Isabel Burke

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Isabel Burke of of Rocksavage, Cork penned the following lines, dedicated to Mercedes Gleitze in commemoration of her 30-hour endurance swim of 25-26 February 1930:

One Great Achievement More

Felicitations! Neptune smiles on thee; Thou'st won thy test in Cork upon the Lee. Methinks thy trust in One who e'er hath power Hath strengthened thee throughout each stressful hour.

Aye, music's charms were glorious to thine ear; From Irish hearts sprang forth a wondrous cheer. One great achievement more, fresh glory, yet... On, onward still, thy pluck we'll n e'er forget.

Excelsior's thy motto ... Not in vain- Bravo! The world's record thou must gain. Then, laurel-crowned thy future sure will be. Adieu! Good luck! from Cork upon the Lee.

Mercedes Gleitze

Mercedes Gleitze (died 1981) was inducted in the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame as an Honour Swimmer in 1969 and was named a ISHOF Finalist in 2012 for possible induction in the International Swimming Hall of Fame. She was named as a Pioneer Swimmer by the International Swimming Hall of Fame for the Class of 2013 and completed 2 channels of the Oceans Seven. She is the subject of a documentary film by Clare Delargy entitled Mercedes: The Spirit of a New Age and helped launch the first waterproof watch by Rolex, called the Rolex Oyster. In 1927, the relentless Londoner became the first English woman to swim the English Channel...on her eighth attempt. She then tried to cross the North Channel several times without success. Three times in 1928, Gleitze attempted the North Channel crossing of the Mull of Kintyre from Donaghadee, Ireland to Portpatrick, Scotland, each time ending hypothermic. In 1928, she became the first person to swim the 12.8 km (8-mile) Strait of Gibraltar in 12 hours 50 minutes, starting in Tarifa, Spain and finishing in Punta Leona, Morocco. She accomplished a variety of marathon swims in Europe, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa including setting a British female record of 10 hours 45 minutes for swimming in the Thames River in 1923. In 1929, she swam Lough Neagh in Ireland in 20+ hours. In 1930, she swam Hellespont in 2+ hours. In 1931, she swam across Galloway Bay in 19+ hours and across Sydney Harbor. She completed a 30-hour endurance swim in Cork, Ireland on 25-26 February 1930. She swam in Cape Town, South Africa in 1932 to bring the total number of marathon swims to an incredible 51 with 25 of her swims taking at least 26 hours to complete.

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