Stories of Island Swim 2017
by Randy Pascal
Even a limited sampling of those on hand for the 34th Annual Ian McCloy Island Swim gave proof to the notion that this gathering of individuals
really does put the “fitness” in the Sudbury Fitness Challenge.
For a large number of these athletes of all ages, daily physical activity is merely a way of life, squeezing a Sunday morning open water swim into a
weekend schedule that inevitably featured some other sporting challenge in the mix.
Two mile female 30-39 champion Julie (Rathwell) Falvo summarized the mindset as well as anyone who exited the waters of Lake Nepahwin on to the
Laurentian Beach. “I still do the running, the swimming, the biking, the skiing, anything that I can do to come out and hang out with friends and be
active,” she said.
A lifeguard and one-time water polo player from the days of her youth in Lindsay, Falvo was participating for the fifth or sixth time in the Island Swim,
most of these in the recent past. “It was a little wavy compared to last year, it was a little cold compared to other years, but it was still really fun,”
she said. “It’s a grassroots event and we all come out, we all swim. It’s fun to see all of the people participating.”
Defining himself as a “casual” swimmer, Lawrence Hooey was involved for the second consecutive year, both times while visiting Sudbury on vacation
from his home in Sweden. “My family had a camp on Lake Ramsey until the early 1990’s,” he explained. “I studied metallurgy and had hoped to come back to
Sudbury, but I happened to get a job in Finland.”
Some twenty-four years later, his “Scandanavian adventure” has now seen him and his family move to Sweden, well north of Stockholm. “The language is
different, but the environment is very similar to here, quite beautiful with the same types of forests and lakes and nature,” said Hooey.
With the bulk of his periodic training occurring in a pool setting, the first place finisher in the one mile men’s 40-49 division has found a way to deal
with the absence of lane markers when one gets out into open water.
“I actually try and look for somebody close by who actually looks like they know what they’re doing,” he said. “I try and keep that person in my sights,
and hopefully they can keep me on track. That’s my strategy, but I’m not sure I would say it’s the best strategy,” Hooey added with a laugh.
That “searching for someone who looks like they know what they’re doing” strategy might well have pointed Hooey in the direction of 11 year old Noah
Rioux, though the member of the Sudbury Laurentian Swim Club (SLSC) was actually some four minutes ahead, showing the way in the 12 and under
Back for a second straight year, Rioux actually has latched on to at least one method of helping get a sense of his bearings by virtue of his
adaptability in the water. “I do mostly front crawl, but I don’t do all front crawl,” he suggested. “Once I get to the island, I just looked around and did
some breaststroke, just to make sure I knew where I was going, to get a sense of direction.”
A regular on the Sudbury Fitness Challenge circuit, along with his parents and his brother, Rioux echoed his thoughts on the one issue that targets many
of those who train for this event almost exclusively with sessions in the pool. “The one big difference is the depth – I hate that,” he said.
“If you ever look at the bottom of the pool, you can see it and know where everything is. In open water, you look all around and all you see is black,
and it kind of scares me.” Not enough fear to bypass the event, however, even on a day which handed swimmers less than ideal conditions to deal with.
“This is way colder than last year,” noted Rioux. “I’m freezing right now, but when I was in the water, I was perfectly fine. Once you get moving in the
water, it’s not really that cold.” That mindset was likely music to the ears of 24 year old Connor Watson, a coach with the SLSC, and relative
newcomer to both the area and the race itself.
“I did it for the first time three years ago, when I moved up to Sudbury and they told me about the swim, so I thought I would hop in and give it a try,”
said the native of the Kitchener-Waterloo area, making his way north for post secondary studies at both Cambrian College and Laurentian University.
“I had the intentions of training this year, but it was really more of a fun swim. I encourage my swimmers, the kids and the masters, to come out and do
this, so I thought if I come out, then they can too.” Truth be told, it wasn’t going to take a whole lot of convincing to get 14 year old Paris Macey
out to the lake. This talented young athlete simply never sits still.
On Saturday, she would find herself winning, with ease, the K1 sprint kayak 2000m distance at the North Bay Canoe Club Regatta. “I had heard
these girls were pretty fast, and I was in the high performance category, and there was a mix of 14 year olds and 15 year olds. I didn’t think I was going
But win she would, following that accomplishment by earning the crown as fastest female in the two mile Island Swim race the very next day, finishing
behind only men’s champion and former varsity swimmer Jordan Hotta.
“I’ve been swimming longer than I’ve been doing kayaking, but I enjoy them equally as much,” explained Macey. “The swim season is almost over, so sprint
kayak is good crossover training for fitness.” It is, after, the Sudbury “Fitness” Challenge.
Note: The Ian McCloy Island Swim is the fourth in the seven event series that constitutes the SFC, with the Swim organized by Laura Young and
Laurentian Masters Swimming. Trying to make the best of a crazy schedule, SFC regular Lawrie Oliphant simply could not pull off the near
impossible. After competing in a high level open water swim on Lake Okanagan late last week, Oliphant was hoping to catch a late flight out of Toronto
Saturday, allowing him to be back in time for the Island Swim.
Following are the full results from the 2017 Ian McCloy Island Swim, as provided by event organizers:
100 metre DQ Kids Challenge
1st - Ashton Cable - 2:54
2nd - Hudson Green - 3:18
3rd - Paige Heyworth - 3:21
4th - Hector Loiselle - 3:54
5th - Oliver Giroux - 4:00
6th - Joe Zite - 5:21
Island Swim - 500 metres
12 & Under - Male: Theo Lefebvre (12:15); Henri Lefebvre (13:21); Kaeden Water (14:35)
13 - 16: Male - Jacob Giroux (17:33); Female - Abby Krawczuk (12:35)
17 - 19: Male - Josh Tillson (10:06); Female - Kate Richards
30-39 - Female: Jennifer Zymantas (11:03); Ashley Hurley (13:31)
40 - 49: Male - Paul Lefebvre (17:23); Female - Lynne Giroux (14:30)
50 - 59 - Female: Karen Renout (14:26); Deb Smith (14:33)
70 - 79 - Female: Maureen Moustgaard (18:54)
Island Swim - One Mile (1.6km)
12 & Under - Male: Noah Rioux (29:10)
13 - 16 - Male: Ethan Leutchford (25:23); Max Lemay (30:25)
17 - 19 - Male: Kelly Thompson (25:16)
20 - 29 - Male: Connor Watson (27:57)
30 - 39 - Male: Buddy Green (19:38) * fastest male
40 - 49 - Male: Lawrence Hooey (33:39); Neil Phipps (34:23); Scott Hopkins (34:26)
40 - 49 - Female: Ginny Denomme (27:37); Meghan Dillon (34:54)
50 - 59 - Male: Todd Withers (33:06); Glenn Woods (34:57); Darren Kleven (39:15)
50 - 59 - Female: Karen Broughton (31:53); Cora McCloy (33:14)
60 - 69 - Female: Amanda Hey (39:12)
Island Swim - Two Miles (3.2km)
13 - 16 - Female: Paris Macey (49:54); Michaela Arsenault (1:02:17)
17 - 19 - Female: Montana Vaillancourt (53:48)
20 - 29: Male - Jordan Hotta (45:06); Female - Monica Haring (1:00:58)
30 - 39 - Female: Julie Falvo (54:59)
40 - 49 - Female: Sylvia Donato (56:27); Ursula McCloy (57:19); Sara McIlraith (1:01:54); Christine Arsenault (1:04:22)
50 - 59 - Male: Robert Masih (1:13:58); Tony Sundholm (1:27:30) * this marked the 24th time Sundholm has completed the Island Swim
50 - 59 - Female: Laura Young (57:08)
60 - 69 - Male: Richard Côté (1:00:16)