Open Water Swimming Goes Wild In The West

The Great Fjord Swim 750m. Pic credit Martin Kalvaster

Over 1,000 open water swimmers will make their way to the shores of Killary Fjord in Connemara this October to take part in The Great Fjord Swim. This swim was voted one of the ten toughest fitness challenges by GQ Magazine this year and it looks like more swimmers than ever are up for the challenge.

The Great Fjord Swim will take place on Saturday the 12th of October 2019 and is proudly sponsored by John West Ireland. It looks like the attendance in 2019 will hit an all-time attendance record since the inception of the Great Fjord Swim in 2012.

This open water swimming event is definitely one for the bucket list. Many people are travelling from overseas to take in this unique setting in Killary Fjord, Leenane, Co. Galway. The swim is part of the international Global Swim Series which give it international appeal with swimmers from the USA, the UK and Europe taking the plunge.

This particular event is offering all things magical about open water swimming in the heart of the Wild Atlantic Way. There are three distances – something to suit all levels of swimmer – 750m, 1.5km and 3.9km. The full Ironman Distance of 3.9km is aimed at experienced swimmers who want to test their limits. The 2km route sees swimmers start their swim with a jump off the Connemara Lady catamaran and swim back to the shore. Leaving nobody ashore Gaelforce also offers a 750m swim from Co. Mayo all the way to Co. Galway including a trip on a fishing trawler.

Mona Purcell, from Gaelforce Events says “The Great Fjord Swim is a unique swimming experience in exceptionally stunning surroundings – it is a privilege to host this event and to showcase this amazing location to the world”

The village of Leenane and the surrounding area welcomes the boost in tourism in October and it looks like the west will be wide awake this October.

Gaelforce have teamed up with Jigsaw, the National Centre for Youth Mental Health as their charity partner. As part of the partnership participants can donate when registering for the event or become an Everyday Jigsaw Hero and raise vital funds for the charity.

More details at

The Great Fjord Swim, 2km distance, Killary Cruises. Pic credit Martin Kalvaster
The Great Fjord Swim – 3.9km – Pic credit Martin Kalvaster