Rachael holds the unbroken Irish record as the fastest person to swim the English Channel solo (9hrs 40mins), holds the unbroken World record for Team Ocean Breakers Fastest One Way 3-Person Relay Crossing of the North Channel (Ireland Donaghadee to Scotland Portpatrick, 9hrs 2omins 40secs) and was Outsider Magazine’s Woman of the Year. She is Mum to seven year old twins Bruce & Lex and works full time as a Firefighter and Swift Water Rescue Technician based out of Phibsboro fire station. Rachael has run multiple marathons and ultra marathons including the Connamarathon 39miles, the prestigious Donadee 50km and the Mount Blanc marathon. In December 2020 she was officially inducted into ‘Ireland Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Swimmer for outstanding accomplishments and achievements in the sport of Marathon Swimming’. A passionate ocean conservationist, Rachael is Ambassador for the EPA, Planet Passionate Ocean Plastic Clean-up and Clean Coasts. As a regular radio, podcast and webinar interviewee, Rachael has been on The Marian Finucane Show, The Ryan Tubridy Show and Drivetime speaking about topics ranging from mental health and working as a COVID front liner in DFB – to innovative ocean clean-up initiatives, inspiring the next generation of girls – and, of course, swimming!
Click on the video icon below to see her winning The Liffey Swim in 2014 off scratch – she’s the one in the red hat!
Since his first dip as a 5 year old in the Iveagh Baths to representing Ireland in the Junior European Championships, Tom went on to become an award winning National and International open water swimmer and multiple record holder. From 2012 to 2016 he held the record as the fastest person to have swum the English Channel solo, holds the unbroken World record for Team Ocean Breakers Fastest One Way 3-Person Relay Crossing of the North Channel (Ireland Donaghadee to Scotland Portpatrick, 9hrs 2omins 40secs) and also holds the Irish records for 100m backstroke and 200m backstroke. In addition to holding many prestigious long distance open water swimming titles, Tom has competed in several Ironmans and long distance Ultra Cycles both home and abroad. He is a qualified Paramedic and Firefighter based out of Dun Laoghaire fire station.
A leading and prominent figure on the open water racing circuit for over 20 years, Ronan is a highly decorated and experienced open water swimmer and coach. His love for swimming began at a very early age in North Dublin and he has represented Ireland at both junior and senior levels, winning major titles in multiple events. Along the way Ronan has represented Ireland competing in National and International events, including the World Student Games, the Manhattan Island Circumnavigation (a gruelling 28mile open water race) and both solo and relay crossings of the English Channel. He holds the unbroken World record for Team Ocean Breakers Fastest One Way 3-Person Relay Crossing of the North Channel (Ireland Donaghadee to Scotland Portpatrick, 9hrs 2omins 40secs). He began coaching in 1993 and has a proven track record in coaching swimmers of all ages and levels both in the pool and in open water. A dedicated endurance athlete, Ronan has run multiple marathons and competed in many half distance and full distance Ironman events. He is an IT professional working in Dublin.
A highly accomplished national and international marathon swimmer and one of Ireland’s top swimming coaches, Susan Dillon is the real deal! As a Level 3 qualified coach with a wealth of experience (Leinster Squad Coach, Masters Coach, Head Coach), Susan works with competitive and elite swimmers, Ironmen and triathletes in line with the professionally accredited Long-Term Athlete Development coaching programme. This involves planning, preparing and delivering long-term coaching plans, continually evaluating their effectiveness, identifying the need for additional supports and continuously reviewing and adapting. With a particular interest and expertise in sports psychology and bio-mechanics, Susan’s technical approach to open water swimming is in her attention to detail which is the game changer when it comes to making small margins in efficiency improvements in the water and in the mental conditioning of winning and endurance. She has developed Ocean Breakers customised online training programmes for every level of swimmer.
Ocean Breakers is committed to delivering enjoyable, professional and safe open water coaching clinics to the highest standard. Alongside our expert coaches, safety kayaker Kevin Conroy will be on hand at all times during every open water clinic. Kevin is an experienced Level 3 kayaking instructor, a qualified paramedic and advanced swift water rescue technician. He has a degree in Outdoor Adventure Management and has worked with the Irish Canoe Union for the majority of his instructing career, both here and in Italy, France and Slovenia. With a low swimmer to coach ratio, Kevin keeps very close to the swimmers at all times and is trained and qualified to deal with any emergency situation that may arise. Kevin was a key member of Ocean Breakers backroom team during the North Channel Record swim last year and was part of the boat crew.
Marian is a qualified Swim Ireland Level 2 Swim Teacher, guiding and teaching swimmers of all levels and abilities for over 40 years. She even taught Rachael how to swim – and how to win! An accomplished endurance swimmer and distance runner in her own right, Marian’s previous roles have encompassed all areas of sports leadership and programme development both in Ireland and abroad. She specialises in teaching confidence techniques in an encouraging, supportive and safe space to make swimming enjoyable, injury-free and accessible to everybody – from complete beginners of all ages right through to accomplished pool swimmers that are nervous of transitioning to open water. Marian is all about small, compound progressions, teamwork, family and positivity. She is found most mornings in the sea at 6am enjoying life with her swim buddies on Bray Beach and in the evening reading a good detective thriller with glass of white wine in hand (if she’s not minding BLex or her three other lovely grandkids whom she adores).
Through our sea swimming adventures, and as proud ambassadors for the EPA, Kingspan Planet Passionate and An Taisce Clean Coasts, Ocean Breakers are involved with some amazing ocean clean-up projects. Eveann coordinates all this side of things. A physicist and fellow sea adventurer, she collaborates with other like-minded scientists and pioneering industry experts, to research and learn about the innovative ocean-sustainability initiatives happening here in Ireland and abroad. Then she persuades Rachael to attempt a world-record-breaking sea swim to raise awareness about them (not that Rachael ever needs much persuading!) Thanks to the expertise of the EPA and Coastwatch, the support of Kingspan Planet Passionate and LHP Publicity, Ocean Breakers are currently learning all about the amazing ocean-cleaning possibilities of seagrass restoration in preparation for our 2023 project – we’re going big next year and BLex are going to be playing key roles as little junior citizen scientists…watch this space! Eveann is an IT Professional and lives and works in Dublin. And she does the website – so any mistakes blame her! 🙂
As fully qualified Level 2 STA/Swim Ireland Open Water Swimming Coaches with years of coaching and open water swimming expertise (see our SWIM BIO page), Ocean Breakers provide expert one to one coaching tailored to YOUR specific swim needs – whether that’s in the pool or in the sea, you decide!
If you’re transitioning from the pool into open water, our simple but effective approach will build your confidence to master the techniques required to swim well in the open water – targeting your own particular goal.
Our open water skills-set benefits ALL LEVELS of swimming abilities, because we focus on exactly what YOU need to do to swim smart and swim faster using less energy.
We offer a complete range of open water swimming clinics from May to October whatever your ability.
Each clinic consists of a safety kayaker and three fully qualified open water coaches to ensure a safe environment and low coach to client ratio.
After an initial discussion and safety briefing, we do a quick swim assessment before breaking into groups of similar ability and confidence.
We focus on technique, stroke, adaption, drafting, sighting, buoy turning, mass starts/exits as well as many other swimming skills needed for racing.
We pride ourselves on providing a very professional coaching experience in beautiful surrounds, in a relaxed, enjoyable and safe atmosphere.
Hot drinks and biscuits are provided after every clinic.
These clinics are ideal for swimmers who’d like to be race ready and prepared for the season ahead.
Ocean Breakers coach Pulse Triathlon Club and Mako Triathlon Club (see TESTIMONIALS).
Coaching takes place both in the pool and in the sea all year round.
We also run clinics for masters swimming clubs where we work on specific techniques that aid propulsion and help swimmers race more efficiently.
Nobody understands better than us how hard it is to train while juggling our hectic lifestyles!
With this in mind and in order to maximise your available training time, Ocean Breakers provides a personalised training programme which we tailor to YOUR swimming ability and swimming goal.
Whether you’re a novice training for your first triathlon or sea race, whether you’re a competitive professional, or whether you’re a seasoned amateur preparing for an ultra endurance swim – we have the expertise to coach you in reaching your target race.
FREE initial consultation by phone.
Get in touch to discuss what training plan will suit you and start training for that race now!!
Kingspan’s Ocean Plastic Clean-up partnership with EcoAlf removes plastic bottles from the Ocean and recycles them into their insulation products. The plastic is collected from the sea by fishing trawlers and then the fishermen separate the fish and plastic catch in their nets by hand. By 2025 Kingspan will have up-cycled 1 billion PET bottles in this way.
“We have been using Ocean Breakers for both our open water and pool sessions for the past couple of seasons and the standard of coaching is second to none! The coaches Rachel, Tom and Ronan are all a wealth of experience and the feedback from club members is phenomenal. Their open water sessions provide much needed skills for triathletes and the pool sessions encourage strength and technique within our athletes. We feel so lucky to have them as coaches.” Andrea Campbell (Club Secretary)
REVIEW FROM ONE TO ONE OPEN WATER CLIENT MARIA LYNCH
“My journey with swimming is unorthodox. I can’t swim in pools as I am sensitive to chlorine. I have always loved sea water but I was only able to float and do breaststroke casually until last year. It was daunting to learn to swim in the sea on my own. I had the urge to swim for longer periods of time, to be able to swim longer whilst feeling relaxed and confident. Swimmers of all levels were kindly giving me tips but it was hit and miss. It took courage and stepping out of my comfort zone to approach Rachael. I just followed my gut instinct. She seemed very down to earth despite all her massive swimming achievements and such an approachable person that I just went and asked her to coach me to swim properly in the sea. She agreed and our journey started Summer 2016 in Malahide. The first thing I remember is having to ditch the gloves and the shoes… that was a shock but it was needed for me to feel the water. I started the one to one lessons and practiced myself in between sessions all year long. Different milestones have come and gone like reaching each of the buoys, doing the lap of the 3 buoys, swimming to mid-rock etc. I feel happy and more confident in my swimming abilities. Rachael has been a crucial part of this. Her encouragement and coaching skills are superb and it has instilled in me good technique, enjoyment and the awareness of safety. Now attending the ocean breakers swimming camps is another enjoyable step in the right direction. Thank you so much Rachael.” Maria Lynch (Confidencebuilding.ie)
REVIEW FROM PULSE TRIATHLON CLUB
“Pulse Triathlon Club have been working with Ocean Breakers since 2016 in the delivery of open water swim coaching to its adult and junior members during the months of May to September. The quality of coaching provided by the team at Ocean Breakers has been fantastic and has been especially welcomed by those new to open water swimming. Rachel and the team have been excellent in helping them to overcome their fears, improve their confidence and technique in dealing with the challenges that open water swimming presents. The one hour weekly sessions are structured, safe and cater for all swim abilities. We are delighted to have partnered with Ocean Breakers as our open water swim partner and wish them continued success.” Niall Byrne (Chairperson Pulse Triathlon Club)