Owen O'Keefe

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Owen O'Keefe during his 26.4 km swim from Cappoquin to Youghal in August 2012 (Photograph: Donal Buckley).
Owen Thomas O'Keefe, a native of Fermoy, County Cork, is a renowned open water swimmer from Ireland is among the most famous swimmers of Sandycove Island. He received the Margaret Smith Award from the Irish Long Distance Swimming Association in 2012 for his individual contributions to open water swimming and organized the 2012 Irish Long Distance Swimming Association award ceremonies and the Martin Duggan Memorial Swim.


Marathon Swimming Career

O'Keefe is the youngest Irish swimmer to have completed an English Channel solo crossing. He completed this crossing on 21 September 2009, aged 16 years, in a time of 10 hours 19 minutes. This remained the fastest Irish crossing until Tom Healy's 9 hour 51 minute swim on 7 September 2012. O'Keefe is also the first and only person to have swum around Lizard Point (7.5 km from Kynance Cove to Cadgwith) with a 1 hour 59 minute swim on 26 July 2008 at the age of 15 years. He was also the first person to swim from Cork City to Myrtleville (26 km) with a 5 hour 47 minute swim on 4 July 2009, aged 16 years. He completed a crossing of the Strait of Gibraltar on 22 July 2010 in 3 hours 52 minutes at the age of 17 years to complete his second Oceans Seven swim.

Unprecedented Swims

O'Keefe is the first and only person to have swum around Sherkin Island (16 km) with a 3 hour 58 minute effort on 31 August 2011. During the summer of 2012, he completed five more Irish unprecedented marathon swims. These included around Cape Clear (13.2 km) in West Cork, Magheraroarty to Tory Island (13.7 km) in Donegal and a total of 60 km in three stage swims down the River Blackwater from Fermoy to Youghal.

Videos of English Channel swim

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