Lake Erie

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Lake Erie is the fourth largest lake (by surface area) of the five Great Lakes in North America, and the tenth largest globally. It is the southernmost, shallowest, and smallest by volume of the Great Lakes. It is bounded by Ontario to the north, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York to the south, and Michigan to the west. The lake is named after the Erie tribe of Native Americans who lived along its southern shore. The outflow from the lake provides hydroelectric power to Canada and the U.S. as it spins huge turbines at Niagara Falls.

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Lake Erie Open Water Swimming Association

A solo crossing of Lake Erie between Canada and the U.S.A. is one of the newest USA and Canada's Top Open Water Swims. Marathon swims across Lake Erie are governed by the USA group, from Erie PA (LEOWSA) Lake Erie Open Water Swimming Association, managed by Josh Heynes,and also 2 Canadian observation/sanctioning groups #1 LOST Swimming/LOCO, managed by Rob Kent and #2 SOLO Swims of Ontario managed by Greg Taylor.

The Lake Erie Open Water Swimming Association was established in 2012 upon the recommendation of multiple local United States cities, municipalities, and other local government organizations (US Border Patrol, US Coast Guard), due to the increasing popularity, interest, and number of swim crossings of Lake Erie.

With its main focus as a safety organization, the LEOWSA is recognized as the provincial swimming body for observing, monitoring, and providing services for individuals/relays participating in long distance solo swims in Lake Erie.

Any swim conducted after July 2012 without the knowledge/consent and or participation of LEOWSA, LOCO, and or SoloSwims Ontario, will be considered "Unsanctioned and Unofficial", and will not be recognized by the Open Water Swimming Community at large. For safety reasons, local authorities, Local US Border Patrol and US Coast Guard will not permit a marathon swim in Lake Erie without the swimmer(s) to be involved with and insured with any of the previous mentioned proper sanctioning/monitoring group(s).

LEOWSA’s mandate is to independently insure, observe, sanction, and verify all individual swims across Lake Erie, and to endure that such swims are conducted safely according to strict guidelines according to WOWSA and “Rules of Marathon Swimming” as established by the Marathon Swimming Federation.

LEOWSA has established a "standard course". From the tip of Long Point, Ontario Canada to Freeport Beach in Northeast Twp, Pa. 24.3 miles. However LEOWSA are willing to support any course and distance and swimmer chooses.

For more information and a "swimmers registration packet". email LEOWSA Josh Heynes (jheynes1@gmail.com)

Successful Marathon Swims Across Central Lake Erie

Recognized and Ratified by LEOWSA

1975: Pat Budney swam 26 miles (41.8 km) in 25 hours 52 minutes from Long Point, Ontario, Canada to Presque Isle State Park - Beach 10, Erie, Pennsylvania, USA on 20 August 1975. Note: his finish beach is now named Budney Beach in his honor.
1989: Bob North and Harvey Snell swam 24.3 miles (39.1 km) from Long Point, Ontario, Canada to Freeport Beach, North East Twp., Pennsylvania, USA on 12 August 1989
1992: Bob Weir 49, Canada swam 27 miles (43km) in 23 hours 41 minutes from Dunkirk, NY, USA to Mohawk Point, Ontario Canada 26-27 Aug

1993: Halli Reid swam 24.3 miles (39.1 km) in 17 hours from Long Point, Ontario, Canada to Freeport Beach, North East Twp., Pennsylvania, USA on 9 August 1993 (first woman)
Note: Nearby Park is now named in her honor

1995: Greg Sarbak swam 24.3 miles (39.1 km) in 13 hours 30 minutes from Long Point, Ontario, Canada to Freeport Beach - North East Twp., Pennsylvania, USA on 21 August 1995
1998: Paula Stephanson: swam 27 miles (43km) in 18 hours:23 minutes from Dunkirk,NY USA to Rock Point Provincial Park, Ontario Canada 18-19 July

2002: Paula Jongerden swam 24.3 miles (39.1 km) in 23 hours 36 minutes from Presque Isle State Park, Erie, Pennsylvania, USA to Long Point, Ontario, Canada on 21 August 2002
2005: Sara McClure swam 24.3 miles (39.1 km) from Long Point, Ontario, Canada to Freeport Beach - North East Twp., Pennsylvania, USA on 8 August 2005
2006: Josh Heynes swam 24.3 miles (39.1 km) in 11 hours 53 minutes from Long Point, Ontario, Canada to Freeport Beach - North East Twp., Pennsylvania, USA on 9 August 2006
2007: Dan Nichols swam 32.2 miles (51.4km) in 20 hours 45 minutes 57 seconds from Presque Isle State Park, Erie, Pennsylvania, USA to Abigail Becker Parkway, Long Point, Ontario on 5 August 2007
2007: Sonya Pyle swam 24.3 miles (39.1 km) in 14 hours 9 minutes from Long Point, Ontario, Canada to Freeport Beach - North East Twp., Pennsylvania, USA on 6 August 2007
2009: Randy McElwain swam 24.3 miles (39.1 km) in 11 hours 23 minutes 33 seconds from Long Point, Ontario, Canada to Freeport Beach - North East Twp., Pennsylvania, USA on 24 August 2009
2010: Mitch Ranzenberger swam 24.3 miles (39.1 km) in 17 hours 47 minutes from Long Point, Ontario, Canada to Freeport Beach - North East Twp., Pennsylvania, USA on 1 August 2010
2011: Josh Heynes swam 24.3 miles (39.1 km) in 11 hours 16 minutes 40 seconds from Long Point, Ontario, Canada to Freeport Beach - North East Twp., Pennsylvania, USA on 9 July 2011 (course record time)
2011: Melanie Reade swam 24.3 miles (39.1 km) in 13 hours 35 minutes 33 seconds from Long Point, Ontario, Canada to Freeport Beach - North East Twp., Pennsylvania, USA on 31 July 2011 (course record time for women)
2011: Randy McElwain swam 32.5 miles (51.5 km) in 16 hours 26 minutes 6 seconds from Long Point, Ontario, Canada to Dobbin's Landing - Erie, Pennsylvania, USA on 30 August 2011 (longest distance across Lake Erie)
2012: Eric Mizuba swam 24.3 miles (39.1 km) across Lake Erie in 14 hours 34 minutes from Long Point, Ontario, Canada to Freeport Beach - North East Twp., Pennsylvania, USA on 29 July 2012
2014: Elliot Spaeder swam24.3 miles (39.1 km) across Lake Erie in 11 hours 38 minutes from Long Point, Ontario, Canada to Freeport Beach - North East Twp., Pennsylvania, USA on 22 July 2014

Unsanctioned and Unofficial

2013: Mike Ferritto swam 24.3 miles (39.1 km) across Lake Erie in 15 hours 20 minutes from Long Point, Ontario, Canada to Freeport Beach - North East Twp., Pennsylvania, USA on 1 August 2013
2013: Steve Wargo swam 24.3 miles (39.1 km) across Lake Erie in 20 hours 7 minutes from Long Point, Ontario, Canada to Freeport Beach - North East Twp., Pennsylvania, USA on 1 August 2013

Successful Marathon Swims Across Eastern basin Lake Erie

Ratified by SoloSwimsOntario

Eastern Lake Erie

1. Vicki Keith 27 Canada 01-02 Jul 1988 10:24 16 miles (26 km) Port Colborne (Ontario) to Sturgeon Point (New York)

2. Kim Middletonb 27 Canada 07 Aug 1988 18:00 Double Crossing, 22 miles (35 km) Point Abino (Ontario) to Sturgeon Point (New York) Return to Crystal Beach (Ontario)

3. Rick Wood 32 Canada 25 Aug 1990 16:46 Double Crossing, 22 miles (35 km) Point Abino (Ontario) to Sturgeon Point (New York) Return to Crystal Beach (Ontario)

4. Ashley Cowan 15y 223d Canada 7 Sep 2001 14:20 12 miles (19.2 km) Sturgeon Point (New York) to Crystal Beach (Ontario) Quadruple amputee

5 Terri-Lynn Langdon 20 Canada 31 Aug 2002 12:55 12 miles (19.2 km) Sturgeon Point (New York) to Crystal Beach (Ontario) Cerebral Palsy swimmer

6. John Munro 52 Canada 13 Jul 2009 9:33 12 miles (19.2 km) Crystal Beach (Ontario) to Sturgeon Point (New York)

7. Chris Stockdale 62 England 21 Sep 2006 14:15 16 miles (26 km) Port Colborne (Ontario) to Sturgeon Point (New York)

8. Susanne Robinson 36 Canada 30 Jul 2007 8:14 12 miles (19.2 km) Crystal Beach (Ontario) to Sturgeon Point (New York)

9. Natalie Lambert 14y 341d Canada 6 Jul 2008 7:47:30 Butterfly & Ladies N-S Freestyle Record. 12 miles (19.2 km) Crystal Beach (Ontario) to Sturgeon Point (New York)

10. Jade Scognamillo 14y 217d England 12 Jul 2008 5:40:35 S-N Freestyle Record. 12 miles (19.2 km) Sturgeon Point (New York) to Crystal Beach (Ontario)

11. Natalie Lambert 15 Canada 9 Jul 2009 6:40:59 12 miles (19.2 km) Boat Ramp, Crystal Beach (Ontario) to Beach east of harbour, Sturgeon Point (New York)

12. Thie Convery 43 Canada 4 Jul 2010 7:20 11.5 miles (18.5 km) 1 km east of Sturgeon Point (New York) 42.69635°N, 79.030767 W to Crystal Beach (Ontario), 42.8602166°N, 79.0593°W

13. Greg Willoughby 40 Canada 15 Jul 2011 6:17:40 N-S Mens Freestyle Record. 12 miles (19.2 km) Crystal Beach (Ontario), 42deg 51' 42" N, 79deg 03' 50" W to Sturgeon Point (New York, 42deg 41' 30" N, 79deg 02' 36" W

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