in the water with a mass start. Swimmers will swim north easterly, staying on the east side of Deer Island. There, they will be met by a gathering of boats. Each swimmer will locate their assigned boat.
It is important that you know what your boat looks like and who is on it.  Ask them in advance to have a flag on the boat to help you identify it. Make contact with your skipper and crew prior to the event. Know your team!

If you cannot find your boat straight away, keep swimming towards the Command boat and your boat will pick you out. Once you have found your own support boat, continue on your way.

There will be a number of relay teams of 2-4 swimmers in the water. They will be run as follows:
Swimmer 1 will start from Aughinish.  The rest of the relay members will wait aboard their support boat. Each time a changeover is to occur,  Swimmer 2 will get into the water behind Swimmer 1. Once Swimmer 2 has swum past their  Swimmer 1, they can get out of the water. They will then wait on their support boat, where they should have left their warm clothes and supplies.

The swim will finish at Blackrock Tower in Salthill.

The people on the RIBs, on the fishing boats, on the sailing boats and on the ground, are all volunteers. We cannot run the swim without their help.
They have kindly given up their day, to help you complete this great challenge. Please respect our volunteers and respect yourself. No abuse will be tolerated.

If you have any queries, please first check our FAQ page or contact us at galwaybayswim@gmail.com