Tuesday 24 October 2017

Swimmers bid to be crowned ultimate warrior of the sea

Matthew McGarrigle, second in the wetsuit category.
Matthew McGarrigle, second in the wetsuit category.

THERE WERE plenty of whales and dolphins spotted recently off Sligo bay, but on Saturday, it was a bunch of swimmers that spectactors had come out to cheer.

The annual Warrior of the Sea challenge took place from Rosses Point to Strandhill.

A total of 187 swimmers participated in the testing 6KM route.

Scot Reid, organiser, said that conditions were 'absolutely perfect'.

"They couldn't be better, the weather was fantastic.

"If we hold it for 30 years, I wouldn't think we'd have as good as Saturday!"

As the conditions were ideal, all four records in the male/female wetsuit and skin categories were smashed.

The aim of the event is to push traditional skin swimming; wetsuit contenders are generally 15% faster, Scot added.

Grant Carroll won in the wetsuit category, on a time of 1:23, Matthew McGarrigle was a minute behind.

"Gerard Curran won the skin event, in a time of 1:25, he also won it last year.

Lynne Algar was the first female winner in the wetsuit section, on a time of 1:24.

Scot said: "She immediately jumped into the car and headed to Galway to compete in a duathlon!"

Dymphna Morris won the female skin category, on a time of 1:27.

Scot said: "Our Paul Rennick memorial trophy went to Aidan Carty.

"He learned to swim only three years ago and was among those who did the first swim.

"This year, he managed to cut his time on last year by half an hour."

Around 1000 people crowded Strandhill and Rosses Point to watch the race. "It was very well marshalled; there were 60 water crew, including the Sligo/Mayo Civil Defence, kayaking club and many surfers on paddle boards.

"This is the fourth year of the event; when we started out in 2010, there were 26 of us.

"The figures have jumped up, we had to turn 100 competitors away this year."

The next race in the Sligo Swim League calendar is the 10KM Lough Gill swim on August 10th.

Sligo Champion