Ireland Swim History

The ILDSA acts as a historian of open water swimming in the island of Ireland, and aim to document every noteworthy swim undertaken in Irish waters: famous routes from the North Channel to the Fastnet Rock; bays of Galway and Dublin; Lough Erne and Lough Mask, and other epic challenges in the sea and lakes of Ireland.

We record this history to inspire each other and, most importantly, inspire the next generation of open water swimmers to dream up and achieve wonderful adventures – not only on our shores but all over the globe. ILDSA invites you to delve into your archival material, identify those – perhaps from your club or community – who have excelled in open water swimming in the past, and forward on to us details of their swims. How you can help.

Each swim recorded in the ILDSA Swim History database is designated as an instance of a specific Swim Route. Typically a Swim Route is identified by a pair of waypoints identifying its start and finish points.

See the list of ILDSA Swim Routes.

Irish Triple Crown

It was with great pride that the Irish Long Distance Swimming Association announced in July 2021 the open water swimming IRISH TRIPLE CROWN, bestowed upon the completion of the Fastnet Swim, the Galway Bay Swim and the North Channel Swim.

Original Triple Crown

The ORIGINAL TRIPLE CROWN is a marathon swimming challenge consisting of three historically important swims: the English Channel Swim, the Bristol Channel Swim, and the North Channel Swim.

Ireland Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame

The Ireland Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame, created in 2017, recognises and honours the leading marathon swimmers and contributors to the sport in Ireland. This serves as a historic record and provides heroes and role models for future generations.

Irish Championships

The Irish Championships began as a 17km marathon event to mark the ILDSA’s Jubilee in 1991. Held at Lough Erne, the event was run for its first 18 years by Billy Wallace. Under Stephen Millar’s leadership the event evolved into a “Festival” with five races running on the same day, with 1.5km, 5km, 10km, and 25km challenges joining the 17km Championship race.