Manitoulin Island’s first competitive open water swim slated for August 25

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MANITOWANING BAY—Manitowaning’s Jackie White, well-known swim coach, is hosting, alongside the Township of Assiginack, a first annual Open Water Swim in Manitowaning Bay on Saturday, August 25.

“I’ve coached and done competitive swimming for decades,” Ms. White said, noting that she is also an open water swimmer. “It’s fun because you don’t know what the weather will bring,” she added.

The route is approximately 1.3 kilometres and begins at Manitowaning Beach, goes to the tip of Fanny Island and back again. It’s the equivalent of about 52 laps in a pool.

For swimmers, Ms. White said, this is a warmup. “For those that swim, it’s very doable,” Ms. White added. “But it’s different, swimming in Lake Huron,” she added. “It’s a very different group of people who have that urge.”

“There will be support crews all around,” Ms. White explained, both in boats and kayaks.

Front crawl is the preferred stroke of open water swimmers, and for those who are looking to brush up on their skills Ms. White is hosting stroke clinics every Tuesday night at the Manitowaning beach from 6:30 to 8 pm until race day, August 25, all free of charge. Ms. White helps swimmers with their form and their breathing.

The race will begin at 10 am on August 25 and all swimmers must have a brightly coloured swim cap so that support crew can keep a keen eye out for the swimmers. Wetsuits are allowed and swim goggles are encouraged, Ms. White added.

Depending on how it works out, Ms. White hopes to make it an annual event. The folks at Canaqua Sports, Canada’s biggest boosters of open water swims, are helping to spread the word about the race too.

To register for the event, visit and click on the link.

“If you’re at all thinking about it, come out, or come to the stroke improvement class,” Ms. White urges.