WHAT IS THE FRANCES THORNTON MEMORIAL GALWAY BAY SWIM (FTMGBS)?
FAQ's - Frequently Asked Questions
The Galway Bay Swim – which in 2016 is in its 11th year is a 13km, guided swim that traverses Galway Bay.The swim from Aughinish in Co. Clare to Blackrock Diving Tower in Salthill is one of the longest open water swims in Ireland and is the only bay swim crossing on the Wild Atlantic Way.
HOW MANY SWIM PLACES ARE THERE?
There are 70 solo swimmer slots and 10 relay slots (teams of 2-4) for the bay swim.
Unfortunately, as it is a popular swim, not all applicants may be offered a slot in this year’s swim.
WHAT ARE THE MINIMUM AGES LIMITS FOR SWIMMERS?
The minimum age for all swimmers (Solo and Relay) is 16 years on the day of the swim.
Note: Swimmers under 18 will have to provide a signed parental consent form and also a copy of their passport. Forms will be emailed to swimmers (U18) following their registration.
HOW DO I APPLY FOR THE GALWAY BAY SWIM? HOW ARE APPLICANTS CHOSEN?
Registration is completed online, through Eventbrite. Applications are then reviewed by the Galway Bay Swim committee and you will be contacted directly if additional information is required. If there are no queries on your application, swimmers are then offered a slot on the swim on a first come first served basis once they fulfill the following criteria:
- Provide your own boat (along with a Captain and one Crew member) to accompany you on the swim. Note: the type of boat most suitable is a 5 metre Rigid Inflatable Boat (RIB) with a 50HP engine. A VHF radio and lifejackets for all crew members is mandatory on each boat. A pre-boat safety inspection will be conducted the evening before the swim.
- Complete the Medical Form and submit no later than 1st July, 2016. (Note: Scan and email firstname.lastname@example.org or post to the address listed on the form.)
- Complete the 4km open water swim time trial in Salthill (June 4th, 2016 at 3.00pm) in a time of under 95 minutes. (2km swim for relay team members in under 50 minutes).
- Pay the €50 application fee online via Eventbrite and commit to raising €500 (€1000 for Relay Teams) for our charity – Cancer Care West. (Note the €50 application fee goes towards your fund raising target).
If there are outstanding issues regarding any applicants, such as: open water experience, carrying out the time trial or successfully passing the medical, then these must be resolved by 1st July, 2016 or your place will be given to another swimmer.
WHAT IS THE APPLICATION PROCESS FOR RELAY TEAMS?
The Relay team captain applies on Eventbrite on behalf of their team. The team captain enters their own personal details and the names and ages of their team members (2- 4 swimmers max per team). There are two categories on Eventbrite for Relay teams – teams that have their own boat organised and those teams that wish to be placed on the boat waitlist. Choose the appropriate category for your team. Relay team members must fulfill the same criteria as all other swimmers, i.e. complete a medical and also the time trial (2km). Applications are then reviewed by the Galway Bay Swim committee and you will be contacted directly if additional information is required. If there are no queries on your application, teams are then offered a slot on the swim on a first come first served basis.
IS THERE AN APPLICATION FEE?
As it is a charity swim event, we ask swimmers to raise €500 for our chosen charity – Cancer Care West.
We do ask for a €50 application fee (payable via credit card) when registering on Eventbrite. This money goes towards your fund raising target. The €50 is non-refundable and will be donated to charity.
DO I NEED MY OWN BOAT TO ACCOMPANY ME ON THE CROSSING?
Yes – if you can provide your own boat through your own contacts and friends, then you will take priority over another swimmer that cannot provide a boat. Having your own boat and fulfilling the medical and open water swim requirements means that you will have a place in the swim. Note that your application must contain the following information:
- Captains Name, telephone number and email address
- Confirmation that the Captain has a powerboat licence.
- Type of Boat
- Confirmation of VHF radio on board and lifejackets for all crew.
Note: Your application will be confirmed only after the Galway Bay Swim committee safety officer has reviewed and approved of your boat.
WHAT TYPE OF BOAT IS REQUIRED?
Due to the sea conditions in the bay, we recommend a 5 metre RIB with a 50HP engine (or equivalent). The RIB has worked well in previous years due to being lower in the water allowing for easy communication with the swimmer. Boat maneuverability is also important when guiding the swimmer across the bay. The Captain also needs to have a powerboat licence along with a VHF radio on board and lifejackets for all crew.
WHAT IF I CANNOT LOCATE A BOAT TO ACCOMPANY ME ON THE SWIM?
The Galway Bay Swim is run with the support of the Galway maritime community. We usually have a limited number of volunteer boats which we can allocate to swimmers. You should ensure that you register on Eventbrite indicating that you do NOT have your own boat. The Galway Bay Swim committee will notify all swimmers by July 1st, 2016 if we can allocate you a boat. Priority will be given to those swimmers travelling from outside Galway. After that, boats will be allocated on a first come first served basis – i.e. the date you registered on Eventbrite for the swim.
Note: If you initially register on Eventbrite as a Swimmer (NO BOAT) and then subsequently locate a boat, then you must register again on Eventbrite as a Swimmer (WITH BOAT). If at that time there are no spaces left in the SWIMMER WITH BOAT category, then you will not be able to participate in the swim.