Members of the Williams Lake Blue Fins and Smoke on the Water participants take to the frigid water before heading out on the course at Chimney Lake last year for the annual Smoke on the Water event

Smoke on the Water just a swim away

It’s time to put on your suits and swim caps to get ready for the third annual Smoke on the Water open water distance swim races.

It’s time to put on your suits and swim caps to get ready for the third annual Smoke on the Water open water distance swim races.

The all-ages race, hosted by the Williams Lake Blue Fins Swim Club, includes options of a 750-metre, 1,500-metre, or 3,000-metre swim.

The event will include gold, silver, and bronze medals being awarded in all three distances for each age category.

Blue Fins head coach Marilyn Haines notes that last year the event had 18 competitors, so everyone swam away with a gold, silver or bronze medal.

“We are still trying to grow the event,” Haines says, adding that swimmers of all levels are encouraged to participate.

“You don’t have to be a competitive swimmer. You don’t have to be a pro-triathlete. Anybody who has an average swimming ability can definitely get through a 750-metre race, which is about 30 lengths of the pool.”

She says those who tried swimming in the 750-metre category the first year chose to step it up the following year and go for the 1,500-metre race.

Haines adds that Chimney Lake makes for a perfect spot to hold the races, due to it being clear and warm by early August.

The race starts and finishes at the public beach.

The 750-metre swimmers go around a short buoy — 375 metres each way. The 1,500-metre swimmers go around a buoy that is 750 metres away, and then the three-kilometre races go around that twice.

“We get really good community support from the people of Chimney Lake,” Haines adds.

“Often they come out and cheer everybody on, and we have lots of volunteer support as well. There’s lots of supervision on the water. We’ve got kayakers, as well as people in aluminum boats and speed boats that are supervising the course.”

Smoke on the Water takes place Sunday, Aug. 12 and runs from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The $30-entry fee includes a light breakfast after the race and a cap.

For further information, e-mail bluefins@live.com or call Haines at 250-305-9546.

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