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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Tasting Triumph After Facing Fate

Fionnuala Walsh became the first Clare swimmer and the 15th Irish woman to successfuly swim the English Channel. She was escorted by veteran pilot Paul Foreman on the Pace Arrow during her 15 hour 26 minute journey this week.

But Walsh's success was built on the foundation of fate. In early August, she was one of four swimmers who was met with an impregnable wall of fog as she approached within 500 meters of the shore of France. Helpless in the cold water, Walsh's swim was over when the dense fog hung in the air essentially separating her dreams from the French shore.

On her second attempt, she returned to Dover in September. She patiently waited for an opening, but the weather turned bad and she was turned back a second time. But she did not even get wet this time. She thought it was over. No more chances. A dream delayed.

But an unexpected call from Foreman surprised her this last Monday...and she was off stroking back to France on early Tuesday morning.

Nick Adams and his colleagues at the Channel Swimming & Piloting Federation often say, "When things don't go to plan, you have two choices: give up or try again. It's what one does with setbacks that makes us who we are, and this is where true heroes shine through.

This morning Fionnuala Walsh slipped into the cold Channel waters to complete her dream, which was dashed two months earlier by fog, a couple of hundred metres from French sand. She kept the swim low profile, but swam a brilliant swim today, and finished in 15 hours and 26 minutes. Fionnuala is an example to us all

Copyright © 2012 by Open Water Source

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