(KELOWNA, BC) – Five swimmers from the Okanagan Masters Swim Club (OMSC) will be jetting off to England at the end of July to swim across the English Channel as a relay team.

The team dubbed the “OMSC Lake Monsters” will be swimming across the English Channel as conditions permit the week of July 29th. The swim starts in Dover, England and finishes near Calais, France. The span of the Channel at this point is 35 kilometres as the crow flies but strong ocean currents and tides could push the distance to over 45 kilometres.

The OMSC Lake Monsters consists of Canadian Masters record holder Mike Stamhuis, Phred Martin, Denise Cesselli, Tracey Sutton and Leora Dahl. They have been working on an extensive training regime preparing themselves for what could be a very cold swim. No wet suits are allowed.

When asked about his training schedule Martin said “I am currently swimming 12 times a week-about 30 km in total–between the pool, Okanagan Lake and the Kettle River. At this point, our training is about endurance and getting mentally fit for the Channel.”

Their coach, Brent Hobbs, swam across the English Channel solo in 2008, and to this day, is one of only three British Columbians to successfully complete the race. “Having swum the Channel, I know how important it is to prepare physically and mentally for the challenge. I was able to draw on this experience to help the OMSC Lake Monsters prepare for the rigors of swimming long distances in really cold water, and to do so in rough ocean conditions. However, what I am most impressed with is how the OMSC Lake Monsters have come together as a team. Each of them has experienced some adversity on their journey, such as succumbing to hypothermia, exhaustion and injuries. They have really supported each other, and I believe that this, above all else, will get them through to France,” stated Hobbs.

To give back to the community, the team is raising funds for the YMCA’s Y Strong Kids Campaign which enables children and families to participate in sports. Donations can be made in the Lake Monster’s name at
Okanagan Masters Swim Club is for adult swimmers 18 years of age and up. Open to swimmers of all ages and abilities, the main focus of the Okanagan Masters Swim Club is to promote fitness for life through swimming. For information about Okanagan Masters, visit their website

Swim in the first ever MSABC Open Water Provincial Championships

MSABC Open Water Provincial Championships

We are pleased to announce that we will be hosting the first ever MSABC Provincial Open Water Swimming Championships as part of the HtO Thetis Lake Swim for MS!

Swims will include the annual 800m, 1.5k, 3k and 5k distances. Added to this will be 1.5k and 3k Masters Provincial Championship distances.

Join us on Sunday, July 28, 2013. The HtO Thetis Lake swim for MS is open to all ages and all abilities. Wetsuits are permitted in the 800m, 1.5k and 3k HtO Thetis Lake swims. Wetsuits are not permitted in the 5k or Provincial Championship events.

Raise funds for Multiple Sclerosis as part of your swim. Fifty percent of what you raise will go toward research to find a cure for MS. The other 50% will go toward funding a fitness program for people with MS in our community. Your participation helps make a difference in the lives of those impacted by Multiple Sclerosis.