Sandycove Island

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Sandycove Island
Sandycove Island is a small island at the mouth of Ardkilly Creek on the south coast of Ireland, just to the west of the Castlepark peninsula, which forms the western side of the entrance to Kinsale harbour in County Cork. It is a popular open water swimming location and site of the Cork Distance Week produced by Ned Denison.

It is located directly opposite the tiny hamlet of Sandycove (population around 100) and no more than 200 meters (656 ft) off the shore.

The island is uninhabited except for a herd of feral goats which has grazed on the island for generations, an indication that there is probably a reliable source of fresh water on the island. Over the centuries a number of ships have foundered on the rocks off the island, including the 147-ton brig Eliza which went aground on the island in 1826.

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Sandycove Island Challenge

The Sandycove Island Challenge is an open water swimming race held annually since 1994. The course is from the slipway at Sandycove on the mainland, around Sandycove Island and back to the slipway. The total distance is approximately 1.6 km. If sea conditions are unsuitable on the day, a more sheltered course is followed. It is also the site of the Irish Champion of Champions marathon swimming event.

Cork Distance Week

The Cork Distance Week (Distance Training Week) is a marathon swimming preparation camp designed and led by International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Administrator Ned Denison of Ireland. Held in Sandycove Island in Cork, Ireland as its base, the training camp lays the groundwork to high mileage and significant psychological stress with the goal to help its participants achieve their marathon swimming and channel swimming goals.

Around Sandycove Island, the waters are in the 10-13°C (50-55°F) range, rarely calm and the swimmers have just endured their toughest 8 days of cold open water training of their lives. They leave with a sense of confidence that can see them through their future plans.

Video at the Global Open Water Swimming Conference

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