Five local relay team swimmers, dubbed the Okanagan Masters Swim Club (OMSC) Lake Monsters, recently conquered the treacherous English Channel in a remarkable time of 13 hours and 41 minutes. ‘
The team, made up of recent world masters winner Mike Stamhuis, Phred Martin, Denise Cesselli, Tracey Sutton and Leora Dahl, swam 21 miles from Dover, England to Calais, France. Each athlete swam an hour at a time and battled wild waves, jelly fish, currents and physical and mental fatigue.
The team endured seven days of poor weather before conditions favored an attempt of the famed crossing.
“I was told that I was closer to France at the 20 minute mark of my swim than I was at the end of my hour,” team member Leora Dahl wrote on her blog. “The current had dragged me backward towards England, so that even though I swam 1.8 miles, by the end of the hour we were only 0.6 miles closer to France.”
Brent Hobbs, the Lake Monsters coach who successfully swam solo across the English Channel in 2008, said: “The team pulled together through much adversity. They battled very strong currents, cold waters, jellyfish and ocean swells in the middle of the Channels.”
For the full story, visit Leora Dahl’s blog www.leoraenglishchannel.com.