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 21st, 2017 at 6.00pm in Cancer Care West Support Centre, Seamus Quirke Road, Westside, 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.

Friday July 21st, 2017
Pre-Swim Registration & Swimmer Briefing, Cancer Care West Support Centre, Seamus Quirke Road, Westside, Galway http://www.cancercarewest.ie/support-centre/how-to-find-us/
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 / crew for 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 swimmers responsibility to communicate with your boat captain and crew.

Route - Click to Enlarge

Boat Captains and Crew Briefing.

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 July 22nd, 2017 (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 relay team holding 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

12.15pm – 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 21st July, 2017

3 part process:

  • Check in – Checking of Swim Proficiency Form, Checking of Medical Form, Cross checking assigned boat and skipper.
  • Handing over of monies raised for Cancer Care West
  • Collecting of race bag (hat, towel, goodies)

What you need:

  • The medical form and proof of qualifying swim form – no forms, no swim!
  • Money and proof of monies raised – No money, no swim!
  • Proof of having raised at least €500 for Cancer Care West. (€1000  for Relay teams)
  • Food and supplies to give to your assigned boat captain and crew.

For fundraising forms or any queries regarding Cancer Care West, email Dave O’ Donnell on david.odonnell@cancercarewest.ie

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.
  • Swimmers must not use fins, paddles, boards, pull buoys.
  • Swimmers must not touch the boat and must not go on land at any time during the crossing.
  • Swimmers must follow the course by passing through 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 Marker buoy (at approx 9km) – Swimmers must reach this buoy 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 need 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 – 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.

The course is approx 13km from Aughinish Beach in Co. Clare, to Blackrock Tower in Galway. En route you must pass through 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 and your boat will pick you out. Once you have found your own assigned 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:
One swimmer (Swimmer 1) from each relay team will swim with their team support boat at all times. The rest of the relay members, from all Relay teams, will wait aboard the Holding boat for relay team members. Each time a changeover is to occur, a designated RIB, will ferry the new swimmer (swimmer 2) from the Holding boat, to their team RIB. 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 be ferried back to the Holding boat, where there will be 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