The fourth Battle of Carlingford Lough relay swim took place on Sunday last. In the driving wind and rain three out of five teams braved the harsh conditions to battle their way through 8km of rough seas to Warrenpoint.
The battle was set from the off to be a clinker. The Dundalk and Co team set a grueling pace from the word go which the two other teams, Newry Tri and Camlough Lake swimmers just could not match.
It took a bit of a warm up before the two northern teams could come to grips with the sea conditions and the pace. You could see the tactics of the boat men and teams emerging as the battle unfolded.
The swim is not just about fast swimmers. There is a raft of tactics to work out including the best route through the currents, tides and choppy conditions.
As time went by and the change over of each swimmer took place the teams where neck and neck after about 45 minutes before the sun made an unusual appearance to help the morale of all.
This helped Milo McCourt better than the rest and he was able to kick start his “twin Rolls Royce engines” into top gear.
The Camlough Lake swimmers started to pull away from the two other teams with the help of their secret weapon Aine McCreesh. But the Dundalk and Co team didn’t give up and pulled back the gap more than once to take it back to neck and neck.
The Newry Tri team also managed to close the gap all the time but at the end it was just too much for the other teams to hold onto the toes of Camlough Lake swimmers Mickey Lynch, Neill McDonald, Aine McCreesh and Legend Milo McCourt, assisted by boat man Padraig Mallon.
The winning team came into Warrenpoint in a blistering time of 1 hour 50 minutes, sharply followed by the Dundalk and Co team with team captain ‘Plug’ and the Kildea brothers in 2 hours 2 minutes, assisted with boat men from Dundalk Sub Aqua.
Hot on their heels where the Newry Tri Club team with Aaron McCourt, Mark McElroy, Adrian Pouchier and Julie Craven in 2 hours 5 mins with top boat man Willie Smith by their side.
The epic Carlingford Lough battle solo swim will take place next Saturday August 11 at 3pm sharp. Some of the top female swimmers will be participating to give the men a run for their money.