The annual Interior Savings Across the Lake Swim in Kelowna, Canada, is already nearly full despite not taking place until 18 July.
The swim is a true survivor. It first took place in 1949, which makes it the longest running annual open water event in Canada. It is also the largest. But it might have disappeared.
It was initially part of the Kelowna Regatta and used to attract around 100 swimmers, but the Regatta ended in 1988. The Kelowna Masters Swim Club took over the swim and it became part of the British Columbia Open Water Swim Series, but that series has now also ceased.
In 2009, the event became independently run, and participation numbers have grown to around 1000 swimmers. Despite making more places available, the event sells out earlier each year.
Originally, the swim was something of a rite of passage for young swimmers to demonstrate to their parents that they could be safe when near the lake. Today, it’s a hotly contested 2.1km race across Okanagan Lake but with a strong focus as a fun, family event that attracts all levels of swimmers.
The fastest time for a male swimmer for the Interior Savings Across The Lake Swim is Roland Bauhart at 20:49, in 1997. The fastest time for a female swimmer is Jeanne Carlson at 23:03, in 2011.
Earlier this year the swim as listed as number 15 in Openwaterpedia’s Top 100 Open Water Swims in the World.
Find out more: http://acrossthelakeswim.com/