The mid 1990s saw the dying off of a once vibrant open water swim scene in Sligo when the last Garavogue river swim took place.  ​​​​It remained in the doldrums until 2009 when the first Metalman Swim Series race took place with only 15 swimmers. The aim of the founder, Shane O'Doherty, was to promote open water swimming in sligo and bring together the existing talent and encourage newcomers. 


The seeds of the Swim Series did indeed see swimming flourish again in sligo, with the Channel Cup Swim (2km), Lough Gill Swim (10km), Lighthouse Swim (2.5km) and Warrior of the Sea (6km) all taking place in the following year. 

The organisers wish to continue the growth of the event in a sustainable manner and to keep the high standards of safety intact as well as the social and fun side of taking part as well.





The event has grown from 15 swimmers in 2009 to 300 in 2018 and this huge growth would simply not be possible without the generous assistance of our event partners. The organising committee continues to be led by Shane O'Doherty with assistance from Sligo Civil Defence and Sligo Kayak Club. Both groups are instrumental in making this arguably the safest swim race in Ireland.





Based at the back avenue at Doorley Park



Providing both safety boats and an ambulance for the event.

Sligo Bay features the well known Metalman navigational marker which is iconic in the bay and stands approximately 13 feet tall. We visted the statue for the launch of the 2015 event.


© 2015 shane o doherty

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