While the cozy homes lining the shores of Okanagan Lake slept, a man from Kelowna kept swimming through frigid and rough waters on his way to break a world record.
Ultra endurance athlete Nick Pelletier is currently swimming the length of Okanagan Lake, from Vernon to Penticton, on a quest to break the world record and raise money for charity.
A Black Press reporter boated out to the middle of the lake with Pelletier’s crew to catch up with the swimmer. At the time of the in-water interview Pelletier had travelled nearly 40kms of his 106km journey.
During the interview spoken while treading water, Pelletier was unable to accept help staying afloat. In order for the world record to be valid, Pelletier must complete the entire journey on his own power. To eat, his safety kayakers shuttle food from the support boat out to the water where Pelletier snacks from a floating tray.
Pelletier said that he has been fuelling the swim with gluten free mac and cheese and Hornby granola bars, one of his event sponsors.
Despite his sunny disposition, Pelletier knew that he would be facing a new batch of challenges as the sun fell.
At dusk, the waves were growing which had aggravated a pre-existing shoulder issue.
Joking, he said that he has adopted a new swimming technique that he calls ‘the claw,’ to accommodate his shoulder pain. Despite wearing one and a half wet suits, Pelletier is also battling the icy water and struggling to keep his core temperature up.
In an attempt to combat the nearly inevitable chafing that comes from wearing wetsuits for prolonged periods of time, Pelletier is covered in a thick white salve to protect his skin.
He will be passing under the bridge between Kelowna and West Kelowna at approximately 11a.m., on August 2. However, conditions on the lake are variable, so people hoping to cheer him on are encouraged to follow the live tracker and visit his Instargam @npadventure where his crew is posting regular updates.
The swim is Pelletier’s third attempt at breaking the record. Pelletier’s crew said that he has brought a different energy, mindset and skill set to this attempt, compared to the two previous tries.
His hope is to raise $10,000 for the Canadian Mental Health Association. Donations can be made through his website nickpellerier.ca.