Billy Wallace

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ILDSA observer Andrew Coyle, escort pilot Quinton Nelson, Milko van Gool, and Irish Long Distance Swimming Association President Billy Wallace after van Gool's record-setting North Channel crossing on 30 July 2013
Billy Wallace was inducted in the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame as an Honour Administrator in 1999. Wallace is currently the President and has served as the Honorary Secretary of the Irish Long Distance Swimming Association. His mother lifeguarded for Mercedes Gleitze when she trained in Northern Ireland.

Irish Long Distance Swimming Association

The Irish Long Distance Swimming Association (ILDSA) was founded in 1966 with the aim of promoting open water swimming. Since 1966, the ILDSA has organised over 300 open water events, providing thousands of swimmers an opportunity to compete at the highest levels.

The ILDSA established development races that introduce pool swimmers to the outdoor environment. The ILDSA calendar includes races in Belfast Lough, Dublin Bay, Shannon Esturary, Gaulway Bay, Lough Neagh, Carlingford Lough, and Rathlin Sound. The consistent, high standard of the ILDSA events has been internationally recognised by the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame in 1995.

In addition to promoting races, the ILDSA has sough to set standards to long distance challenges. It provided relay teams that were the first to swim the North Channel and the length of Lough Neagh. The ILDSA provides observers for North Channel attempts and individual swims in all parts of Ireland.

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