Burlington’s Benoit postpones her Lake Ontario swim because of high winds.

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON  August 18, 2012   She put everything she had into the effort.

It cost her the job she had but for Michele Benoit that didn’t matter.  The focus for her was to slip into the water at Port Dalhousie at 8 pm Friday night and head for Spencer Smith Park in Burlington and come ashore some twenty to twenty two hours later.

It wasn’t to be.

Weather conditions at Port Dalhousie were just not right for the swim Benoit wanted to do and at approximately 8:20 Friday evening she informed the city that the swim has been postponed until further notice, likely in two weeks at the earliest.  Benoit and her team had decided that the conditions were just not right to set out.

The swim was scheduled to begin at 8 p.m., but swim master Christine Arsenault said the winds were too strong.

Those who work on Lake Ontario will tell you that the lake changes in September; it becomes a different body of water.

Michele Benoit needed reasonably calm waters to cross Lake Ontario Friday night. The weather didn’t cooperate and the swim was postponed

The goal Michele Benoit had is a noble one.  And she had the best wishes of a community behind her including a Mayor who tweeted for her regularly.

Benoit wasn’t the only person who had to cancel her swim.

Annaleise Carr, a  14 year old who wanted to become the youngest person to swim across the lake had planned on starting her swim on Friday as well.  She was to land at the famed Marilyn Bell Park in Toronto, named after the first Canadian to swim across the lake.

Solo Swims Ontario, the  official body responsible for verifying the validity of the swim and for ensuring the safety of the swim declared the winds too high Friday for Carr to enter the water.  Those same wind conditions existed at the western end of the Lake as well

Lake Ontario is one of the toughest bodies of water to conquer.   François Hamel, 42  abandoned the swim after injuring his left shoulder. In August 2011, Greg Willoughby, 41, had just one mile left to go when his whole body gave out and he couldn’t keep himself afloat any longer.

It’s a tough unforgiving lake.

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1 comment to Burlington’s Benoit postpones her Lake Ontario swim because of high winds.

  • Trish Silvera

    Hi Michele – I know it must have been a hard decision to postpone the swim. I will keep looking to see when you finally get to accomplish your incredible girl. You go girl! Praise God for your testimony.