The Jones Engineering Dublin City Liffey Swim took place on Saturday 9 September, with over 500 swimmers of all ages, abilities and nationalities, competing to win the coveted race.
The winner of the Men’s Event was Colin Monaghan, from Dublin Swimming Club, in a time of 36 minutes, with a handicap of 30 seconds. The Cup was presented to Colin by Tanya Doyle, Marketing Executive of Jones Engineering Group.
The winner of the Women’s Event was Anne Marie Bourke, from Dublin Swimming Club, in a time of 33 minutes, 48 seconds, with a handicap of 2 minutes. Anne Marie was presented with her Cup by Barry Steele, Business Development Manager, of Jones Engineering Group.
The youngest swimmer in the race was Lucy Collins aged 13 from the Viking Swimming Club who swam alongside her mother, Isabel. Sally Newall was the oldest swimmer to compete, returning from the US to swim in the race this year with her daughter and granddaughter. The oldest Irish swimmer was the great Liffey Veteran, Clare O’Dwyer, aged 76. Many swimmers have competed in the Liffey over 50 years in a row.
Jones Engineering Dublin City Liffey Swim
First run in 1920, the Liffey swim is the oldest continuously run annual swimming race in Europe. Jones Engineering Group, the official race sponsor for the next 10 years, was established in 1890 and was a thriving business in Dublin when the first Liffey Swim took place. It is probably one of only a handful of companies from that time still in business today.
Every competitor has a chance to win the race due to a special handicap system. Participation rates in swimming and open sea races are on the up once again, and 2017 was one of the biggest yet up from 440 in 2014 and 336 in 2013. The swim of 2.2 kilometres started at Rory O’Moore Bridge (beside the Guinness Brewery) and finished at North Wall Quay in front of the Customs House, and all competitors received a commemorative medal upon finishing the race.
Jim Curley, Managing Director of Jones Engineering Group said “The Jones Engineering Dublin City Liffey Swim is a unique event in our capital city and we believe throughout Europe. There is no other event like it for colour, excitement and spectacle. It has a special place in the hearts of Dubliners and our own company has a strong connection to the race. Our Chairman Eric Kinsella swam the race, so we are delighted to sponsor the Jones Engineering Dublin City Liffey Swim. We are very excited to work with Dublin City Council and Leinster Open Sea as we begin planning for the 100th anniversary of the race in 2019.”
Hundreds of spectators
Hundreds of spectators turned out to watch from the quays and the bridges, to clap and cheer on swimmers as they made their way down the Liffey. There were a few showers on the day, but that couldn’t dampen the enthusiasm. Families and friends ran alongside the competitors, as they made their way under 11 key bridges in the city, and even passing tour buses joined in on the action, cheering along with the crowd. Although the swim is a solo endeavour the camaraderie amongst the competitors is not only clear to see, it is also clear to hear, with everyone joining in for a rousing rendition of Molly Malone on the pontoon before braving the cold waters.
Jones Engineering Liffey Swim 2018
With the support of Jones Engineering and Dublin City Council, next year’s event is set to be bigger and better than ever. It will be the 99th anniversary of the first swim, and the atmosphere is sure to be electric. The Leinster Open Sea website (leinsteropensea.ie) contains details of how aspiring swimmers can sign up for next year’s 2018 season. Swimmers must be a member of a swimming club affiliated with Swim Ireland (or an equivalent overseas governing body) to be able to participate in Leinster open sea races. The website contains links to a list of nationwide swimming clubs so you can be sure to find one in your locality. Both Leinster Open Sea and the swimming clubs warmly welcome new swimmers from former Olympic competitors to novice swimmers who have just learned to swim over the winter.
Most prestigious open sea swimming race
Lord Mayor of Dublin, Mícheál MacDonncha said: “The Dublin City Liffey Swim is the most prestigious open sea swimming race in Ireland and is considered as the All Ireland Final for open sea swimmers. I want to thank the Leinster Open Sea and Jones Engineering who work closely with the City Council every year in successfully delivering this unique event. There is something special about swimming through the city and passing the iconic Dublin landmarks along the way.”
Gus Cooney, of Leinster Open Sea Series the organising body of the race, said: “The Liffey Swim is the oldest continuous annual swimming race in Europe and Jones Engineering’s generous sponsorship and commitment to the race for the next 10 years secures its future.”