MANITOWANING—The nine competitors leapt into the choppy waters of Manitowaning Bay without a hint of hesitation as the first Assiginack Open Swim got underway.
In the end it was 12-year-old Adan Lindfield of Port Hope who took top honours in the 1.3 kilometre race with a time of 22:13, followed closely by Tamara Flannigan of Whitefish Falls with a time of 22:20 and Sudbury’s Josh Post with a time of 22:46.
“I would like to thank all the spotters and I would like to do a shout out to the OPP for coming. It certainly made me feel comfortable knowing they were out there,” said Assiginack event organizer Jackie White. “The swimmers were so positive and upbeat and such gracious athletes. It has to be one of the most positive and fun events I have ever run.”
Adan had a little trepidation when he first signed up for the swim as he considers himself more of a sprinter than a long distance swimmer. He has only competed once before in a longer swim, 1,500 metres, but that race took place in a pool.
“I was really tired after the swim,” admitted Adan. “It was really hard to breathe (because of the wind and the waves).” But would he do it again? “Oh, yes, it was a lot of fun,” he laughed.
Adan competes with the Hamilton Swim Club, but Adan’s mother first learned of the race while reading The Expositor when the family were visiting Manitoulin for the Little Current Lions Haweater Weekend festivities.
Race organizer Jackie White said that she was really pleased with the turnout for the swim and thanked all of the volunteers who helped to make it happen.
Spotters in kayaks and on paddle boards followed each swimmer through the entire course, which turned out to be a little longer as the swimmers were blown slightly off course by the wind.
An OPP police boat was also keeping watch. “I was really pleased to see the OPP boat,” Ms. White reiterated. “I just invited them and they came out. It always makes you feel a little more comfortable when they are here.”