It’s officially a Guiness World Record.
The fastest time to continuously swim the entire length of Okanagan Lake is 40 hours 57 minutes 11 seconds, set by American Adam Ellenstein of Detroit, who covered a distance of 106.6 kilometres (66.24 miles) wearing a wetsuit and swimming north to south between July 25 and 26.
The record was confirmed on the Guinness World Record website.
Ellenstein, 39, remained in the water at all times during this epic swim, receiving food and drink from a support team who rowed either side of him in two kayaks and passed him the rations as needed.
He swam by GPS, using a wetsuit and neoprene cap for the duration of the swim.
Ellenstein partnered with the Davis Phinney Foundation to attempt this record, which he undertook in honor of his Aunt Susan, who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in the fall of 2015.
He set off on the swim from the shores of Vernon at 5:49 a.m. July 25. Ellenstein stepped out of the water to the cheers of a crowd estimated at more than 200 people at Penticton’s SS Sicamous Heritage Park at 10:46 p.m. July 26.
Ellenstein is the first person to continuously swim the entire length of the lake from Vernon to Penticon, although in 1958 Canadian B.C. Sports Hall of Fame inductee Ann Meraw had swam 88.51 km (54.68 mi) without wetsuit in 32 hours 12 minutes.
This was the longest distance by the female swimmer, who had already swum the lake previously, achieving 42 miles in 25 hours 1 minute in 1956, and 32 miles in 16 hours 14 minutes in 1957.