Leduc man attempts to break open-water swimming record
Wayne Strach swam the English Channel and is looking for a new challenge on Okanagan Lake
A 61-year-old Leduc man is aiming to set a world record for swimming.
Wayne Strach will attempt to swim the length of Okanagan Lake — all 135 km of it — in what would be a world record for longest unassisted open-water swim.
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The current record is held by Chloe McCardel, who swam 126 km in the Bahamas.
Strach will start his journey just northwest of Vernon, and hopes to make it to a park in Penticton.
He expects the swim will take between 50 and 55 hours.
Strach swam the 35-km length of the English Channel last year, becoming the oldest Canadian to do so at the age of 60. He says he's had that goal in mind for a long time.
"The bucket list thing for 40 years was to swim the English Channel," he told CBC's Edmonton AM radio show.
Once he finished the swim, he still had some energy left. "It made me wonder how much further I could swim."
As a result, he promptly decided to add over 100 km to his latest attempt.
All sorts of obstacles
Strach is preparing diligently for the upcoming swim, but there are some things he just can't prepare for.
"It takes being able to stay awake, and that's what I have no measure of," he said.
Strach expects to be swimming for more than two days straight, which is hard enough to do without exerting as much energy as swimming does.
But there's one other X-factor that may affect Strach's swim: the Ogopogo.
The Ogopogo is a mythical prehistoric monster that lives in Okanagan Lake.Sightings suggest the monster could be between five to 20 metres long. And according to Indigenous legend, he was a murderer who was turned into a sea serpent as punishment from the Creator.
But Strach isn't worried.
"I eat Ogopogos for breakfast," he joked when prompted by Edmonton AM's Garrette McGowan. "He'll have to look out for me."
Despite the obstacles and length of the swim, Strach says his family has been supportive of his goal.
"I have a lot of support from family and friends," Strach said. "[But] they already know I'm kind of crazy."
Strach will attempt the swim on Aug. 8.