James Jonsson, open water chair for Utah Masters Swimming, will be attempting to swim the 19 plus mile length of Bear Lake this Thursday. He will not only be going for distance, he also has a goal to swim fast. Having seen James swim in Masters meets and in the Deer Creek Open Water Marathon Swim, he will undoubtedly set the bar very high for those who choose to test their endurance after him.
It seems that Bear Lake is becoming the "English Channel of the West" and is growing in popularity with marathon swimmers looking to test their endurance. In the past year or so there were two successful crossings by Neal Phelps and John Quackenbush (Neal wore a wetsuit and snorkel in his crossing and John swam following channel swimming rules). James Jonsson will be the third person to attempt the swim with another attempt by my friend Gordon Gridley later this summer. I am hoping to make an attempt myself in the next couple of years. As the popularity of swimming across Bear Lake increases and more swimmers attempt the swim, there ought to be a "Bear Lake Swimming Federation" to keep an official record book of everyone who attempts and successfully crosses the lake.
We wish James the best of luck with his swim this Thursday and anxiously wait to hear how he does.