ORILLIA, Ontario — Aurora Bassmasters Club member Wil Wegman competed in the 25th Anniversary Orillia Sun City Swim and finished as the top fundraiser for the charity event Aug. 6 on Lake Couchiching.
Calling his fundraising efforts Wil’s Swim with The Fishes, Wegman targeted the angling community for donations and raised $1,300 for the Child Advocacy Centre of Simcoe/Muskoka. He has participated in the 4K swim the last four years and raised $6,230 for the charity.
“My Aurora Bassmasters Club has been an outstanding supporter for all four years now,” said Wegman. “They provide our max $250 contribution directly to the Child Advocacy Centre. They help share posts on social media and some members support on their own as well.”
Forty-one swimmers ranging in age from 9 to 66 competed in the 1K or 4K swims. Wegman swam the 4K course in 1 hour, 35.13 minutes and finished in 12th place on the lake he has fished regularly since the mid-1980s.
Swimming laps in a local pool four or five days a week for most of the year helps Wegman stay in shape for the race.
“After four cross-lake swims in the last four years, you would think it would be tougher for someone my age — 56 — but so far the swimming itself really hasn’t,” he said. “Up until this year, I was beating my personal best each year, but the wind and waves put the kibosh on that.” His 2015 time was 1 hour, 28.3 minutes.
Wegman plans to participate in the swim next year to make it five years in a row and has set a goal of trying to get closer to completing the race in about 1 hour, 30 minutes.