Irish Triple Crown
And it’s a warm welcome from glorious Ireland this month, as the CLDSA chats to the members of the Irish Long Distance Swimming Association (ILDSA).
You can’t put two open-water swimmers in the same (virtual) space, without envelopes being mightily stretched. I’m sure you know the scenario. You arrived on the beach ready for a bit of dreamy bobbing, and next thing you know, Dave from Paarl is emotionally blackmailing you into signing up for the Langebaan 12km.
It’s the same all round the world. One email to the ILDSA, which is basically us with gorgeous brogues, and suddenly there are plans afoot to launch a Jail Break series, including swims from the world’s most iconic prisons, eg Robben Island, Alcatraz and County Cork’s Spike Island, once a 7th-Century monastic settlement, then a prison and now a major tourist attraction, named top European tourist attraction at the 2017 World Travel Awards.
More swimming, More emails. More hot toddies and more stretching of that poor old envelope coming up. Watch this space!
Meanwhile, the Irish have been busy. The ILDSA, which was launched in 1966, recently launched their Triple Crown, which encompasses three solo marathon channel swims. These are the 21km Fastnet swim between Fastnet Rock and Baltimore Pier, the 13km Galway Bay swim between Aughinish in County Clare and Blackrock Diving Tower in Salthill, and the 35km North Channel Swim between Donaghadee in Northern Ireland and Portpatrick in Scotland.
And your international open-water swimmers are going to be coming in their droves, reckons the ILDSA’s Jacqueline Mcclelland, partly because it’s Irish, “and the world loves all things Irish,” she says!
And in terms of reciprocity, there’s a whole bunch of Irish swimmers dead keen to come try out Cape Town’s equally cold, and perhaps slightly more boisterous waters…