Welcome to one of the best kept secrets in the open water swimming community! The Across the Lake Swim Rattlesnake Island consists of two swimming events: a one-way, 3.1 km swim across Okanagan Lake, from Rattlesnake Island to Peachland, and a more demanding 7km out-and-back swim that loops around the back of Rattlesnake Island.
Although it has been going continuously for 20 years, this swim event has never been sponsored, advertised, or promoted, and numbers have grown very slowly in that time, relying mostly on word of mouth. Starting in 2014, the Rattlesnake Island swim was taken over by the Across The Lake Swim Society, which for many years has been running a highly successful and growing swim in Kelowna in mid July. The ATLS Society plans to grow the participation in this event in the coming years, with enhanced safety features, improved swim support, more prizing, and an improved swag bag.
For those who have done the Rattlesnake Island Swim (RIS) before, there are lots of enhancements for the Swim. Otherwise, here is the blow by blow account of everything you need to know about the RIS, but were afraid to ask:
- The process starts with the online sign up, which will be the ONLY way to register for the swim. Registration fees are unchanged from the previous year. You can register for both the Rattlesnake Island Swim and the Interior Savings Across The Lake Swim at the same time if you wish.
- You will be asked to choose between the 3.1KM and 7KM swim, and if you pick the latter, YOU MUST REGISTER A PADDLER TO SUPPORT YOU - you will not be allowed to swim without one. If you are unable to find a paddler, or your paddler fails to appear, you will NOT be able to swim.
- The 7KM out-and-back swim to and around Rattlesnake Island starts at approximately 7AM from the shores of Swim Bay in Peachland near the yacht club; the 3.1 KM swim begins at approximately 7:45AM, from Rattlesnake Island. 3.1 K swimmers will be transported to the island at approximately 6:45AM from the boat landing near the yacht club.
- The swim will be supported by support boats with lifeguards along the route.
- All swimmers will be required to use a Swim Buddy (supplied for you n/c), a safety device that you can learn more about here. You can practice using one of these at the one Open water Swim Clinic in Peachland, where these will be available, both to test drive and for sale.
- All registrants will be encouraged to attend free Fresh Air Open Water Swim training clinics put on by the Across the Lake Swim Kelowna for 6 consecutive Saturdays, June 8th to July 13th, at Gyro Beach Swim Loop in Kelowna. Also, there will be one Fresh Air Open Water Swim Clinic on Saturday, Aug 3rd, at Swim Bay in Peachland as well as orientation meetings the evening before the race.
- Race packages will be available on Friday, August 9th, between 4-7PM, at the Peachland Community Centre. Orientation meetings will be held at 4:30pm, 5:30pm and 6:30pm.