Ottawa Riverkeeper’s inaugural inter-provincial open water swim in support of a clean and healthy river is destined to become an annual landmark event.
Challenged by cold unseasonal weather, more than 40 hard-core intrepid “Poseidon warriors” swam 4K from Aylmer, Quebec to Ottawa, Ontario on August 16th. Nepean Masters Swim Club coach Lesley Dusevic placed first, with a time of 58 minutes and four seconds (2014 swim times).
The swim – dubbed “Escape to/from Aylmer-traz” – successfully captured the imagination of local media, and resulted in numerous articles highlighting the need for collaboration and action on both sides of the Ottawa River.
“In addition to raising Ottawa Riverkeeper’s profile among the general public, we engaged several new volunteers and organizations with stellar water-safety expertise,” says Ruth McKlusky, manager, Partnerships and Donor Relations. “I was thrilled to see the virtual “armada” of rescue boats, emergency services providers, escort paddlers, lifeguards, sailors and Riverwatchers working together for a swimmable, drinkable, fishable Ottawa River.
“Special thanks to Race Director Tom Anzai, from Swim Ottawa. We couldn’t ask for a more awesome partner. Once Tom came on board we never looked back. He helped develop the route and promote the swim. He also rallied Swim Ottawa members – including all his children – to help out on event day.
“Thanks also to the incredibly hospitable Lac Deschênes Sailing Club for sharing their lovely grounds with us and for their assistance on the course.”
And yes Ottawa Riverkeeper’s Director of Legal Strategy Stephanie Bolt, the swim’s top fundraiser, triumphed in her bid to swim across the river. Thanks to you dear supporters we raised nearly $6,000 for clean water!
- Loblaws Superstore, Richmond Rd.
- Metro, March Rd.
- Sobeys, March Rd.
- Tim Hortons, March Rd.
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