Lake good for 14degC swims

Wanaka Lake Swimmers Club began the open water swimming season yesterday, with a swim in Roys Bay...
Wanaka Lake Swimmers Club began the open water swimming season yesterday, with a swim in Roys Bay and barbecue at the Wanaka Watersports Facility. Clare Fitzpatrick (left) and Luke Yates (right) acclimatise to the 14degC temperature. PHOTO: MARJORIE COOK
About 80 Wanaka Lake Swimmers club members celebrated their public holiday yesterday with a chilly dip in Lake Wanaka to mark the beginning of the open water swimming season.

The Southern Lake Swimmers Club, based in Queenstown, opened their swimming season on Saturday.

Lake Wanaka was 14degC at 9am yesterday. It rarely gets above 18degC on the top layer of water.

Those who swam with the Southern Lake club on Saturday said Wanaka felt tropical compared to the 11degC experienced in Lake Whakatipu.

Conditions were calm, putting smiles on many faces despite the "ice-cream headaches" reported by those who had not been in the lake since last summer.

Among the hardy crew who swim in the lake all year round was club president Camille Gulick, who directed proceedings before taking to the water for a blast around the buoys.

Ms Gulick said she was excited to see everyone ready to swim at the beginning of the season.

She presented gifts to members Liz and Wayne Millow for helping at the Wanaka Watersports Facility before and after weekly Sunday swims during the 2020 season.

Wanaka’s swim buoy lane is found at a popular family beach in Roys Bay, opposite the watersports facility.

The buoy line is a five-knot boating zone.

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