Smiles back on faces as annual swim event returns to Carnlough Harbour

Dessie Blackadder


Dessie Blackadder

On a very mild New Year’s Day with the temperature at 13-14 degrees the conditions could not have been better for the return of the anual Spina Binfida swim event at Carnlough Harbour.

The big splash, traditionally supported by an enthusiastic crew from Ballymena, had to be called off last year due to the severity of the pandemic at that time but the smiles were back on faces on Saturday as hundreds gathered to watch the spectacle.

The Day started off with Geoff Bell, who was taking part in his 50th swim, being presented with a Silver Salver by young Grace McGuigan on behalf of the Association.

At 12noon on the dot Geoff, accompanied by stalwarts Bert Kernohan, Hugo Carlin and Angela McClements, led a total of 48 swimmers down the steps, which had been well prepared by Willie McClelland, into the water.

The swimmers were under the watchful eye of Leanne, Shannon, and Paul from the Larne Branch of the St Johns Ambulance.

A big thank you to them for their continued support over the years

Our thanks go to:

Ryan Hack and his team from the Mid and East Antrim council for erecting the safety barriers and hand sanitising station which allowed good viewing points for the public and safety protocols for the swimmers.

Darren and Sabrina Donnell and Family for the harbour collection which raise a magnificent sum of £270.00

Mr Paul McWilliams, proprietor of Galgorm Trophies who supplied the swimmers mementoes.

Ballymena Business Equipment Larne Street Ballymena who supplied the certificates

Events Insurance Company in England who provided the Public Liability Insurance Cover required to allow the event to take place.

The following newspapers for their coverage Ballymena & Antrim Guardian, Ballymena Times, Belfast Telegraph, Newsletter, Daily Mirror, and Irish News.

The swimmers were as follows:

Geoff Bell, Arthur Chatfield (Glasgow), Bert Kernohan, Andrew Kernohan, Raymond Abram, Archie McKinley, Josh McCrory, Angela McClements, Michael Marshall, Chris McMaster, Jonny McMaster, Richard Bonnar, Lyndsey McKeown, Hugo Carlin, Grace McGuigan, Naomi Tolland, Allister MacGregor, Fintan McKinley, Ryan McFadden, Anthony O’Rawe, Paul O’Rawe, Curtis DonnellDarren Donnell, Eileen Tweed, Allison Wright, Caroline Wilson, Niall Rodgers, Eoin Lavelle, Connor Lavelle, Francis Kane, Mark DelaneyGary McFaul, Riah McFaul, Catherine McFaul, Simon Murphy, Mia Orr, Dylan King, Chris Traynor. Henry Keys, Ryan Orr. Jack Orr, Cat Norton Howl, LeeNathin McCall, Richard Gault, Adam Neill Jason Ryan Lily Ryan.

Due to the current situation the association will endeavour to pass on Certificates and Medals to all the swimmers

William C McIlroy BEMChairperson can be contacted on 07718809314

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