Swimmers praised for gruelling swims

September 15th, 2016 4:55 PM

By Southern Star Team

Bernard, starting his cross-channel swim to France from the white cliffs of Dover in the south of England.

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THE well-known owner of Lynch’s Centra in Crosshaven, Bernard Lynch has completed a gruelling cross-channel solo swim in aid of Aware. 

Completing the swim in an outstanding 12 hours 58 minutes, Bernard set off from Dover at 8.52am on Tuesday morning, August 30th, and came ashore at Cap Gris Nez in France at 10pm. 

This challenge is no easy feat – incredibly, more people have climbed Mount Everest than have successfully swum the English Channel.

Bernard started sea swimming over thirty years ago and is an active member of Myrtleville Swimmers. He undertook extensive training over the last two years in advance of this ultimate long-distance challenge. 

The cross-channel solo swim is held in the highest respect by open-water swimmers. It is approximately a 35km swim from Dover to Calais in France in a direct line; but with the significant tides, Bernard swam in the region of 48km over 13 hours. Timings can vary greatly; the fastest solo crossing was seven hours, the slowest nearly 27 hours. The success rate of channel swimmers is about 50% and much depends on the weather conditions, water temperatures and, above all, the mental strength to persevere. To add to all of this, it is one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world with 600 tankers crossing daily.

As main sponsors, Centra praised Bernard’s swim and are supporting the cause to live well and promote healthy living. 

Together, they are hoping to raise as much funds as possible in aid of Aware, which is one of Ireland’s leading mental health charities and provides information, education and support to individuals, families and communities around Ireland that suffer from stress, anxiety and depression. 

To donate to this worthy charity, online one may find ‘Bernard’s English Channel Swim’ on or go to ‘Lynch’s Centra Crosshaven’ on Facebook. Collection units are also available in the Centra store in Crosshaven. All funds donated go directly to Aware.

Sustaining a good healthy diet was essential for Bernard when undertaking his gruelling training sessions. Centra supported Bernard in achieving his goal and the store’s new approach to healthy living helped exponentially in his preparations.  

Last year, Centra made a deliberate change in its food policy, introducing the Live Well programme, which encourages customers to make healthy shopping choices.  

Meanwhile, an Englishman who has been living in Clonakilty for the last eight years has set a new time record for swimming from the Fastnet to Baltimore.

Nathan Timmins commenced the swim at 3.30pm on Wednesday, August 24th last and crossed the line 21km later in Baltimore at 10pm – a swim time of six hours and 35 minutes.

Lough Hyne lapper, Noel Browne, was the observer and feeder on the day, and his friend, Donal O’Donovan, skippered the lead boat, The Hugani. According to Noel Browne, Nathan’s time was ‘much much faster’ than the previous best, which was set by Skibbereen’s Sean Murray in around eight hours.

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