Lake Erie Challenge

Every year, our local athletes attempt a grueling race to defend Lake Erie!


Last year, two teams of dedicated athletes from #TeamSwim and #TeamSUP trained for months in preparation for the #LakeErieChallenge, when they swam and stand-up paddle boarded across the 30 km open water distance from Long Point to Port Dover. Their goal was to raise awareness and funds to address the serious environmental threats to Lake Erie.

Daniel Zin completed the challenging 26.5 km swim across Lake Erie on Saturday, September 7th.

Originally scheduled for August 24th, high winds and waves made the original swim too dangerous to attempt, and forced Zin and his support team back to shore. A forecast for strong headwinds threatened to thwart Zin’s second attempt. With the weather forecast in mind, Zin and his support crew adjusted their plans. Instead of an exposed crossing from the tip of Long Point to Port Dover, they chose a slightly more sheltered route, starting at Pottahawk Island. Dan swam across to Turkey Point, and then over to Port Dover. Zin also adjusted the swim’s timing, hoping to take advantage of calmer winds forecast overnight.

Zin began the swim just after midnight, at 12:41 am. He completed it 10 hours later, arriving to welcoming crowds on the beach at Port Dover at 10:41 am.

Team Sup meanwhile took on the challenging winds and waves head-on on August 24th, and completed a grueling 35km paddle. What was anticipated to be a three- to five-hour paddle for experienced, long-distance boarders Tyler Backus, Jonah Logan and Josh Austin ended up taking them 7.5 hours. “This was one of the hardest paddles both physically and mentally for any of us because of the conditions,” says Backus. “Glad to say we finished our 35 km paddle yesterday in some horrible headwinds. It was a grind but quite the experience. We earned our drinks on the patio afterwards!”

In 2018, four swimmers participated in the 24-hour "Swim for Erie" at 10 points along Lake Erie's shoreline. In 2019, athletes tackled the Eastern end of the lake. In 2020, we are moving to the Western end!