Vernon’s Aaron Nasipayko successfully covered Okanagan Lake from Penticton to Vernon on his standup paddleboard, and raised $1,500 for the local hospice society. (Facebook photo)

Paddleboarder completes Okanagan Lake crossing fundraiser

Vernon’s Aaron Nasipayko takes 17 hours over two days and raises more than $1,500

On the morning of his 38th birthday Friday, Aaron Nasipayko looked at the horizon in front of him.

He stood on the shore on the south end of Okanagan Lake in Penticton, grateful to be looking down the middle of what he called one of Canada’s most beautiful lakes.

The Vernon financial advisor then placed his standup paddleboard into the calm waters at 4:50 a.m. and started paddling home.

Nasipayko completed a standup paddleboard covering the entire distance of Okanagan Lake on the weekend, and did it through sun, wind and rain in an amazing 17 hours, 43 minutes and 45 seconds.

His paddle raised $1,500 for the North Okanagan Hospice Society, whose main fundraiser each year is Dancing With the Vernon Stars. Nasipayko and partner Kristi Bieber will perform a salsa at the event on Sept. 28.

“Life truly is the greatest gift we have and I am so grateful and feel so blessed that I have the ability to embark on this voyage,” wrote Nasipayko on social media before he took off Friday.

“It was a personal goal of mine that I really wanted to find a way on how it could be used to give back. Let’s just say that the stars aligned better than I could have ever imagined when I found myself participating in DWTVS.”

WATCH: Ian Jensen video of Nasipayko’s home stretch

Nasipayko made it as far as Fintry Friday. Saturday, he arrived at Head of the Lake.

“I took a rest in Kelowna for maybe and hour-and-a-half and then continued on. I made it to Fintry around 7:30 p.m. (84 KM on the first day),” said Nasipayko. “This is the side of the lake that I wanted to be on so that I could make the corner into the west arm, however I almost had to cross to the east side due the winds forcing me across the lake but I was able to battle back when the winds changed a bit.

“I had a very wet night at Fintry and most of Saturday morning I paddled in the rain, bucking a heavy headwind for the final 18 km, finishing Saturday morning about 10 a.m.

“Average speed was 6.4 km per hour and I hit a top speed of 13 km. I will never forget catching that wave as it shot me skimming for at least 50 feet. I screamed with excitement. It was definitely a fight to get through the (William Bennett) bridge. The current in Kelowna is really quite strong. It felt like I was paddling in concrete.”

RELATED: North Okanagan paddleboarder takes on lake for hospice

Nasipayko’s friend, former Morning Star publisher and circulation manager Ian Jensen, guided Nasipayko the final way in his boat, then gave him a ride and offered his Okanagan Landing home for recovery.

“Thankfully I had a relatively short boat ride (18km), to Ian’s, and straight to his hot tub, then laid on his couch all day,” laughed Nasipayko. “I couldn’t even imagine paddling anywhere after that. The lake was so shallow on the end I finished on that I had to paddle out to his boat to catch a lift. I actually had to use my wrist to paddle out to his boat because within minuets of stopping my body was done. I had to laugh at myself paddling back out to him because I must have looked so pathetic but it was sure nice to know that I was done.”

Nasipayko, a native of Humboldt, Sask., endured sun, rain and strong winds during the lake crossing. He held a contest for everyone who donated and guessed his crossing time.

“I’m just getting started with Dancing With The Vernon Stars 2018,” said Nasipayko. “I hope everyone continues to support North Okanagan Hospice Society. I dedicate this paddle to the North Okanagan Hospice Society so those that are nearing the end of their journey here on earth can live their final days in the most dignified way possible.”



newstips@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Councillor Gambell raises motion to fit busses with seat belts

The motion was passed on Tuesday’s council meeting

FormaShape snuffs small electrical fire

Fire department responds to fire in Lake Country for precautionary measures

Melcor Developments supports YMCA Strong Kids with generous $9,000 donation

Local business raises funds to enrich community through YMCA services

Boil water notice extended into Kelowna’s northern boundary

City of Kelowna extends boil water notice to over 100 residences in northern boundary of Kelowna

Kelowna Memorial Cup committee visits 2019 tournament in Halifax

The committee wants to get a first-hand look at how the tournament is organzied

600 new campsites coming to provincial parks and recreation sites across B.C.

Tourism Minister announced half of the new spots to 13 most popular provincial parks

Raptors beat Bucks 105-99 to move within 1 game of NBA Finals

Leonard scores 35 as Toronto takes 3-2 series lead over Milwaukee

Okanagan housing builds hope for 52 homeless individuals

The 52 unit supported housing apartment officially opens in Vernon

Gardens plant hope for Okanagan residents who were once homeless

Turning Points, in collaberation with Briteland, bring square foot gardening to Blair Apartments

Bear spray culprit released from Penticton RCMP custody

The individual who sprayed the bear spray at Compass House on May 22 has been released

Municipalities protest after B.C. declares marijuana crops ‘farm use’

UBCM president seeks answers in letter to John Horgan government

RCMP set to patrol Okanagan lakes

Vernon-North Okanagan members will be on area waters helping keep boaters safe

Summerland students to raise voices in public speech competition

Public speaking component is included in high school English program

CMHC defends mortgage stress test changes amid calls for loosening rules

Uninsured borrowers must now show they could service their mortgage if rates rose two per cent

Most Read