The Swim

Map of Swim

The swim from Rindoon Castle on Lough Ree in Co. Roscommon to Athlone Castle in Co.Westmeath is a distance of 13.5km.

Swimmers will travel south towards Yewpoint, onwards to pass Hodson Bay and then towards the river where they will pass the Lough Ree Yacht Club, the M6 Bypass Bridge and on to the White Railway Bridge before beginning the final 300m straight into Athlone town going under the town bridge to finish on the banks of Athlone Castle.

All swimmers will start from the shore south-west of Rindoon Castle. There are 2 key marker points along the course :

1. Yew Point at approximately 6km from the start

2. Marker 644 at approximately 10.5km

Yew point (at approx. 6 km) – Swimmers must reach this buoy in less than 2hours 40mins

Marker 644 (at approx. 10.5km) Swimmers must reach this buoy in less than 4 hours 40mins

Open Water Time Trials

There will be Open Water Time Trials held at Coosan Point in Athlone in July.

These trials are mandatory for all who register for the Castle to Castle Swim. There will be 2 dates which will be confirmed soon.

Individual swimmers will have to complete a 5km swim at Coosan in under 2 hours whilst Relay swimmers will swim 2.4km and must complete it in under 1 hour.

  • Wetsuits are not compulsory but are recommended.

  • Swimmers who plan to take part without a wetsuit on event day must also complete the time trial in skins.

  • Tow-Floats are mandatory for all swimmers.

  • Only swimmers who meet the time targets can proceed to take part in the Castle to Castle Swim on August 24th.

Participants in the Galway Bay Swim 2024 will be exempt from the Time Trial provided they finish the swim.

Overseas swimmers who wish to register for the Jim O’Connor Memorial Castle to Castle Swim must contact us first by email castletocastleswim@athlonersc.ie and will be required to submit verification of having completed an Open Water (5k or 2.4k within the above time targets)

Swim Rules

  • Solo swimmers must have their own experienced kayaker and Relay swimmers must have a boat with an experienced captain.

  • Wetsuits are not mandatory for all swimmers but they are recommended

  • Swimmers may grease up before the swim (Vaseline or Goose Fat)

  • Body Glide or Lanolin are also recommended to avoid friction burns for those wearing a wetsuit

  • All swimmers will be provided with a brightly coloured swim hat that MUST be worn for the Swim

  • Mandatory: All swimmers must use a tow-float

  • Swimmers must not use fins, paddles, boards, pull buoys

  • Swimmers using a boat may hold it during their ‘feeds’ as long as the boat is in idle and is not moving the swimmer forward

  • Swimmers must not go on land or onto the boat at any time during the swim. The only exception is where the swimmer’s boat breaks down. In this case, the swimmer must exit the water onto the boat and they can continue their swim once a back-up boat arrives. If this occurs, the boat captain needs to notify the command boat of their location and the swimmer they are supporting

  • Swimmers must follow the course by passing within 20 metres of the red navigational markers as described in the briefing

  • The total cut off time to finish the swim at Athlone Castle is 6 hours. The intermediate cut-off points for the swim are as follows:

    1. Yew point (at approx. 6 km) – Swimmers must reach this buoy in less than 2hrs 40mins

    2. Marker 644 (at approx.10.5km) Swimmers must reach this buoy in less than 4 hrs 40mins

  • Swimmers must reach the cut-off points by the designated time to be allowed to continue the swim. Safety requirements in place for the swim dictate that swimmers will be required to leave the water if the cut-off points are not reached by the designated times. The Race Director and Safety Officers’ decision is final and needs to be respected by all

  • If during the swim, the swimmer is struggling with the cold, shivering, tiredness, injury and/or requires medical assistance, the safety officers and the organisers of the Castle to Castle Swim reserve the right to remove the swimmer from the water

  • Swimmers will be checked in by entering the water one at a time through a start gate. A marshal from the support team will make note of each swimmer as they enter. It is important that every swimmer is counted in as they enter the water

  • Swimmers will NOT be permitted to enter the water unless their support boat /kayak has checked in with the Command boat via VHF radio or mobile phone

  • A command boat will be on the course and will communicate with the swimmer’s support craft. The boats/kayaks dictate the direction – the swimmer dictates the pace

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