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The bold and brave amongst us will no doubt have spent most of the summer getting into practice for the celebrated annual swim extravaganza in Dun Laoghaire Harbour. This year’s race is set to take place on Sunday, September 8 starting from the east pier. And, as usual there’ll be more spectators than there are swimmers at the popular Harbour,all lining the walkways to cheer on those hardy water-bound and competitive souls.
Naked swimming this September in Ireland Naked swimming is the name of the game. Well, when we say naked – you’re allowed wear a swimsuit, of course - what we mean is that for years now the judges at the Dun Laoghaire Harbour Race have banned the wearing of wet suits. Technically they are permitted but your time won’t count so you can leave the rubber suit at home if you want to be considered a competitor.
The ‘no wetsuit’ rule does seem a tad sadistic to us here at the Sandymount Hotel as, believe us; the water really is freezing at this of year! We’ve had many a swimmer staying at the hotel both before and after the race and one thing that always struck us was how sociable the event is; despite the fact it’s a closely fought competition. There is definitely camaraderie between swimmers – most of whom will no doubt have met before in the race’s four previous qualifying events in the Leinster Open Sea calendar.
Family Event at Dun Laoghaire Harbour beforehand Registration for the Children’s Swim prior to the main event is at 10am and the children’s race a mere thirty minutes later. There’ll then be a prize winner’s presentation more or less immediately following the end of the race.
Main race event at the Harbour The actual adult race – which is open to both men and women swimmers – will start at noon for the former and 1pm the latter. As well as prizes for the first six in either race there will also be separate categories for Vets (over 40 years), Masters (over 50 years), the swimmer with the fastest time and the first club.
Changes to the actual Dun Laoghaire Harbour We couldn’t mention Dun Laoghaire Harbour without announcing the proposed floating swimming pool and urban beach which is currently undergoing planning consultation with Dublin City Council.
This new addition to the harbour, due to be funded by the owners at a cost of 2.5 million Euros, is expected to draw in crowds of around 140,000 to the area, it’s been reported. Not only that but it’s believed that it’ll also boost the local economy by around one million Euros per year. If it’s given the go-ahead, owners reckon the pool (which will also have changing rooms and a café) and beach should be ready for use in summer 2015.
Here at the Sandymount Hotel we’ll definitely be trying out the floating pool and café. Still not sure about the Harbour Race though… Reserve a room for the event by checking our booking calendar. Image by William Murphy via Flickr