By Kevin Williams
What a great night in Fenit on Thursday 6th August with a packed schedule of events taking place at The Bathing Slip .
First up were The Juniors from The Kingdom Swimming Club under John Edwards having their annual sea race . Some very young brave swimmers were giving it their all to the finish . Well done to you all !
Next on The Agenda was The arrival of our Gold Medal Winning Olympic Hero , Brendan OConnell ! A 5 minute standing ovation from the 180 or so people gathered there greeted him ! What a magnificent achievement . He mingled with the crowd showing his medals and stopping for photos . The Club were very proud to present Brendan With an Outstanding Achievement Certificate granting him Lifetime Membership of The Club .
Next up was the Official Opening of Our new Changing Rooms . Our three senior members were there to cut the ribbon . President PJ Costello , Vice President David Slattery and Treasurer Denis Cronin .
The BBQ was fired up as The race around The Lighthouse began . Group C were off first along with the 11 visitors from Clare , Cork and Limerick and 8 Senior Kingdom Swimmers .. 4 minutes later GRoup B gave chase and Grp A were 4 minutes later again . The very strong incoming tide pushed everyone out to the left and made it a hard struggle to cut back in and up the side of the lighthouse . As they made it to the top the strong flow swept everyone around with a few staying too close to the rocks .
First home was Kristian ODonovan who started with the visitors . Kristian head off to Dover this week to take on The English Channel. The very best of luck Kristian ! Cillian Tierney was next in and set the fasteest time and a course record of 21.33 . Fastest Visitor was John Ryan from Limerick Masters in 27.56 and First Kingdom Swimmer home was Dara Masterson in a time of 31.30 . A very special word for David Slattery who also completed the swim at 82 years of age !
Group A 1) Cillian Tierney 2) Brendan OConnell
Group B 1) Rosie Foley 2) Donal Fitzgibbons
Group C 1) Antoinette Boyd 2 ) Lorraine Bowler .
Thanks to Graham Kelliher from Surf n Sail who sponsored the prizes !
All swimmers and guests enjoyed the BBQ and refreshments as Father Gearoid and Father Mulvihill carried out The Blessing of the Changing Rooms . Thans very much to them and their lovely words of encouragement .
A big thank you to everyone who took part in any way ! We had 75 swimmers ,around the lighthouse , 25 junior swimmers , 11 visiting swimmers , 19 Kayakers , 4 rescue boats with crews , 6 timers , 8 BBQ’ers , 1 Olympian , 3 dignitaries and 2 CLergy along with a host of guests ! There were 200 burgers and 350 sausages consumed and washed down with an endless supply of refreshments . A great night I think !