This is my next project… I am going to start working to develop an organization of boats and boat Captains that are willing and able to escort swimmers across Lake O.
Often getting the required boats and crews for a Lake O Crossing is as hard as training for the Crossing as each swimmer has to start from scratch to organize the swim… essentially re-inventing the wheel each time! My goal here is to try and have a central location where swimmers, either local or international, can get a hold of Captains and boats.
Currently, Solo Swims Ontario (SSO), the governing body for Lake O Crossings, requires that a swimmer from Niagara-on-the-lake to Toronto have 4 boats to escort him or her… a sailboat 30′ or longer, a power boat 30′ or longer and 2 zodiacs. I am currently working with SSO to see if we can come up with a less ownerous requirement that still meets safety standards but is more in line with standards required by other marathon swims around the world. But in the meantime, these are the parameters that we have to work within.
Either way, it would be helpful if we could find various Captains and boats that would be willing to act as boating escorts for swimmers and I plan on listing the contact information here. Even if a boat Captain can only do certain dates, it would be good to have the contact information here. Also, I will list Boat & Captains, just Captains, just Boats… so a swimmer can find whatever they need.
For more information on the requirments, here is the link to SSO Registration and Information package… the information on the required boats and equipment is on page 12. http://soloswims.com/SSORI.pdf
It would be up to the Captain and swimmer to negotiate the price, date, swim window, time, crew, deposit, etc… as this is not something that I plan on getting involved in, but I’m happy to share any common information, so feedback from swimmer and Captains is helpful. The details will vary from situation to situation, including the start and finish locations. I would like to try and promote finishes here in Oakville, so we can all come out and welcome the swimmer in, but swimmers and Captains are welcome to arrange any swim they like. The window of opportunity for swims is from late-July until mid-September, mid-August being ideal. Check out the interesting facts on the Lake O Crossings tab for more info.
I am also planning on building a plaque to honor the LOST marathon swimmers that finish a Lake O Crossing or any other marathon swim around the world, as well as the winners of the LOST Race. So it should be pretty cool.
So I would really appreciate it if anyone could forward to me the names of any yacht clubs, sailing groups, power boat groups, individual boat owners, captains, etc that might be willing to be a Crossing escort. I will then contact them and ask if they want to be listed below. There is no committment or obligation by having their name here, it just gives a prospective swimmer a contact, then they see if the dates etc work out for both sides.
Current requirements for a Lake Ontario Crossing as mandated by SSO.
As a guide to potential aspirants, the following fees (Canadian dollars) and requirements are necessary for an SSO-monitored swim:
$ 50 Information Package (Includes the application forms). It is also available for free if downloaded from the Internet.
$750 – $1,250 Swim Registration fee depending upon the swim
$100 Optional Recording Fee for a Trial Swim on a recognized course – e.g. a 10-12-mile Lake Erie trial swim to qualify for a Lake Ontario swim.
The swimmer must have a minimum of two 15-foot-long inflatable boats, which are to be obtained at the swimmer’s expense.
The swimmer must also have a minimum 30-foot sail boat AND a minimum 30-foot power boat, both with GPS navigational equipment. The swimmer is responsible for arranging for these boats and any necessary fees. The assigned Swim Master may provide details on the acceptability of the boats (Inflatables, sail boat, and power boat).
The swimmer is also required to complete an open-water, SSO-monitored, Trial Swim of 16 km (10 miles) or 6 hours, whichever is the shorter. The course of the Trial Swim should be well-detailed, and ideally documented with GPS data. The assigned Swim Master attends this swim and monitors aspects such as the swimmer’s ability to swim, feed properly and maintain a good pace in the final stages of the Trial Swim. The Trial Swim is about one-third of a typical Lake Ontario swim and, depending upon the weather and water temperature, the swimmer should appear quite fresh at the end of the Trial swim. Based on the observations recorded during the Trial Swim, the Swim Master will judge the suitability of the swimmer to make an attempt.
- for more detailed information refer to the SSORI.
Compendium of Captain, Boats, Crew and Swim-masters
A) Captain and Boat:1) name: Rikki McCarthy position: training boat and captain boat: 18′ sport / power boat (8 person capacity)… for training swims phone: 905-599-0277 email: firstname.lastname@example.org website: n/a location preference: west end of Lake O, but flexible experience / notes: experienced power boater and Ironman triathlete. Note: this is a training boat only as it is too small to meet the requirements for a Crossing. . 2) name: Paul Arato position: 2 boats and captain boat #1: 40′ Catamaran (17 person capacity) boat #2: 34′ Aloa sloop (8 person capacity) phone: 416-276-9343 email: email@example.com , firstname.lastname@example.org website: sailingforyou.ca location preference: located in Toronto, flexible experience / notes: private sail boat charter company . 3) name: Bill Johnson position: boat owner and captain, kayaker for training (can also be a pacer) boat: 14′ zodiac, (available for crossings ans some training swims). Kayak and kayaker available for training swims phone: 905-545-1558 email: email@example.com experience / notes: LOST Swimmer, boat & kayak support during LOST race and many Saturday swims, crew member (captain of zodiac 1, responsible for
swimmer’s nutrition and a pacer) on wife Melanie Price’s 2011 Lake O Solo 4) name: Maisey Kent position: kayaker boat: kayak… for training swims phone: 905-337-2549 email: firstname.lastname@example.org experience / notes: LOST Swimmer, 10 years of competitive swimming, Bronze Cross and Bronze Medallion lifeguarding certifications, Emergency First Aid with CPR B and C certifications, pacer & lifeguard on Melanie Price’s successful Lake O Crossing in 2011.
B) Crew:1) name: Rob Kent position: crew, pacer, kayaker phone: 905-337-2549 email: email@example.com experience / notes: founder of LOST Swimming, founder of LOCO, extensive Lifeguard qualifications, attended 1988 Swimming Olympic Trials, attempted English Channel in 2006 and swam Manhattan Island Marathon Swim in 2010. . 2) name: Joe Allen position: crew phone: 416-254-7237 email: Jallen@kino.ca experience / notes: Chief boat organizer for the LOST Race, holds Canadian Power Squadron navigators certification, Restricted Operator’s certificate (Marine Radio) and operators card. Also PADI Open water Divers certification… and a cheerful disposition! . 3) name: Melanie Price position: crew, pacer, kayaker for training phone: 905-545-1558 email: firstname.lastname@example.org website: http://melaniepriceadventures.blogspot.com/ experience / notes: LOST Swimmer, LOST registrar, member of the 1995 Lake Onatrio Crossing relay team, pacer and member of crew for Miguel Vadillo’s 2010 Lake O Solo Crossing, successfully completed a Lake O Crossing in 2011! . 4) name: Maisey Kent position: crew, pacer, kayaker phone: 905-337-2549 email: email@example.com experience / notes: LOST Swimmer, 10 years of competitive swimming, Bronze Cross and Bronze Medallion lifeguarding certifications, Emergency First Aid with CPR B and C certifications. Pacer & lifeguard on Melanie Price’s successful Lake O Crossing in 2011. .
C) Boat Clubs or Organizations:
- Oakville Boaters http://www.oakvilleboaters.com/
- Oakville Squadron http://oakville.cps-ecp.org/
- Bronte Harbour Yacht Club http://www.bhyc.on.ca/
- The National Yacht Club (Toronto) http://www.thenyc.com/
- Humber Sailing Club http://www.humbersailingclub.com/
- Sailing For You (charter company) http://sailingforyou.ca/
- Lake Ontario Sailing (listing of all yacht clubs) http://www.lakeontariosailing.com/yacht_clubs.htm
- Burloak Canoe Club http://www.burloakcanoe.com/
- Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary, Oakville http://www.towarf.com/
- Halton Police Marine Unit (Bronte) http://www.hrps.on.ca/SPECIALIZEDUNITS/ESU/Pages/Marine.aspx