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 Swimmer accompanied by Safety kayak during Race Rocks Challenge 2019

The inaugural open water Race Rocks Challenge swim on May 25 was an overwhelming, spirit-lifting success with three Pearson College UWC students completing the entire 6000-metre course!

Students Mikella Schuettler, Mara Bohm and Hayley Touchburn finished the course from Race Rocks lighthouse to the campus docks on Pedder Bay in between two and four hours early on a chilly and overcast Saturday morning. Teammates Tess Casher, Andrew Littlejohn, Sarah Lewis and Dvir Maimon also completed significant portions of the course. All students are Canadian, with the exception of Dvir who hails from Israel.

“All seven students who trained for the challenge in the chilly waters of the Salish Sea were incredible,” said Corey Teramura, Seafront Activities Coordinator who was a driving force among the many people on the Metchosin campus who made this challenge a success. “Each and every one displayed strength, stamina and spirit and we’re so proud of them for sharing this inspirational challenge with the entire community.”

Students trained with and were mentored by Susan Simmons, who volunteered her time. Well-known on Vancouver Island, Simmons also works extensively with Special Olympics participants, including the Spirt Orcas team which is currently training for a relay crossing of the English Channel and the Great Bear Swim training camp.

Safety was top priority for The Race Rocks Challenge with all swimmers wearing donated full-body wetsuits and accompanied by a flotilla of safety personnel and observers in powered craft and certified guide-staffed kayaks surrounding the swimmers every metre of the way.

“The Race Rocks Challenge was a mental and a physical challenge requiring focus, dedication, toughness and resilience – all qualities that Canadian and international students bring to Pearson.” said President and Head of College Désirée McGraw. “We hope this becomes an annual spring tradition here at ‘Canada’s School for the World.’”

View the images from the inaugural Race Rocks Challenge on our Flickr channel.