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Canada’s largest open water swim returns for its 74th year

It’s Canada’s largest and longest-running open water swim, and it’s right here in Kelowna.

The Interior Savings Across the Lake Swim will mark its 74th this weekend, as swimmers of all ages and abilities challenge themselves to swim 2.1 kilometres across Okanagan Lake.

Since its beginning in 1949, the Interior Savings Across the Lake Swim in Kelowna has always been a demonstration of swimming ability rather than a race.

It’s also the last existing event from the early Kelowna Regatta days.

</who>Photo credit: Interior Savings Across the Lake Swim Kelowna

Participants will start their swim from the Old Ferry Docks in West Kelowna and end at Hot Sands Beach in City Park, and new to 2022 the swim will change into a ‘dynamic start’ system.

Swimmers will self-start whenever they’re ready and their time starts when they cross the timing mat and enter the water, meaning there are no waves and no specific cap colours.

While everyone is welcome to join in on the fun, an event like the Across the Lake Swim takes a bit of preparation.

Developing the skills to be an efficient swimmer, the fitness to swim continuously for 40-60 minutes, the experience to handle a wide variety of open water conditions and the mental fortitude to swim in deep water.

</who>Photo credit: Interior Savings Across the Lake Swim Kelowna

While the "soft" time limit for the swim is 120 minutes, staff at Across the Lake say its usually ok if it takes a little longer, but if the conditions warrant it, after that time they may need to extract you from the lake and give you a free ride to the finish (with no finishing time, of course).

Across the Lake even offers up so advice on how to deal with event day nerves for those who might get a bit anxious before hitting the open water.

While all in good fun, profits from the event go towards funding YMCA Okanagan Swim Programs for children from Peachland to Lake Country.

To date, the event has donated over $145,000 and sent over 16,000 kids to swim lessons.

</who>Photo credit: Interior Savings Across the Lake Swim Kelowna

Those looking to take part in this historical event on July 16 are welcome to sign up online before the deadline on July 10.

Or you can take part in one of the many other swimming events happening this summer like the Gellatly Bay swim, Rattlesnake Island swim or the Urban Swimrun.

Learn more about the Interior Savings Across the Lake Swim Kelowna here.

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