Thursday, November 30, 2017

A RECORD-breaking long-distance swimmer from Castledermot is the subject of a short film which was premiered recently.

Fifty-two-year-old Steve Redmond, who now lives in West Cork, was the first person to complete the world-famous Ocean’s Seven challenge, consisting of seven long-distance channel swims.

The Swimmer, directed by Thomas Beug, looks at Stephen’s passion and delves into the peculiar psyche of an open-water swimmer who spends much of his time immersed in a world under water. The film combines stunning cinematography along with an interview.

Steve told The Nationalist that he was slightly bemused at being the subject of the documentary.

“He (Thomas Beug) wanted to get a film about the training, the film and the water and life in general. It’s a pretty ethereal film! I’d consider myself a boring bastard to be honest!”

The film was shot over a few days in West Cork, with Steve swimming out to Fastnet Rock, 13km from the coast.

“From the get-go, it was a pleasure. It was amazing. We got to Fastnet at dawn and there were just whales all around us. We had a great nature photographer as well,” he said. “It was like filming with children. Every shot was amazing for them.”

The documentary film attempts to explore why Steve does what he does, which is a question he is frequently asked. It’s an understandable one; there have been some serious lows. He once spent 13-and-a-half hours swimming in Japan as part of the Ocean’s Seven challenge, only to finish where he had started from due to the currents. On another occasion, he also received some unwelcome protracted attention from sharks. The highs have been many, though. Particularly, the support of the West Cork community in fundraising for him after one failed attempt still burns bright in the mind.

“It’s about not giving up,” said Steve. “Everybody wants to know what goes on in your head. It’s just to get to the end, that’s the way I look at it, to get home.”

The premiere of the film took place in Cork’s Everyman Theatre last weekend and it will likely be a feature at film festivals throughout Ireland.

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By Michael Tracey
Contact Newsdesk: 045 432147

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