Here is everything you need to know…
First of all… you can register online! Just click on the logo to the right that says “LOST Store and Online Registration”!
1) LOST Swimming costs $45 per year (May 1 to May 1). That is the bare minimum that we need to run the club… I know the rent on the Lake is pretty low, but there are lots of other little costs you don’t see, insurance and the LOST Race being the biggest. But it seems to be a pretty fair price compared to just about any other membership you’ll have this year! The numbers speak for themselves… people love LOST Swimming… it’s a fun bunch of friends enjoying some of the best open water swimming in the world… which is why it keeps growing! So come and join us… it’s worth it!
2) We meet every Saturday morning at 8:00 am from early June until late September. We meet at the foot of Navy Street, by the Lighthouse Pier, at the mouth of 16 Mile Creek in downtown Oakville. (Don’t worry we’re easy to find, we’re the ones walking around the park in wetsuits and bathing suits… just show up!)
3) Safety is paramount.
a) We have a square course set up and marked with buoys. It’s not too far out. So if you have a problem (cramp, tired, cold, etc) you simply swim directly into shore.
b) Swim with others. We usually have enough people out there of various speeds that there is always someone about the same speed as you.
c) Kayakers and SUP’s – we usually have a few supporting us, which is awesome! We also encourage anyone who would rather be a ‘yaker or SUP’er to join us! Always welcome, just show up!
d) You are on your own. Generally speaking, you should be able to swim about 5oo meters without much problem, which is 20 lengths of a 25 meter pool. We encourage newbies to come out, but you should have a base level of ability as this is a swimming club and not swimming lessons. As much as we all try to look out for each other and help each other, you are on your own and are ultimately responsible for yourself!!! No one is going to tell you that you are too tired, or too cold, or the water is too rough for you… you have to know your limits, your body and the water conditions… be aware of yourself and your environment… and both are continually changing!!!
We’ve had no incidents at all so far, but that is because we look out for each other… and more importantly, because everyone looks out for themselves!
4) Equipment: a bathing suit, goggles, a cap (you get one free with your registration!), a wetsuit (optional if you are true open water swimmer!), some Body Glide for chaffing from the wetsuit (another reason you don’t need a wetsuit!), warm clothes for after. And that’s about it.
5) Come for a cup of coffee at “Bean There Cafe” after the swim! We all meet up at the NW corner of Lakeshore and Reynolds (106 Reynolds) for a cup of coffee after the swim. It will help you warm up… and it will help you to get to know everyone… because you’ll want to get to know us… we’re a fun bunch o’ swimmers!
6) Don’t be a chicken. It is often cold (55F/13C to 75F/24C) but you can wear a wetsuit… if you need to… and, yes, there is stuff in Lake O that you won’t find at the bottom of the pool (like lane lines and hairballs!)… but don’t let it freak you out… it is a very clean lake (despite the outdated common misconception!) and we are swimming along one of the most beautiful shorelines in Canada! Once you get used to it you’ll find that open water swimming is to pool swimming, what trail running is to treadmill running! It’s great.
7) Bring a friend. Lake O is one of the best bodies of water in the world… really, in the entire world… for open water swimming. It has a spectacular history of open water swims, from Marilyn Bell, George Young, Abu Heif, Ted Erikson and the great races they used to hold at the Canadian National Exhibition to Vicki Keith’s amazing swim across doing butterfly! We have a great lake to swim in… tell people about it and bring them down to watch or even better, to swim! The more the merrier.
8) Do the L.O.S.T. Race. It’s really a lot of fun and a good challenge. Really.