The 89th annual Liffey Swim takes place this Saturday, 6th September 2008. The race is organised by Swim Ireland and sponsored by Dublin City Council. The swim will commence at Watling Street Bridge and finish at the Custom House, a distance of 2.2km. A total of 228 men and 126 women have qualified to compete in the swim. The men’s race begins at 4.15pm while the women’s starts at 5.15pm.
“The Liffey Swim is one of Dublin’s oldest traditions and each year it goes from strength to strength. The growing popularity of this event can be witnessed by the number of competitors from overseas taking part. Although the swimmers are an integral part of the day the spectators also play a vital role in encouraging and supporting the swimmers. I would urge everyone to come along and enjoy a great family day out,” said the Lord Mayor, Councillor Eibhlin Byrne.
In order to qualify, all participants have competed in five races and a time penalty is placed on each swimmer depending on the swimmer’s ability. Dublin City Council employee, Shane Drumm, will be competing to retain his title of fastest male swimmer; he will be the last into the water with a handicap of 6 minutes and 10 seconds. While Rachel Lee of the Dublin Fire Brigade will go head to head Julie Ann Galloway of Texas, USA to compete for the title of fastest woman.
There is a record number of entries for this year, spanning a broad range of ages and nationalities. The youngest swimmer is 11-year-old Lucy Dowling and Lucy Gaynor, age 14, is racing in her second Liffey Swim. For the second year running, swimmers from all over the world, including UK, USA, Australia and the Netherlands, will compete in the Open Seas Category. Seven women and ten men from Dublin City Council will also be swimming.
Event Manager, Brian Mongey said, “The organising committee are delighted with the record entry. We are looking forward to a great family day out and have arranged street entertainment and music throughout the day.”
The Artane School of Music under the direction of Ronan O’Reilly will perform at the event.