The RNLI Helvick Swim is a family-friendly, community fundraiser event. Swimmers can choose to swim 4km or 2km along a marked course in Dungarvan Bay, finishing at Helvick Pier to a cheering crowd.
Instead of a signup fee, participants are requested to fundraise for the event by accepting sponsorship from within their own network of contacts.
The event has grown enormously in popularity over the years and has become a huge community event, attracting swimmers and visitors to Helvick in the Waterford Gaeltacht on the mouth of Dungarvan Bay from all over Ireland and beyond.
2km or 4km Sponsored Swim
Registered Swimmers can choose a distance that suits their ability and preference. Swimmers must be experienced in open water swimming.
The spectacle of the swimmers accompanied by a safety flotilla of kayakers, ribs and other boats swimming along the marked course in Dungarvan Bay will be quite a sight, as they swim into Helvick Pier.
Proceeds from this event directly fund operations at the RNLI.
Are you ready for the Helvick Swim challenge?
To take on Dungarvan Bay requires bravery, strength and dedication.
The water temperature of Dungarvan Bay in July averages 15°C (59°F). Please plan on wearing a wetstuit for the swim.
What safety precautions are in place for the swimmers?
Swimmers are escorted by experienced open water kayakers and ribs (small motor craft) who are carefuly coordinated to ensure safety of each swimmer. The kayakers are the closest to the swimmers and are the first line of response, followed by the ribs. We have trained and qualified medical staff ready at the pier in case of emergency.
What if the weather conditions are terrible?
We have a primary and secondary backup date in case of bad weather conditions. We closely monitor the forecast leading up the event so that we can give swimmers as much information as possible.
Is there an entry fee for the event? How does it work?
We do not have any registration or entry fee. Instead, swimmers are expected to fundraise sponsorship from within their network of contacts, which is donated to the RNLI post-event. The historical average is €250 per swimmer. Our fundraising partner platform is JustGiving. In the final step of the swimmer registration, swimmers are forwared to JustGiving where they can create their own online fundraising page.
Is there a limit on the number of participants?
The typical maximum is around 80 swimmers. The maximum number of swimmers we can allow varies slightly every year due to safety protocol review and insurance specifications.
Is this a timed event? Do you publish swimmer times?
We do not track individual swimmers for their swim time from start to finish. Swimmers who wish to know their exact time from start to finish are encouraged to do so using their own equipment (GPS watch etc).
How does the 2km swim work?
Swimmers who opt for the 2km swim distance are brought by motor craft to the halfway point of the course where they begin their swim. 2km and 4km swimmers both finish at Helvick Pier.
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The RNLI Helvick branch is always planning events for supporters and the general public to help support the station. Provide your Email to get regular updates.
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