Douglas Farrow Justice Migneault from Maple Ridge emerges from the water as the winner of the Across the Lake Swim Saturday morning in Kelowna.

Popularity of annual swim on steady upswing

A record number of entrants took part in the 70th anniversary of Kelowna’s Across the Lake Swim

When event director Peter Rudd first came on board as a volunteer in 2008, about 400 people signed up for the Interior Savings Across the Lake Swim.

In the decade since, Rudd and the rest of the organizing committee have watched the storied swim evolve into one of most popular events on the Okanagan’s summer calendar.

This year, on the 70th anniversary of the 2.1 km journey from the ferry docks in West Kelowna to Kelowna’s City Park, a record 1,350 swimmers signed up.

“This year we could have topped 1,400 but we ran out of time and had to shut registrations down,” said Rudd. “It’s great to see how much it’s grown in popularity and we have room for it to grow a little more.”

Rudd said a number of factors have contributed to the continued growth of the swim, perhaps none more than when the format was switched several years ago from a strictly elite, competitive race to a much more of a family-oriented event.

“It’s become a bucket-list event for people,” said Rudd. “They come here, bring their families and make a vacation out of it.”

Rudd said the total capacity for the Across the Lake Swim is about 1,500 entrants, but there are other ways in which the event could potentially grow and evolve.

“We think it’s grown to the point where it can be more than just a one-day event,” he said. “It could be more like a festival that runs throughout the weekend. Those are options we’ll be looking at.”

A new feature of the Across the Lake Swim this year was the Shore Splash, a 25-metre swim for kids aged 5 to 12.

“It was a complete hit,” said Rudd. “We targeted for 15 and got 18 kids. We expect that to be a bigger event next year.”

The Across the Lake Swim Society also continues to have strong presence in the community, donating funds to a YMCA swimming program in the Central Okanagan. Each year, the money allows 3,000 school children in Grades 3 and 4 to take free swimming lessons, providing them with lifesaving water safety skills.

The society is also in the process of looking for a new title sponsor. Interior Savings has shifted its sponsorship priorities and has decided to forego the Across the Lake Swim.

Migneault wins 70th race…

Under sunny skies Saturday morning, Justice Migneault from Maple Ridge edged Calgary’s Bo Simpson to win the 70th edition of the Across the Lake Swim.

Migneault completed the 2.1 km swim in 23 minutes four seconds, two seconds ahead of Simpson.

Calgary’s Patrick McCloy was third in 23:52, with Vernon teen Liam Williamson earning fourth spot in 24:48.

The top Kelowna finisher was Sean Orb in 24:50.

Karlyn Pipes from Hawaii was the first woman to finish, with a time of 26:05.

For complete results of the Across the Lake Swim, go to sportstats.ca

Just Posted

Kelowna Art Gallery hosts new exhibition, Poetics of Space

The exhibition can be viewed from Feb. 2 until May 5

Kelowna RCMP use spike belt to apprehend alleged car thieves

Both suspects were expected in court Thursday morning

Kelowna RCMP ask for assistance to identify suspects

The break and enter resulted in a firearm being stolen

TELUS works with YMCA for Okanagan youth

A four week employment program will assist at-risk youth

First recreational cannabis store in Okanagan has quiet opening near Lake Country

Indigenous Bloom has opened on Okanagan Indian Band land

B.C. opioid crisis to get same world-renowned treatment approach as HIV/AIDS

A program that focuses on treatment as prevention will roll out Jan. 17

Olympian snowboarder Max Parrot diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma

Each year in Canada, approximately 900 people are diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma

Hergott: Memories of crashes fade

Lawyer Paul Hergott writes about the importance of journaling after a crash

‘Prince of Pot’ Marc Emery accused of sexual assault, harassment

Emery denied the allegations, but a Toronto woman says she is not the only one speaking out

Vancouver Island photographer makes National Geographic’s 2018 elite

Rare double honour for Marston from the 36 best Your Shots out of nearly 19,000 photos

Ex-Liberal candidate in Burnaby, B.C., says volunteer wrote controversial post

Karen Wang dropped out following online post singling out NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh’s ethnicity

Asteroids are smacking Earth twice as often as before

The team counted 29 craters that were no older than 290 million years

Canada’s arrest of Huawei exec an act of ‘backstabbing,’ Chinese ambassador says

China has called Canada’s arrest of Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou ‘politically motivated’

Remorse high for Vernon man sentenced for car surfing death

Driver of car that killed friend who was car surfing gets nine months in jail

Most Read