Winter Swimming

imageBy Kevin Williams
Winter Swimming …. Round 5 of The Turkey Series continued last Sunday in , again , very poor conditions . Gale force winds and lashing rain greeted the swimmers to Fenit . However it did not deter them as 23 swimmers showed up for the weekly swim . There was no delay as all of the swimmers jumped in to the cold water and ploughed through the waves to the point and back . Amazing to see as it is the first year of Winter Swimming for many of the swimmers , but all of them swimming in the cold , without wetsuits , like professionals !
The air temp was 13.4c and the water temp was 11.7c . While still very cold , these temps are unseasonably warm for November with the water temp almost 3c above normal . And of course , there was plenty of hot drinks and chocolate cake to warm up with afterwards .
At this point we are Halfway through the Turkey Series and the goodies are gathering and The turkeys are getting daily deep tissue massages, So far there are 38 swimmers in the raffle . Each swimmer will receive 1 ticket for each Sunday taking part . There has been 104 individual swims over the 5 weeks so far .rumour has it that Santa Claus will be there to draw the winning tickets on Sunday 20th December after the swim . You MUST be there to be eligible for prizes and only 1 prize per person . There will be a top prize ( or 2 ) of a Fresh Free Range Turkey and Ham ( Voucher ) .2nd will be for A Fresh Free Range Turkey ( or 3 ! ) . 3rd will be for a selection of Wine and Chocolate and plenty of runner up prizes of Chocolates ! The 13th December will be the last day to register a swim . Come along and join us every Sunday at 11 and enjoy the craic and safety of swimming in numbers .

November Update


Date for your Diary……. The Tralee Bay Swimming Club AGM will take place on Thursday 21st January 2016 . We would request all of our club members to attend , and don’t worry ! You will Not be asked to do a job unless you want to ! All of the current committee are happy to stay on in their current positions for 2016 . It’s always good , however , to freshen things up so if you think you have something to offer, the club would be happy to hear from you . In any case please come along with any feedback or suggestions on Improvements for 2016 .
Winter Swimming …. The popularity of The Winter Swims can not be understated with great groups now gathering in Fenit every Sunday . Traditionally The Winter Swimming is non wetsuit And Country wide Winter Swimming has taken on a new dimension . Every swimming county now has its own winter swimming group and there is the Irish Ice Swimming Championships at the end of January 2016 with distances of between 25m up to 1km . There is also an Ice Mile invitational in Lough Dan in Co.Wicklow in February . Our own Winter Swimming continues every Sunday up until Christmas with The Turkey Series . Everyone has a dip or a swim with plenty of hot drinks and goodies for after and then if they wish to enter the raffle , it’s 2 euros in The kitty and register your name . 2 weeks before Christmas the draw will take place for Turkeys and Hams , Wines and Chocolates galore !
Round 1 had 15 swimmers in great conditions for swimming , Round 2 had 23 swimmers in better conditions and Round 3 had 29 swimmers taking part in Mediterranean conditions !
Round 4 took place last Sunday in Wet , Windy and Wild conditions and a very small group was expected but by 11 o’clock 21 swimmers had gathered to brave the wild conditions with even a few newcomers yet again . As many of the swimmers become acclimatised to the cold water , a large group headed off from the beach to the point and back with Bob Fitzsimons headed to the slip and back . More just enjoyed playing in the waves , but everyone was smiling ! The water temperature remains unseasonably high with Sunday measured at 11.9c , an increase on last week . This is approx 2c above normal for November . If you wish to take part , we meet every Sunday At 11 in Fenit . You have the safety of a large group and plenty of hot drinks for after as well as a bit of craic . There is no pressure to do distance . Just dip your feet in or have a longer swim . Our youngest swimmer to date is 8 year old Kate FitzSimons and our oldest is David Slattery at 82 ! See you there !

Winter Swimming


Our Winter Swimming will commence on Sunday The 18th October at 11 am from Lockes Beach  and every Sunday at 11 am . First up will be the popular Turkey Series . There is a contribution of 2 euro per week to the kitty and before Christmas we will have a raffle for Turkeys and Hams and Roses  and other Christmas fare ., You get one entry per week attended .  Our winter swimming is traditionally non wetsuit  and everyone is welcome to join us . There is no pressure and no racing . You can swim to The Slip or just do a splash n dash . It’s a great bit of craic and as usual there will be plenty of tea , coffee , hot chocolate and goodies for everyone . It’s agreat way to get the blood flowing on A Sunday morning and is the best hangover cure known to man !  The current water temp is c 11c  and this will fall to about 7c  by Christmas .

Cold Water Swimming Can Improve Health and Vigor

Cold water swimming can be very beneficial to long term optimum health. Routine swimming in cold water can (i) boost metabolism, (ii) improve blood circulation,(iii) help build and maintain a strong immune system, (iv) improve skin tone and skin health, (v) improve libido and fertility, (vi) release endorphins to improve feeling of wellness and vigor, and (vii) encourages good sleep.

So come along and join us and give it a try ….you know you want to !



Swimmer of The Year and Gerald Walsh Trophy

Annual Awards Night and Social …….. A great night was had last Saturday in The Meadowlands Hotel with over 100 swimmers , friends and family attending our Annual Awards Night . The night kicked off with a great meal and quickly moved on to to The Main Event , the Prizegiving . Most of the prize winners did not know if they had won or not as the last race results had not been revealed . First up were 2 new categories this year . Winter Swimmer of The Year Thomas Brosnan and Best Newcomer John Quilter . The main prize was next and That was The 2015 Swimmer of The Year which was won By Michael OConnell Jnr . Congratulations ! The groupmprizes were next and the winners were
Grp A 1st Martin ORegan 2nd Dermot Dillane. 3rd. Alan Murphy
Grp B. Joint 1st. Siobhain Griffin and Maura Hayes 3rd Donal Fitzgibbons
Grp C 1st Niamh Murphy 2nd John Quilter 3rd Catriona Kelly .
Kevin Williams was MC for the evening and All prizes were presented by Club President PJ Costelloe
Anyone not in attendance to collect their prize , forfeited and it was passed down to next in line .
The night finished off with dancing to great music from Donal and Caroline , A Beautiful Noise .


The Gerald Walsh Swim ……The results of the Gerald Walsh swim were not revealed until last Saturday night . The swim went ahead on Sunday 6th September and ghad to be pulled forward an hour to accommodate the terrible weather . Approx 45 swimmers showed up in the torrential rain to,take part but at least the wind was minimal and the sea was calm . The race started from the beach and went to the bathing skip and back . Approx 1500 metres . Group A were off first and fierce competition was expected in all of the groups as swimmers battled for points for Swimmer of The Year . First home was Cillian Tierney in an incredible time of just over 18 minutes . The Group Winners were
Group A. 1 ) Michael OConnel Jnr 2). Martin ORegan
Group B. 1. Ciara Tierney. 2. Maura Hayes
Group C 1 Niamh Murphy. 2. John Quilter
Gerald Walsh Memorial Cup Wimmer. Siobhain Griffin .
All prizes were presented to the winners at The Awards Night by Mary Jo Walsh , Gerald’s Daughter
Mary Jo also gave a lovely speech about her Mother who passed away recently and her father and her fond memories of Fenit and Swimming . Thanks Mary Jo .
All the prizes were kindly sponsored by Geralds nephew Brendan Walsh of Spa Seafoods .

Winter Swimming …..Will commence ( or continue ! ) in the next few weeks . All are welcome and its a great start to a Sunday Morning !

Club News Update


By Kevin Williams
Blennerville to Fenit Swim …… The swim took place on Saturday last . The weather gods were good to the large group who gathered at The Lock Gates in Blennerville for the start . Scattered clouds and sunshine with a slight chill in the air . The wind was 12 knots from the North which meant the bay was sheltered for the 8km swim in aid Of Fenit Lifeboat . This swim was originally pioneered by one of the club founders Gerald Walsh in the mid 1970s . All the swimmers and crew were informed of Gerald’s achievements and then of the passing of his wife , Cecilia , who’s funeral was taking place that morning. Most were familiar with her and her presence in presenting the prizes and trophy at The Gerald Walsh Memorial Swim every year . A moments silence was then respected for Mrs Walsh . The safety briefing was concluded and thanks to the diligent work of Cathy Fisher in recruiting Kayakers we were able to appoint each swimmer with a kayak . There were 22 swimmers in total with 9 of these taking on the challenge for the first time . 2 vistors from Askeaton were also present . As the swim got under way , the sky brightened more , making it a perfect day for swimming . The 4.0 metre tide was helping the swimmers down the bay but not quite as fast as usual . The fastest swimmer was 1h45m and the final 4 home were just over 2h30m . A delicious BBQ was ready and waiting for everyone at the finish and could be smelled a mile up the bay , spurring on the swimmers . Thanks to all the volunteers who Helped with the BBQ , kayaked , did boat safety cover , ferried people for their cars and timed the swimmers .


Condolences ….. The club would like to extend its deepest sympathies to The family and friends of the late Cecilia Walsh who passed away last week . Rest in Peace .

The Gerald Walsh Memorial Swim . … Round 8 and the final round of our World Series od Swims takes place this coming Sunday at 4.00pm from the bathing slip . Gerald Walsh was a founder member of Tralee Bay Swimming Club in the 1950s . The swimmer of the year as well as All of the group winners and runners up will be decided at this swim . The points table is extremely tight at the top with 5 swimmers capable of winning The Swimmer of The Year . The swim will be followed by a BBQ as usual and NO results will be revealed on the day with all group prizes and The Gerald Walsh Cup being presented at The Club Prizegiving .

Club Night Out and Prizegiving ……….This takes place on Saturday The 26th at The Meadowlands Hotel . The results of Round 8 will be revealed along with final points table for Swimmer of The Year . The rules are also clear in the event of a tie it will come down to most wins , most seconds etc .until a winner is decided . Prizes on the night will be group for Round 8 , The Gerald Walsh Perpetual Trophy , The Swimmer of The Year , 1st , 2nd and 3rd in each group , the Winter Swimmer of The Year and The best newcomer . A sit down meal and live music with Beautiful Noise to keep everyone dancing into the night . Tickets are 35 euro and available from all committee members . Please come along for a great night out

Monthly News

by Kevin Williams


Round 7 of The World Series ……Round 7 and the penultimate round of Our World Series of Swims took place last Wednesday evening in brisk conditions . A southerly wind and an out going tide made for a choppy swim . A new course was taken courtesy of the wind having blown the buoys out of place . 52 swimmers took to the water accompanied by 14 Kayakers . All the swimmers were conscious that time was running out to gain points and it made for a very competitive swim . However there were some swimmers tired from an 8km swim in Caragh Lake the day before and others were saving themselves for The Killarney Hardman . In any case there were some exceptional swims with Michael OConnell Jnr winning Grp A and setting the fastest time . Group B was won by John Gilmartin and Group C was won by John Quilter . All prizes were very kindly sponsored by Fitzgibbon Interiors .

Swimmer of the Year …… Michael OConnell Jnr and Siobhain Griffin are now tied at the top of the table with 19 points but closely followed by Donal Fitzgibbons , Maura Hayes and Niamh Murphy . Any one of these five swimmers can now win The Swimmer of The Year for 2015 and it should make for a very competitive final race . There are 1st , 2nd and 3rd places in each group up for grabs so it is still all to play for ! Michael OConnell Jnr leads Grp A , Siobhain Griffin leads Grp B and Catriona Kelly leads Group C after a great season of swimming .

Donation … The club would like to sincerely thank Martin Moore for his very kind donation of a kayak to the club .

English Channel ….Congratulations to Tralee man and Club member Kristian ODonovan who swam The English Channel earlier this week . A great feat . Kristian is now the the second Club member to have completed the swim . Rosie Foley being the first . Kristian is also the first Tralee person to have completed it .

RIP …..The Club would like to express their sincere condolences to the family and friends of Edmond Moriarty who passed away recently . Edmond used to be a regular fixture and character at Lockes Beach in the summer evenings . Rest in Peace .

The Gerald Walsh Memorial Swim ……..The final swim of the season takes place on Sunday The 13th of September where all positions will be decided . It will be followed by the traditional BBQ .

Blennerville to Fenit Swim ……..This has now been pencilled in For Saturday the 5th September .

And finally …….. Our Annual Prizegiving and Social takes place on Saturday 26th September in The Meadowlands Hotel . A full sit down meal , Prizegiving , a live band and dancing into the night ! Please support this great night out and all swimmers and friends are invited from the masters and tri club as well . Tickets available from ant committee member for 35euro .

The Lighthouse Swim 2015

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 !







Latest News

By Kevin Williams
The Donald Walsh Memorial Swim…………… The Donald Walsh Swim and BBQ finally took place last Wednesday evening . A huge crowd showed up so a big thank you to all the helpers who showed up on the night to make sure all went smoothly . 13 Kayakers , 6 BBQ era and 6 timers . There were 54 swimmers in the 3 groups and the spectators were treated to a great race over the 1500 metre course which became tougher after the turn with a wind against tide chop .. After handicaps were applied , Donal Fitzgibbons emerged victorious to win The Perpetual Donald Walsh Memorial Cup . Cillian Tierney won The Donald Walsh Trophy for the fastest time of the night in an amazing 16m47 . Winner of Group A was Michael OConnell Jnr . . Winner of Group B was Donal Fitzgibbons and . . Winner of Group C was Antoinette Boyd . . Congratulations to all .
Michael OConnell Jnr now leads the points table for swimmer of the year on 12 points but has a large pack chasing close behind .
Round 5 …… We hope to run Round 5 , The Brendan OCallaghan Cup this Thursady Eve at 7.30 pm . The race is kindly sponsored by Utensils .
Official Opening ……….The official opening of our new changing rooms will take place on the 6th of August to coincide with The lighthouse swim and BBQ and John Edwaeds Kingdom swimmers race . All are welcome to attend
Special Olympics ……..A big Good Luck to Our friend and great swimmer , Brendan OConnell who is in Los Angeles to compete in the Special Olympics in the 800m pool race and 1500m Open Water Race .

July Update



The World Series ……..The weather has been playing havoc with the schedule of our swims as well as training and leisure swims in the bay .

The postponed Round 4 swim , The Donald Walsh Memorial Swim , will now take place at 7.30 pm on Monday The 20 th July . And of course a BBQ afterwards ! . There are 2 perpetual trophies to win plus prizes for1st and 2nd in each group .The swim is kindly sponsored by Dominic Walsh Photography .
Round 5 for The Brendan OCallaghan Cup , will take place 2 days later on Wednesday the 22nd July . This race is kindly sponsored by Utensils . And to round off the week , there is the midnight swim planned for Friday 24th July . This is yet to be confirmed ! . So loads of swims , trophies and prizes on offer next week !
Official Opening …….. The long awaited official opening of our new changing rooms will take place on the evening of The Lighthouse Swim on the 6th August . There will be two swims on and A BBQ afterwards and everyone is welcome to attend . The official Ribbon cutting will be by 3 of our esteemed ‘elder’ members . The President , PJ Costelloe , Vice President , David Slattery and Treasurer Denis Cronin . We think it is right to honour these men as two of our founding members and Denis who put in so much work to push for the new changing rooms and bring it to fruition . All we need now is a break in the weather !
1000 Laps ……. Congratulations to BoB Fitzsimons who recently completed his 1000th Lap of Fenit. ( One lap is over and back beach to slip or vice versa ) The genial gentleman of The Open Water can be seen regularly ploughing up the laps , winter and summer .
Other Swims …. It’s great to see some of our Fenit Swimmers spreading their wings , with recent swims in The Lee and Lough Allua . Well done to all ! If anyone wants to join them , The Beginish Swim is up next and The Thomond swim in Limerick follows .

World Series Round 2

By Kevin Williamsimage

World Series Round 2 ……..Round 2 of our World Series for The Paddy OSullivan Memorial Cup took place last Thursday evening . As we made our wayto Fenit , the rain was torrential and the bay was full of white horses and was not looking good for a swim. But as we arrived the rain stopped and SW wind dropped . Combined with the high 4.5 metre tide the water soon smoothed out to a gentle swell . Despite the conditions , almost 70 swimmers showed up to compete . The course was a relatively short c 800 metres from The bathing slip to the 4th buoy and back . The fast Grp A were in the water first followed by B,C, and D 2 mins apart . Within minutes the wind started to blow up again . This combined with the turning tide made for a very turbulent swim andd also brought a few jellyfish to the surface to further upset the swimmers . The conditions also made it very difficult for our 10 SafetyKayakers led by John Edwards . All swimmers completed in great style although some a bit unsteady on the feet afterwards and most agreed it was a very tough swim . However , the smiles of satisfaction were evident all around ! The fastest time of the night went to Cillian Tierney . IAfter handicaps were applied the winners were . Group A 1) Michael OConnell Jnr 2) Brendan OConnell . Group B 1) Maura Hayes 2) Siobhain Griffin. . Group C 1) Catriona Kelly 2) Morna OHalloran . The group prizes were sponsored by Waterworld , Rock St. Tralee . The winner of the Paddy OSullivan Cup was Michael OConnel Jnr . Paddy OSullivan was a founder member of the club and the cup was presented by his son Dermot .
Swimmer of The Year ….. The points table after Round 2 sees Siobhain Griffin on top with 10 points closely followed by Catriona Kelly on 9 points . However , it’s still all to play for with many swimmers closely behind with 7 and 8 points and most of these will still have to drop a round yet , to help with club duties . .
World Series Round 3 ….. The next swim up is The Wheel Rock Swim which takes place on Thursday the 18th June at Lockes Beach . . The course is simple but arguably the most challenging swim we have if the weather is poor . It is straight out from the beach , parallel to the pier to The Wheel Rock and straight back to the beach .