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Cathal Curtis
Galway Bay Swim 2020 in aid of Cancer Care West
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Galway Bay Swim 2020 in aid of Cancer Care West

Cathal Curtis
Fundraising For Cancer Care West
Latest Update !!

2020 Galway Bay Swim - 13km Co. Clare to Blackrock, Salthill (or maybe the other direction)

€ 2,300.00 Target : € 200.00


30 Sep 2020

From 60 fantastic supporters


Total offline donations before 08/06/2022 € 305.00



Online Donations : € 1,995.00

Offline Donations : € 305.00

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Galway Bay Swim 2020 in aid of Cancer Care West

Cathal Curtis
Fundraising For Cancer Care West
Latest Update !!

2020 Galway Bay Swim - 13km Co. Clare to Blackrock, Salthill (or maybe the other direction)

Event Details

Sadly but understandably, the Frances Thornton Memorial Galway Bay swim has been cancelled for 2020 due to Covid-19.

This year I'll swim it as a solo swim in memory of my darling Michelle, Irene Teap and Ruth Morrissey.
I'll do it in dedication to Vicky Phelan, Lorraine Walshe and all the victims of the Cervical Check Scandal while raising funds for Cancer Care West.
My boat captain (Brian) and crew (Niall) said they were willing and able to escort me for a third time across the bay if I was willing. My coach, Debi, will be willing me on from the maternity ward (best of luck Debi). So we all agreed we should do it again and continue our support for Cancer Care West.

Lots of you know our family story, but for those who don't, Cancer Care West supported me and my two girls at our lowest point and our darkest hour. They were there to guide us through the most difficult time of our lives as we came to the reality that Michelle's cancer was incurable and then helped us deal with her loss and start to put the pieces of our lives back together.

I am seeking donations for Cancer Care West, but only if you feel you can. Please do not feel under pressure. 

Some details that some of you might find interesting:

Pool training was cut short by C-19, but only by a few weeks.
Then it was time to hit the water, thankfully Rinville bay was within the 5km restrictions,
so as soon as we could go 5km from home I headed off for my inaugural 2020 open water swim.
600m and I was wrecked, my breathing, stroke, balance, strength were a disaster.
Next swim was 1km, then 1500m, then 2km. A good few of those. Then the warm weather came and it was like a blessing, 3km swims became the norm, followed by a few 4km ones and then a 6km one. Weather turned awful again and we were back to 2km and the odd 4km (Tramore, you can keep your freezing cold water!!!)
The real test came on saturday, the sun was shining the water was flat calm, time to put in the big swim to see if I have the stamina for the big one next Sat, 9km and 3:01:24 later I climbed the steps. I did 3x3km in Blackrock, stopping after each loop to rehydrate and feed (sugary water essentially).
A strange thing occurred in the water, normally there is a wave or a swell or chop in the water, but on saturday the only waves, and you feel them when they crossed your path, came from the wake of other swimmers coming towards you or those that had passed coming in the opposite directions. That's how calm the water was.
On one of my 3km swims in Rinville, we could see plenty of blue coloured jelly fish, mostly 2-3m below the surface, then I noticed I had a thick spiders web on my left had around my fingers. Ah 5h1tE, that wasn't a web, it was the tail end of one of those blue jellies. All I could do was keep going, hoping the saltwater would remedy it. Thanks to my swim buddy Cliona for the hydro-cortisone cream and zirtek!! The next the red rash was there but strangely no stinging or tingling. Did I mention thanks to Cliona. On that day we also saw two of the big nasty, ugly, horrible Lions Maine jellies in Rinville. Thankfully there deep enough not to cause us trouble, but their tenticles can be very long, but even still we had no issue. They were gone the following week.

So one more light swim between now and next sat, as much rest as I can get and no beer :-(
I'll try to get Niall to do the FB live thing again and hopefully you can get a glimpse of the action on the day.

Credit for the photos of Blackrock and in-water go to Grainne Kelly
Thanks for reading,

Video is Not Available

Recent Updates

This is a link to my swim from yesterday if you're looking for details.

16 Aug 2020

I've finally gotten a chance to look back at the videos from yesterday (Search for Cathal Curtis on facebook, I can't image there being too many of them). Thanks for all the well wishes during the swim, all that encouragement really drives you on. Huge thanks has to go to my crew Niall, Derek, Laura and Brian. Niall managed a near perfect straight line between Blackrock and the Martello tower. It's easy to drive a boat fast, driving it slowly is the challenge. I think Niall did a great job commentating. He certainly got the feeds right. I was able to tell him how to adjust the concentration and get the fizz out. It's really hard to burp while threading water 😀. In one of the videos you saw me stop suddenly. I had quite a few near misses with compass jelly fish. I thought I got a bit of a sting over my right eye, but no symptoms this morning 😁 We all went for food yesterday evening including Michelle's mum Marie, and enjoyed a few cold refreshing sups of Guinness. Once again I'm gobsmacked with all the donations, especially in these tight times. Your generosity will directly help those going through very difficult and worrying cancer treatment. Cancer Care West also helps families affected by cancer and helps those recovering from cancer. On behalf of Cancer Care West, a big thank you to you all. Annie let it be known that she wants to be on the boat next year, so I guess we'll have to do it all again in 2021!! 😁

16 Aug 2020

Final plan has been set. Swim from Blackrock to Aughinish in Co. Clare (the opposite direction than normal). In the water in Blackrock tomorrow at 12:45, swim out to the boat (approx 200m off shore). From there head as straight across to Aughinish beach as we can, bearing in mind wind and tides. I'll take a break every 2km (approx 40mins) to take on fuel in the form of water, glucose and electrolytes in a drink bottle fired from the boat to me on a rope. A quick burp (which isn't easy to do when threading water) and back to swimming. The boats job is to set the course and direction, my job is to follow the boat (or stay beside it) and the boat will adjust its speed to match mine. I'll miss the sights of Gentian Hill, the hotels along the prom and ultimately the yellow tower coming into view as I get closer and closer to the finish line. With binoculars (or better eyesight than me) you can see what looks like a Martello tower on the Clare coastline, that's where we're heading, so hopefully I'll see that coming into view tomorrow. I have two sets of gear to pack: waterproof bag with clothing, spare goggles, water, food etc for the boat, wetsuit, goggles and hat for blackrock. Then an early night.....

14 Aug 2020


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