Redmond to make splash at gathering

Open water swimming legend Stephen Redmond will be honoured at the elite sport’s first global gathering in Ireland later this year — the first time it has ever been staged outside the US.

Some of the gruelling sport’s top swimmers will travel to Cork for the Global Open Water Swimming Conference from Oct 11 to 13.

Conference-goers will be welcomed to the city by Lord Mayor Cllr Catherine Clancy.

Based at the Rochestown Park Hotel, the conference will address sporting, scientific and environmental issues linked to the sport, and feature presentations from open water swimmers who have completed some of the world’s toughest open water swims and pioneered new routes.

They will also talk about mass swims, new swims and marathon swims, about the dangers and challenges faced by open water swimmers, including hypothermia, and about how environmental changes are affecting open water swimming.

The weekend event will also feature a Sunday swim at Sandycove Island in Kinsale, the home of open water swimming in Cork.

But the conference will also honour Mr Redmond who was crowned Global Open Water Swimmer of the Year 2012 following his completion of the epic Oceans Seven challenge.

Last July, West Cork-based Redmond swam, on his fourth attempt, the treacherous Tsugaru Strait in Japan in 12 hours 45 minutes — the last swim in his Oceans Seven challenge — making him the first person in the world to complete all seven of the world’s toughest stretches of open water.

He has swum The English Channel, the North Channel between Ireland and Scotland, the Cook Strait between the North and South Islands of New Zealand, the Molokai Channel in Hawaii, the Catalina Channel off California and the Strait of Gibraltar.

The conference is being held in association with Cork Lions Club and UCC, the international Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame, and the World Open Water Swimming Association, and is being supported by Cork County Council and The Gathering.

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