Sunshine, smiles and speedy swimming at our Invitational Gala

Fermoy Swimming Club held our Invitational Gala last weekend, and we were delighted to welcome swimmers from Carrick Dippers, Dolphin, Clonmel, West Cork Orcas, Killarney, Sundays Well, Limerick and Tiger Sharks. Our own club had 51 swimmers taking part, and there was great support from the spectator gallery as teammates cheered each other on.

Organising an event of this size takes a huge amount of work, and we would like to thank our committee volunteers, coaches, parents, Swim Ireland officials and in particular Helen Forrester and her team, for a superbly organised gala. Our thanks also to the staff of Fermoy Leisure Centre for their help and support. Thanks also to our sponsors, An Garda Síochána, and the Forrester family. As a result of this huge collective effort there were some very happy swimmers on Saturday evening, the home gala is always a favourite with everyone. And the sun was shining outside in between races, even better!

Fermoy Gala 2018-2
Fermoy swimmers with their coaches Warren, Paula and Jackie after a superb home Invitational Gala in Fermoy on Saturday. (Pic: Declan Howard)
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And now to the racing. We had a huge medals haul on the day – 92 in total, 52 for the boys, 40 for the girls. There were Level 2 times, Level 3 times and Div2 times flying around the place like confetti – please check the results sheet on our website for your exact times in each event you swam. The target times for Level 2 and Level 3 can be found on our website under Criteria for Progression, along with this year’s Div2 times. And of course if you are unsure, please check with your coach. We’ve picked out a few highlights from our club members below.

200 Individual Medley

The first event of the day was the 200 IM, a tough event in which 50 metres of each stroke is swum in succession. Technically difficult also, as the turns from one stroke-type to the next have to be done in a specific way, and any infringement will result in a DQ. In the youngest age group Fermoy filled the podium with Zach Daniels-Howard, Liam Hegarty and Peter Verling taking the top 3 spots. The 12-13 age group saw a silver and bronze for Fermoy, courtesy of William Verling and David Noonan, with Gearoid Carey also taking it on for the first time in a very creditable 3.31. Darragh Gill swam in the 14-15 age group, and knocked a whopping 26.52 seconds of his pb, securing gold in the process.

The girls 200 IM saw Sophie Baker win her first gold of the day, with a -1.4sec pb. Emma Forrester won bronze in her age group, in a -4.88 pb time, well done Emma. Another huge pb for Emma O’Grady in this event, 8.82 sec off. Alexandra Ohrim swam the event for the first time, in 3.05, a super time, and Munster Squad swimmer Jodie Baker swam a fantastic race, finishing in 2.32.51.

100m Freestyle

Next up was the 100m free, a blue riband event in the Olympic programme, and the most popular event of our gala, with 28 Fermoy swimmers racing in this. There were some huge pbs in this event – Nathan O’Flynn swam a -18.67 pb, Padraig O’Toole -6.49 pb, Rory Gill -3.22, Dane Fitzgerald -8.92 pb, Oisín Finn -21.72 pb, and Sean Slattery – a regular below the minute for this event –pb’d by 0.14, a great achievement at this level. In the girls, Katie Rice swam a -15.8pb, Emily Gorey -6.44pb, and Ionela Ohrim had a super swim to bring in an -11.47 pb time. Keela Enright also had a super swim, taking -3.67 of her previous time, as did Margaret Verling, who swam 1.40.13 on her first attempt over this distance.

50m Breaststroke

The 50m breaststroke brought some more super swims, Adam Duggan was the star of the boys with a 5.98 pb swim, Louis Gorey took 4.92 off his time in the next age group, and Luke O’Shea swam 48.03 which is 1.73 faster than before. The girls event saw Siun Carey swim her first 50m breast race and return a super time of 54.50, well done Siun. Sophie Baker took 7.69 off her previous time in this, her favourite stroke, 43.57 for Sophie. Mia Callanan also returned a pb in this event, finishing in 56.95. This event also brought pb times to Eabha Burke, Clodagh Whelan, Emily Gorey, Meabh Lee in the 12/13 age group. In the older girls Maeve Callanan swam 3.18 faster than her previous time, and Ionela Ohrim had another great swim, coming home in 5.03 faster than before. Zoe Daniels-Howard, our second Munster Squad swimmer, clocked up a 37.52, 0.95 faster than previously, and agonisingly close to her target of 37.40 for consideration for Scottish Nationals. Swimming is a sport of such close margins.

100m Backstroke

In the 100m backstroke, Aidan O’Brien had his first try at this event, and recorded a 2.03.28, well done Aidan. David Noonan took 2.49 off his previous best, and not to be outdone Darragh Gill swam a fantastic 1.26.37 in the next age group up, a whopping pb of -22.52. Ben Terry recorded his first time for this event, 1.29.45, and Sean Slattery swam another super pb of -5.38. Naoise Hegarty swam the 100m back for the first time on Saturday, recording a fine time of 1.33.84. Fiona Miao took another 1.59 off her already impressive time, to record a pb of 1.12.24, fantastic swimming from Fiona. Anna O’Keeffe also recorded a wonderful pb of -3.77 in this event. Emma O’Grady clocked up a -3.75 sec pb. Ciara Clancy also had a great swim here, with a 1.42.75 for her first time over this distance in backstroke. Well done Ciara. In the 200 back we had 1 swimmer, but he managed to bring back the gold, well done William Verling.

200m Breaststroke and 50m Fly

Boys and Girls 200m breaststroke was up next – this is a gruelling event and not for the faint-hearted. We had 2 first timers over this distance – Luca Salvatori and Sophie Baker, and both recorded super times of 3.38.17 and 3.25.71 respectively. Well done to both.

50 Fly saw gold and silver for Zach Daniels-Howard and Padraig O’Toole, silver and bronze for Bartosz Lipinski and Ryan Ates, in the next age-group, great swimming from both. Jack Duggan swam a fantastic 29.61 in his 50 fly to take the gold in his section. Jack’s time is inside last year’s Irish Short Course Champs qt, impressive stuff from Jack. Keela Enright won gold in the younger girls 50 fly, in a time of 52.35, and Gemma O’Brien won her event in 36.91. Ionela Ohrim recorded an -8.32 pb in her 50 fly, to take the bronze in her age group.

200m Freestyle and 100m IM

The 200 free saw David Noonan clock up a -4.18 sec pb, and a silver medal for his trouble. Jack Duggan swam a powerhouse race to take 4.96 off his previous time over this distance, 2.15.70 for Jack. Adam O’Grady had an unfortunate goggles issue, but swam bravely on and managed a pb against all odds, well done Adam.

Nefeli Pyrovolaki swam her first 200m free on Saturday, returning a fine time of 3.06.20. Annelies Kouwenberg took a break from studying and swam a fine time of 2.28.35 for her 200m free. Jodie Baker took gold in her age group, 2.19.74.

In the 100IM Sam O’Brien swam a pb time of 1.35.07 to take bronze, behind Zach Daniels-Howard in silver position, who shaved 7.08 from his time, well done lads. Gemma O’Brien swam a -3.26 pb in her 100IM, to take silver, with Eabha Burke taking the bronze here. In the older girls, Maeve Callanan swam a -1.53 pb. Jodie Baker swam a fantastic time of 1.13.50. This would have been a qt for the Irish Short Course Champs last year, illustrating what a powerful swim Jodie had. Congratulations Jodie.

100 Breaststroke

5 boys took on the 100m breaststroke, Adam O’Grady got on better with his goggles this time, and secured his much sought-after time of 1.24.12, which he so narrowly missed in Mallow. Well done Adam.

In the girls 100m breaststroke we had some super pb times – Emma O’Grady -7.04, Anna O’Keeffe -1.92 and Emma Forrester a whopping 10.65 off. We also had some first-timers to this event, well done to Sophie, Naoise, Nefeli, Mai and Ciara on posting excellent first times. In the older girls Zoe Daniels-Howard broke the 1.20 mark for the first time, coming in at 1.19.93.

50m Freestyle and 50m Backstroke

We had 10 boys take on the 50m free, medals winners were Zach, William, Ryan, Jack and Sean. Harry Bates swam a pb 40.54, an improvement of 1.74 on his last time. Ben Terry, in the senior boys section, swam an impressive pb of 35.17, an improvement of 5.48 on his previous best. Well done Ben.

In the girls 50m free, Fermoy filled the podium in the older girls section, with Jodie Baker taking the gold on 29.26, Zoe in second with 30.68 and Annelies taking bronze with 30.70. Very close! Katie Rice, Eabha Burke, Emily Gorey and Meabh Lee all had great swims in the younger age group.

There were some very impressive pb times swam in the boys 50m backstroke – Adam Duggan again taking gold and knocking 4.59 off his previous best. Sam O’Brien took silver with a -7.01pb, and Harry Bates got the bronze in 45.81, a 2 second improvement.

In the girls, Melina Pyrovolaki took gold in her age group, Mia Callanan got silver with a -2.06 pb, and Siun Carey was there for the bronze with a solid time of 51.26. Fiona Miao took gold in the older girls, in this, her favoured stroke.

100m Butterfly

Last individual event of the day was the 100m butterfly, one of the most impressive sprint races to watch. David Noonan got silver in his section, in 1.33.88, and Ben Terry took the bronze in the older boys group. The girls’ gold went to Fiona Miao, with a fantastic time of 1.18.47.

Cannon Relay

The day ended with the Cannon relay – each relay team comprises of 8 swimmers, a boy and girl from each age group, and is swam over 400m freestyle. In a very competitive race, we snatched victory over Dolphin SC, the roof was nearly raised with the level of noise from the spectators cheering their teams on. It was such an exciting race to watch, we all thoroughly enjoyed it.

Garda Cup

The last business of the day at every Fermoy SC Invitational Gala is the awarding of the Garda Cup – this year the overall was won by Dolphin SC, and the cup was presented to their head coach Mick McCormack by our chairman Declan O’Keeffe.

So that’s it, all over for another year. We hope that everyone enjoyed the day, and our thanks again to everyone that helped out – it really was a fantastic team effort.


This weekend we have 4 swimmers heading to UL for the Munster Age Group Championships. We wish the very best of luck to Jodie, Fiona, Zoe and Zach. It promises to be a very competitive weekend, with the top swimmers from both regions competing for the honours, but our 4 competitors will be hoping to be up there amongst the medals. As the boom in UL pool is broken, the competition will be run short course, rather than long course as originally planned.


Glofish – last session Friday, June 1. Swordfish – last session Friday, June 1. Marlins – last session Saturday, June 9. Sailfish – last session Sunday, June 10. Dolphins – last session Sunday, June 10. Sharks – last session Saturday, June 16. Torpedoes – to be decided. Keep your training going – DOLPHINS can train with Sharks Tuesdays 18.00 – 18.45; Wednesdays 17.00 – 17.45 & Saturdays 08.00 – 10.00 starting Tuesday, 12th June, until Saturday, 16th June. SHARKS with one Grade 2 time can train with Torpedoes at 06.15am – 07.45am on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, and on Saturday & Sundays from 17.00 – 19.00 starting Tuesday, 12th June.

Please also note the following – On Saturday, June 2 Torpedoes will train with Sharks 8am-10am (no evening training), Dolphins, Marlins and Sailfish will train 10am-10.45am.

No training for any squad on Sunday, June 3.


Remember, if your swimmer doesn’t already have a club teeshirt to wear to their next gala, we have a variety of sizes in stock. It’s brilliant to see our swimmers decked out in their club colours. Please contact 087/4191623 if you wish to purchase one.


Please check our website regularly for updates on upcoming galas, division times, progression details from grade 1 to grade 2 to grade 3 etc. We have a large volume of information under the competitive tab. You can also find results and times from previous Swim Ireland galas here.

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