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Last Updated: Thursday, 4 October 2007, 08:41 GMT 09:41 UK
Kenny 'Boyd' by swimming success
By Nicola Weir
BBC News

During the challenge
The swimming challenge raised over 5,000 for charity
Belfast man, Kenny Boyd, has become the first person in over 40 years to swim from Rathlin Island to Ballycastle, County Antrim, without a wetsuit.

He completed the six-mile endurance test on Wednesday in just under four hours - and raised over 5,000 for the charity Concern.

The 37-year-old environmental consultant set off from Rathlin Harbour just before 1500 BST, with Rathlin islanders turning up at the shore to cheer him on.

He was joined on the epic journey by two crews - Robin Ruddock guided Kenny through the choppy waters of Rathlin Sound in a canoe while Richard Timms, from the Irish Long Distance Swimming Association, observed proceedings from a RIB (rigid inflatable boat) to make sure strict rules were adhered to.

Official

In order for Kenny's charity challenge to be officially acknowledged he had to enter the water and get out on land, to tread water or swim at all times and he was prohibited from touching or making contact with any vessel or person during the journey.

Getting warmed up
Kenny felt "a bit shaky but good" after the six-mile swim

He looked strong and confident for most of the race but just a mile and a half from Ballycastle Harbour, he was joined by Richard for some moral support.

Well-wishers, including his family and friends and partner, Nicola Russell, gathered at the harbour to welcome him in and boats sounded their horns to mark the end of his tiring front crawl crusade.

As he walked up the slipway at Ballycastle harbour, Kenny said: "I feel great, a bit shaky, but I'm good."



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