Origins of this idea date by to November 2018 when Ger Kennedy discussed the details with Padraig Mallon , then Ger was forming a group of international swimmers based on there previous experience distance in cold water , due to his own swimming agenda this never came to bear but was always on his mind.
During the world wide pandemic and travel restrictions and swimming pools closed for close to 1 year, Ger focused his efforts on opening the Winter Walrus Group (Est 2014) to a wider community is the safe practice of winter swimming and leading into Ice swimming , this grew very big and some 300 new swimmers joined the Winter Walrus Virtual Challenge.
Ger ran free training and safe practice sessions on Friday Mornings & Sunday Mornings which were a huge success during difficult and lonely times for some , all abilities when catered for , From Baby Walrus to Ice Walrus.
From this simple program Ger found some extraordinary talent all homegrown , a smaller group of the more experienced walrues formed and went deeper into the cold , the same group went into summer progression into 10km + distances in national and international competitions.
So the idea of the Extreme Winter Relay North Channel came up again and really with worldwide pandemic still in place International swimmers where out , Ger turned to some of the stronger extreme walrus team and offered them a place on the Swim Team, which after a couple of meetings they accepted.
For Ger being an all Irish/Dublin team and most are completely new to this level of endurance is very exciting.
Contacted was made with ILDSA Committee & Padraig Mallon Infinity and opened up discussion , which are still ongoing in the swim the North Channel application due to the extreme nature of this undertaking.
A New training program was sent up and to give an example where each member ability is to date:
3 x 1 hour continuous open water swims under 10c 1 x lake swim under 8c
All swimmers are averaging 3-3.3km per hour
Recovery – Due to confined space on pilot boat we have practiced what i call a confined recovery which means in a 2 meter space we practice deep squats with raised arms and controlled breathing , we did approach some wim hof coaches but we felt they could not comprehend what we were trying to practice so we just invented our own method which works very well.
Cold hardened & tempering of the body includes regular walking in low temperatures with light clothing , use of Air Con in there vehicle and less heating in the homes is all part of the process but not to overdose on too much cold and risk damage to extremities.
Ger Kennedy (Pump Engineer)
Declan Bradshaw ( Mircrosoft Team Leader)
Dave Berry ( Sports Director)
Vincent Donegan ( Fireman )
Colm Morris ( Primary Teacher)
Niamh mcCarthy ( Managing Director )
Manager Ger Devin ( Managing Director)
Emergency Medical Technician : Barry Patterson