Southern Star Ltd. logo

Tell me about ... Galley Head’s charity swim

June 11th, 2023 9:00 AM

By Southern Star Team

Tell me about ... Galley Head’s  charity swim Image
The stunning setting for start of the Galley Head swim.

Share this article

Swimming coach Grainne Caulfield on the appeal of the iconic fundraising 10-12k event in September

Tell us about the Galley Head swim?

This year marks the fifth  year of the Galley Head swim. It takes place on September 2nd.  It is a truly iconic swim that takes you from Red Strand, around Galley Head, across Long Strand, Owenahincha and finishing on The Warren beach.

The money raised for charity is simply astounding. The first event in 2019 raised €17,400, in 2020 it raised €55,742. In 2021, the figure was a significant €113,220. All funds raised were shared equally between Marymount and West Cork Underwater Search and Rescue. In 2022 a third charity, Irish Community Air Ambulance was included and a total of €83,068 was shared equally between the three charities. The chosen charities for 2023 are Marymount Hospice, Cancer Connect and CoAction.

The event came about in 2019 when a few lads (on a ski trip) wanted to raise much needed funds for West Cork Underwater Search and Rescue. The swim has grown from 26 swimmers, to this year being fully booked with 25 solo swimmers and 40 relay teams.

What’s the appeal of this iconic swim? 

I have done this event three times as part of relay teams (once with my two daughters which was pretty special). It is an incredible feat of organisation and planning and the safety measures are second to none. You feel totally safe with a boat right beside you for the entire swim. You get to see the Galley Head lighthouse from a position that not many do. The weather gods have really come up trumps the last three years also with blazing sun and calm seas – so fingers crossed again for this year.

Where’s your favourite place to open water swim? 

We are so spoiled here in West Cork for beautiful swimming spots. My absolute favourite, though, has to be Lough Hyne.

I swim there all year around and I really love the cold water swimming in the winter months. 

It is a stunning spot and you definitely come out of the water a different person.  It is my one non-negotiable – every week a Lough Hyne swim.   It nourishes both body and soul.

Tags used in this article

Share this article