March 27, 2023

Over 200 swimmers got here out for the Ottawa Riverkeeper fundraiser occasion on Sunday.

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The primary two swimmers to splash their approach out of the Ottawa River at Lac Deschênes Crusing Membership Sunday morning each spent the pandemic within the water.

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With the return of the Ottawa Riverkeeper Open Water Swim after a two-year hiatus got here 14-year-old Charlie Anderson’s very first open water race. She clocked the highest time (24 minutes, 16 seconds) within the 1.5-kilometre occasion. The aggressive indoor swimmer has been coaching in open water since COVID-19 closed indoor swimming pools, beginning with morning swims at Britannia.

“It’s a complete new sport, it’s utterly totally different, however … I just like the rhythm higher than similar to, doing laps,” she mentioned. “Having no partitions or tempo clock, it’s extra enjoyable.”

Ending neck-in-neck with Anderson was Robert Landriault, who’s been swimming an open water circuit for the final handful of years. The worldwide International Swim Collection has taken him to Bermuda, Barbados, and Florida, however he’s been swimming competitively in Gatineau for the final 45 years.

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“Fifty-seven years outdated and nonetheless swimming,” he mentioned. “Tranquility. If you’re swimming, your head is within the water, you don’t don’t have anything in any respect, it’s good and quiet.”

Landriault is retiring from the Canadian Armed Forces on Sept. 1 after 32 years of service and swimming will change into his full-time focus, together with some triathlons.

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Over 200 swimmers got here out for the Ottawa Riverkeeper fundraiser occasion on Sunday, competing in 1.5- and 4-km distances within the river that stretches 1,271 kilometres from supply to mouth.

The occasion hadn’t been held for 2 years because of the pandemic “and it’s simply unimaginable to have the swimmers again out within the water” mentioned Ottawa Riverkeeper CEO Laura Reinsborough.

The fundraiser helps the unbiased charity’s actions, which vary from water high quality reporting for over 300 seashores within the Ottawa River watershed by way of to advocacy to guard the American eel, which make their technique to the Ottawa River and different Canadian waterways between the start and finish of their lives within the North Atlantic’s Sargasso Sea.

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Shawville’s Jennifer Haughton was the highest particular person fundraiser for the occasion, bringing in over $1,100 forward of her 1.5-km race. A Riverkeeper volunteer, she grew up in Woodroffe North, lived for some time in Pembroke, and now calls the Bristol, Que. space dwelling, “so the river’s at all times been a part of my life,” she mentioned.

“I’ve been so lucky… I’ve swam right here, I’ve swam Deep River, I’ve paddled from Pembroke to Petawawa, from the Madawaska, the Coulonge. I’ve, you already know, visited so many locations within the watershed… the Ottawa River means so much to me.”

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The occasion had raised greater than $12,750 as of Sunday, exceeding its $10,000 goal.

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