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Kelowna  

Kelowna man will attempt to swim length of Okanagan Lake

Swim lake in under 40 hrs?

Sarita Patel

Last year Kelowna ultra endurance athlete Nick Pelletier biked from San Fransisco to Boston for charity. But this year, he’ll be attempting a local feat. 

He’s looking to swim the full 106 kilometres of Okanagan Lake, a feat only one person has completed to date. 

The 22-year-old was inspired last winter when he kayaked from Vernon to Kelowna with a friend. 

“First I was thinking of kayaking the whole lake, but I thought that might just be too easy. So I thought about swimming it. I checked it out and then only saw one person’s done so I thought it would be cool to try and do that.”

The current record for the swim is 40 hours, 57 minutes and 11 seconds, so Pelletier’s goal is below 40 hours, but ultimately, finishing is his priority. 

“For me, it just happens to be personally I believe I can do better than the record so, I may as well just try for the record as well, it’s cool but at the end of the day I find the internal motivation is what you really need to strive for,” he says. 

“If I can defy my own success and whatever I think I am capable of, if I can achieve that then I’ll be happy.”

Aqua Marie Valet sponsored two-sport boats, one will be with him at all times with and overlap and switch over. He’ll also have a sighting kayak to help navigate him underwater, witnesses for the record and another kayak to bring him food and water from the boat. 

“I can’t get out of the water or use a thing as support so I’ll be floating, unassisted for that entire time. As far as the food and water I can’t get handed to me … I can just float for a minute while I eat and then just keep going,” adds Pelletier. 

This is not just a personal challenge for him, he will be bringing awareness to Brain Trust Canada, an organization that helps with concussions something Pelletier experienced growing up playing baseball. 

“I’ve been through that in my own life so I know the struggles and they kind of provide youth or families who are in that situation the guidance and the management to get back healthy, to get back their lives.” 
 
“I know it’s a stressful time and it’s hard to navigate if you really don’t know what you’re doing.”

He says he has a close friend and family circle that know his personality of striving for adventure. 

“They kind of know my personality and I’ll probably find a way to do it … I really appreciate all their support and they’re all super supportive of me but at the end of the day I’m going to try it.”

Ideally, he wants to start the swim on September 4, but as he says, it all depends on the weather.  

For more information or to donate to his cause, you can visit his website.



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