At 14 C with scattered showers, Saturday’s Across the Lake swim was one of the coolest on record; however, the weather failed to dampen the enthusiasm of the 1,325 registered participants who swam 2.1 kilometres from the Old Ferry Docks on the Westside to Hot Sands Beach in Kelowna.
“We’ve had weather like this in the past,” said Peter Rudd, race director. “It really doesn’t matter to the swimmers, they’re getting wet anyways.”
It was a race for first place with Justice Migneault, a six-foot-three high-school student from Maple Ridge, outrunning Alex Woinoski of Coquitlam to the finish line.
Migneault finished in 23:51, with Woinoski coming in one second later.
This is the second year in a row Migneualt has been first across the lake. His time last year was 23:04.
The fastest female across the lake was local swimmer Molly Hill of the Kelowna AquaJets Swim Club, who finished 30 seconds behind Migneualt with a time of 24:21.
Fellow AquaJet Axana Merckx finished one second behind Hill.
Last year, the society offered the Kid’s Shore Splash, a free opportunity for children five to 12 years old who have no or little swim event experience to get a feel for what the main event is like. Participants receive a timing chip, swim along the shore and run through the arch to the finish line.
Last year’s 25-metre event was so popular, a 50-metre event was added this year.
About 44 children signed up this year.
Lucas Heathcote, 7, had barely finished the 25 m shore splash before he was asking to do it again.
“It was fun,” he said, noting his favourite thing was running under the arch over the finish line.
The Across the Lake Swim, now in its 71st consecutive year, raises money to fund the YMCA Okanagan Swims program which sends all Grade 3 and 4 students in the Central Okanagan School District for basic water safety instruction.
Since the program was started in 2012, the Swim Across the Lake Society has sent over 16,000 kids for free swim lessons and donated over $145,000.
This story appears on page B1 of The Daily Courier on July 23, 2019.