14ú Iúil 2013
Dheanamh mé an cáiliúil Snámh Fada i dTrá Mhór inniú. Lá iontach a bhí ann, le 49 snámhóirí ag fanacht ag an Guillamene ar a 11 a chlog. Is é an 21ú am go bhfuil an imeachtaí ar súil, agus tá asmaisfear an pobal agus cairdiúil ann. Téigh an snámh ó Guillamene chuig an Pier, is é fad thart ar 1.2km. Bhí sceitimíní orm, mar bhí an farraige an socair agus bhí aimsir iontach ar fad ann. Réitigh mé an wetsuit a fág abhaile.
Registration was nice and simple. The committee was all setup, with an amazing backdrop of a dead calm Tramore Bay as they sat in front of the club’s hut. Pay your €5, sign in, get your cap and wait til the safety briefing at 11am. The swimmers aged from 12 to 70+ – one of the great things about this event. One of the club members gave us the briefing, talking about all the great voluntary work the club does (e.g. fundraising over €135,000 in recent years to upgrade facilities & keeping the toilets open and clean in Newtown Cove because the Council don’t have money to do so).
The talk was gas – he explained it wasn’t a race. There were no prizes for the winner. It was a fun, family event for everyone. The only prizes were some exclusive Newtown & Guillamene Swimming Club t-shirts. Unfortunately most were XL size, so when one women won, he advised her “I hope you have a big fella.”
We were counted into the water and then we were off with a blow of a whistle. There was a flotilla of boats, two RNLI boats and a few sea kayaks to keep us safe. The water was lovely and clear, as well as being nice and warm. Who needs a wetsuit? I was plodding along, enjoying every stroke, viewing the cliff on my left and catching Brownstown Head in the distance on my right. What a sight – 1,000 times better than the straight lines in the UCD pool!
No jellyfish to report. Some seaweed. We stayed about 50m from the cliffs, so had some lobster pots as references. The Pier was easy to spot in the distance, as the water was dead calm. I was loving every minute. No pressure of a race or triathletes in wetsuits climbing all over you or slapping you in the head.
Passing under Cliff Road, you could see the big houses above. I heard it referred to as “T4”, as in the Dublin 4 equivalent of Tramore the big houses in Ballsbridge! Getting close the Pier was nice, as we passed alongside I could see people peering down at the edge. Around the corner, then up the steps to dry land. Nice and short, under 25 mins. It was great to dry off in the baking sun and watch every one else swim in. One of the organisers peered around the corner and could see 6 swimmers approaching. He surmised they should just “shoot the last 6 and be done with it!” The last man, Donal, took 45mins but was happy as Larry. One of the organisers peered around the corner and could see 6 swimmers approaching. He surmised they should just shoot the last 6 and be done with it!