27 C
Niagara Falls
Friday, July 12, 2024
Sports: B.C. swimmer, 41, completes first lake crossing of 2024
Long-distance swimmer Jessi Harewicz, 41, conquered Lake Ontario this week. She began her swim at Queen's Royal Park on Sunday night. SUPPLIED

Tony Chisholm
Special to The Lake Report

Jessi Harewicz of Vancouver jumped into Lake Ontario in-Niagara-on-the-Lake just after 10 p.m. Sunday and 22 hours later became the first person to swim the lake this year.

Harewicz, 41, a lifeguard, trains year-round in the waters around B.C. accompanied by her kayaking father.

The weather at the start from Queen’s Royal Park was beautiful but the night was difficult with one to two-foot waves and 18 km/h southwest winds.

The water temperature was 22 C but near the end Harewicz had to battle a strong Humber River current, which slowed her to a speed less than two kilometres an hour.

Her swim time was 22:07 when she arrived at Marilyn Bell Park in Toronto.

Her mission is to raise money for the “Swim to Survive” program, which teaches children the essential skills to survive an unexpected fall into deep water.

Harewicz is the third Canadian to complete marathon swimming’s Triple Crown (swimming the English Channel, Catalina Channel in California and circumnavigation of Manhattan Island).

She also was the first Canadian to swim the North Channel in Ireland, as well as numerous other tough swims around Vancouver Island.

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