Friday, 11 December 2015

Lynam Lecture & Medal 2015 - Ines Papert

Last night at the Edmund Burke Lecture theatre in Trinity College Dublin Ines Papert got presented with the Joss Lynam Medal for 2015 by the Mountaineering council of Ireland, see their review of the night.

YearMedal Receiver
2011Harish Kapadia
2012Dawson Stelfox
2013Stephen Venables
2014Clare Sheridan
2015Ines Papert
2016Paul Swail and John McCune
2017Frank Nugent
2018Paddy O'Leary
2019Chris Bonnington

Her account of her first ascent completed on Mount Asgard in Baffin Island was fascinating and included a 60k walk-in with intense river crossings.
She got into paragliding as she hates walking down. An excellent multimedia presentation. Gift.

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Openwater Swimming: Great Fjord Swim & Coumshingaun

It has been such a busy year between building our house and lecturing in the college that I did virtually no swimming training at all. Over the summer I managed 4 or 5 sea swims and that was it. Unlike the previous few years though I did not bother with the wet suit on those swims, enjoying that sweet spot after the initial shock is over and you acclimatise and getting out before the cold had time to kick in, maybe after 20 minutes.

I did my second half marathon in September, Athlone's Flatline, and on the Monday after I went for a lunchtime swim to give the body a stretch. It felt really good and I went back on Thursday for a proper 1k session. I was loving it and got in touch with one of my swimming mates who told me they had been going out to the lake all summer and were still going out. I joined them the following lunchtime giving my wet suit it's season debut.

I joined them again the next Wednesday and was buzzing from it now. The lake was a 8 minute drive and we were in the water 40 minutes at the most. I had been aware of the Great fjord swim the last few years and was aware it had gone back to the format of diving off a boat and swimming in rather than the lap format of last year. McG then mailed and said did I know about it and that was the spur. I said it to the 2 lads I was training with and they were both keen, one of them having done it before.

Lunchtime training in Lough Ree for Great Fjord Swim 2015

I had done the Coosan Aquaton the previous summer but prior to that my last open water race was the Dingle Olympic triathlon 2 years ago. I had been scared before that race and got bitten by a jellyfish swimming but felt that I had broken through and could survive out there. But I never went on to cement that. It was 2 weeks to the race so I just kept going at lunchtime. My goal was to get over any residual doubts of being afraid in open water.

I read or rather listened to my first audio book while training for the half marathon, The Rise of Superman which is a brilliant book about flow. On the Thursday session, 9 days before the fjord, I experienced flow swimming and I'm not sure I did again - though the race itself was close to getting there. The body was just moving, going though the routine and I was not thinking about it, a wonderful feeling I am struggling to articulate.

The fjord race was a dream event, the most fun event I've ever done! Because of an accident in a triathlon in England this summer were a swimmer went missing the great fjord swim were making tow buoys compulsory. We got the ferry out 2km up the fjord from the sleepzone hostel and jumped off the back of it.

The course had buoys every 100m and a bonfire on the beach we were swimming too but I saw maybe 3 or 4 buoys and never saw the fire smoke :-( What I did see were other tow floats and they kept me on course, so we guided each other really. I finished in 0:52:24 and was very happy, especially when I went into the exit tent and got some hot soup. I was surprised and delighted when McG told me on top of Diamond Hill the next day, after a hike in to die for conditions, that I came 38th, which was actually in the top 25%. After so little, though intensive training, I was chuffed.

4 weeks later I had a weekend trip to Waterford planned and when a Coumshingaun hike was raised, it was clear to me that this was a not to be missed chance to swim there! The last time I visited this most special corrie was to climb on one of the routes there in September 2009, previous times were invariable family trips with our first born before we moved away from Waterford.

Jumping off the boat in Killary I had no nerves just a desire to swim and even after reading the lone swimmer's blog post which starts off saying "My days of being an open water swimmer are over.", I was well up for the coum swim. I swam right into the back of it moving from the south west edge over towards the back. Knowing the rest of the group would be getting cold waiting I didn't go into the back corner - next time - but turned and swam back down the middle of the loch. I didn't see even one fish - it has some even though no rivers feed it. It's 800m long and I guestimate I did about 1300m. My feet were cold, hands just a little, but there was no thawing involved. I've been a lot colder after getting out of the water after a quick in and out on Christmas\New year's day.

Monday, 19 January 2015

Snooker Masters 2015

Pre tournament odds for Shawn Murphy winning the Masters were around 18-1, that only left 5 players above him tipped to win - Ronnie O’Sullivan, Mark Selby, Neil Robertson, Ding Junhui, and Judd Trump.

World #11 Murphy beat world champions and world #4 Mark Selby 6-5 in the first round. He beat #12 Stephen Maguire 6-4 in the quarter finals, Maguire had beat world #7 Judd Trump in the first round. Next up was world #6 Mark Allen in the semis, he beat him 6-2.

Neil Roberston, the world #1 beat world #3 Ronnie O'Sullivan 6-1 in the semi-final, it was Ronnie's first Masters semi final loss after 10 wins. It was Robertson's third Masters final in 4 years but Shaun Murphy destroyed the world #1 6-2.

World #2 Ding Junhui should be next to join the triple crown club, he has to win the world championship to do that.

Matthew Stevens, world #21 has also to win the world to complete the triple crown. Stevens lost the final in 2000 to Mark Williams leading 14–10 at the start of the last session. He lost the 2005 final to Shaun Murphy from 10-6 up overnight. He is still only 37

In the quarter final against Marco Fu, Ronnie O'Sullivan claimed his 776th career century, taking him one beyond Stephen Hendry’s haul.

Ronnie has 2 more Triple crown events before he turns 40. My money on him is to equal Hendry's record by wining 3 more triple crown events. I wonder how many players in their 40's have won a triple crown event?
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