Owen O'Keefe


Owen was the youngest swimmer (aged 16) from Ireland to swim the English Channel 21 miles/34 km in 2009 in 10 hours and 19 minutes.  This was the second fastest crossing by a swimmer from Ireland until bettered 3 years later. 

Owen pioneered several swims and remains the only swimmer to have completed these solos:  Cork City to Myrtleville 16.2 miles/26 km in 2009 in 5 hours and 47 minutes, around Sherkin Island 9.9 miles/16 km in 2011 in 3 hours and 58 minutes, to Tory Island 7 miles/11.3 km in 2012 in 4 hours 21 minutes (others have swum the other direction) and Fermoy to Youghal 37.3miles/60 km in 2013 in 12 hours and 8 minutes with stages completed in preparation the year before Fermoy to Ballyduff (11.6 miles/18.6 km), Ballyduff to Cappoquin 9.3 miles/15.0 km and Cappoquin to Youghal 16.4 miles/26.4 km.

Other solos include: around Jersey 33.6 miles/54 km in 2013 in 9 hours and 35 minutes (fastest male at the time), around Cape Clear 8.2 miles/13.2 km in 2012 in 3 hours and 47 minutes (first ever), Lough Erne 17km in 2009 in 4 hours and 11 minutes (fastest from Ireland), Strait of Gibraltar 8.9 miles/14.4 km in 2010 in 3 hours 52 minutes and Crosshaven to Blackrock 11.2 miles/18 km in 2008 in 5 hours 37 minutes.

He also contributed over the years as the organiser of the Martin Duggan Memorial Swim in Fermoy to honour the memory of a local boy who drowned tragically in the river.  In 2012, he crewed on a number of English Channel crossings including Trent Grimsey's world record swim of 6 hours and 55 minutes.