Canadian swimmer sets new date for strait crossing; American to make attempt Monday

SALT SPRINGS ISLAND, B.C. — A Victoria athlete who hopes to become the first person to swim across the Strait of Juan de Fuca and back has now set her sights on Aug. 18.

Meanwhile, marathon swimmer Michelle Macy has set her sights on Monday for a cross-strait swim.

Victoria’s Susan Simmons delayed her attempt to make the 40-mile round trip Wednesday because of high winds.

She now plans to make the crossing — twice — on Aug. 18 or Aug. 19, weather permitting.

“My next window is the 18th,” Simmons said when reached by cell phone Saturday from Salt Spring Island, B.C.

“That’s based on the tide. We’re hopeful that the winds cooperate.”

Instead of attempting to swim from Vancouver Island to the Dungeness Spit and back on Saturday, as she had previously contemplated, Simmons was preparing to jump in the Strait of Georgia with her “swim sister,” Rama DelaRosa.

DelaRosa planned to swim around Salt Spring Island to raise funds and awareness for the imperiled Salish Sea orcas.

“Beautiful morning on the Strait of Georgia,” Simmons wrote in a Saturday Facebook post. “Water is looking toasty. Honored to swimming with Rama DelaRosa in her swim for the Salish Sea.”

Simmons is an ultra-marathon swimmer, coach and paddler.

She has multiple sclerosis, which is part of the reason she’s attempting the out-and-back swim in the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

As a traditional swimmer, Simmons wears nothing but a swimsuit, swim cap and goggles.

Her support team provides only nourishment.

For more information about Simmons’ swim, click on www.withms4ms.com.

Macy attempt

The Northwest Open Water Swimming Association announced Friday that Oregon native Macy will attempt to cross the strait at 7 a.m. Monday from Freshwater Bay. She will swim to Vancouver Island.

Macy has set Tuesday and Wednesday as her backup dates.

The association said Macy “is a very accomplished swimmer and has completed many notable swims, including three crossings of the English Channel.”

Macy’s swim, as with all NOWSA swims, will follow marathon swimming rules, meaning the swim will be unassisted and will not use anything that would improve speed, heat retention, or buoyancy.

The swim will be observed by a NOWSA official.

NOWSA’s full rules and more information are available at northwestopenwater.org.

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Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56450, or at [email protected].

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