Five hundred swimmers entered the 63rd Across The Lake Swim last Saturday July 16th. The 2.1km swim is an annual event that starts at Ferryman’s Wharf, West Kelowna and ends at Hot Sands Beach in City Park, Kelowna. The ATLS started in 1949, and rates as the longest standing open water swim event in Canada. For those who have participated or provided support as a volunteer or spectator, it’s obvious why the ATLS is such a popular annual event, and should be for decades to come.
What a great day! Many thanks to the hard working ATLS organizing team and many volunteers for putting together such an enjoyable event! Even the weather was perfect. The day started off sunny, calm and warm … we couldn’t have asked for better! With rain in the forecast, it was good enough to wait until the last equipment had been stowed before the clouds opened up with a quick deluge only in the early afternoon.
This year saw 452 finishers compared with 428 in 2010. Several Okanagan Masters Swim Club members braved the cool waters of the lake to go for a personal best. Many have also notched up several crossings over the years, and this year saw a number of successful first-timers.
Wetsuits were recommended with the lake temperature a little cooler than usual at 18.5C, although several courageous swimmers did the full 2100m naked (in Open Water terms … sans wetsuit). With a record entry of 500 the start was phased in five time-seeded heats of one hundred each, set apart two minutes.
Overall winner was 19 year old David Dimitrov, son of local coaches Emil and Elena Dimitrov, in a time of 21:58 (a ripping average pace of 1:03 per 100m!), which he achieved without benefit of a wetsuit. Watch this young man, he’s going places! Second in, setting the Female record time for the crossing was Jeanne Carlsen (F45-54) in 23:03 and third place to Josh Zakala (M–15) in 23:08. All round, some smokingly fast times!
Emil Dimitrov impressed family, friends and students by taking to the water in a distinctive speedo bodysuit that Emil alone could carry off with such aplomb (the distinction of 007 combined with the shear bravado of Austin Powers).
For more information see the ATLS website.