irish trio to attempt cold channel swim
SWIMMING: Sometime between July 1 and July 10, a three-man relay team, made up of Ger Kennedy, Richard Molloy and Paul Manning, all members of the Irish Long Distance Swimming Association, will step into the chilly waters of the English Channel at Dover and head for Cap-Gris-Nez. The three swam Lough Erne last summer, a distance of 25km, and aim to get as close to 11 hours as possible - Molloy and Manning have some fast times to their credit while Kennedy is an experienced ice swimmer. A lot will depend on the notorious Channel weather, as Manning's father, Pat knows all too well. “I swam the Channel in 1999. You can start in flat calm and two hours later, you're fighting a big swell in force 4 conditions. At least relay swimmers get breaks.”
FENCING: David Alexander and Brendan Cusack qualified for the knock-out stages in men's foil at the European Fencing Championships held in the steamy heat of Strasbourg France. In his pool, Alexander had two wins and four losses, placing 53rd. In the round of 64, he lost 7/15 to Majewski of Poland. Cusack finished 56th after his two pool wins and lost to Le Pechoux of France 8/15 in the last 64. Stephen Concannon put in a brave effort in men's sabre, winning one match 5/1 and coming very close in a second. He finished 50th of 59 fencers.
POWERLIFTING: A grandfather and grandson will compete together for Ireland at the European Powerlifting Championships in Coventry later this month. Billy Healy, who is an age group world champion, competes in the over 65 class, while grandson Wayne aged 17, has qualified as a junior. Wayne's father, Wayne senior, is 14 times Irish weightlifting champion.The Healys are part of a 16-strong team, with six of them coming from Dublin's Hercules Club, the home of Irish power sports for decades. Ben Kelly will compete in the open category, while George Hutton, Thomas Cornish and Billy Kidd go in the master grades. All face a tough competition consisting of three lifts - bench press, dead lift and squat.
VOLLEYBALL: A young Irish women's volleyball team made a creditable return to the international arena at the European Volleyball Championships qualifiers in Perth, Scotland. Unfortunately hopes of a third place finish were crushed in their very first match when they lost to old foes Northern Ireland, a team they have beaten twice in recent months. They then lost to tournament winners Cyprus and also to Scotland and Malta.
SURFING: Lahinch is the venue this weekend for Mermaids, two days of surfing instruction and fun for women organised by the Irish Surfing Association. For the two days, women - and girls - can develop their surfing skills with the help of Ireland's top female coaches and members of the Irish surf team. Newcomers of all ages are welcome. No need to book - just show up at the beach. Today's last lesson is at 3pm; action tomorrow starts at 10am.