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Photos: SwimBowen Magic Grows

It was another record setting year for SwimBowen with more than $44,000 raised

July 16, 2022 was an extraordinary SwimBowen day with calm seas, rain-free skies, and swimmers, volunteers and supporters brimming with enough enthusiasm to keep us all afloat for another year. 

When we began SwimBowen in the wintery darkness of 2018, our hope was to cajole 20 swimmers to sign up and raise enough money so we could scrape by and perhaps launch the event the following year. And maybe even raise some funds for our Bowen Island Cancer Care initiative. 

It seems the universe was primed to welcome SwimBowen with open arms as the response to our events is astounding. This year’s results are show-stopping with sold out registration, a registration waiting list, and record breaking fund - raising currently $44,500 (and counting). Jaw dropping stuff.

A heart-felt congratulations to our top fundraiser, Michael Henrichsen, winner of the Whistler Get Away Grand Prize package for two (3 nights accommodation, lift tickets, Scandinave Spa and dinner out) who raised an epic $13,000 for Bowen Island’s Cancer Care Fund. During the five weeks leading up to the event, and with his partner Jennifer on a paddleboard at his side, Michael swam the entire distance around Bowen Island in sections. On event morning, he completed the last leg of his circumnavigation - starting at Cape Roger Curtis and arriving in Tunstall Bay in time to join the other registrants for the 1500 metre event. 

The crowd cheered him in, his family greeted him at the water’s edge, and there was much hugging. And happy tears.

A big congratulations to our runner up fundraisers: Sandy Parkinson ($6,500 raised), Susan Alexander ($4,500 raised), Anne Chollat ($4,100 raised) and Jlonka Bally-Brown ($2,800 raised). Remarkable! 

Congratulations to the top finishers in the 1500 metre event: first place Owen Owens, Vancouver: 22:07; Kisley Barbic, Squamish: 23:16, 2nd place; Drew Powell, North Vancouver: 23:06, and Uma Sukkau, Vancouver: 25:25, 3rd place; Brian Smallwood, California: 26:35, and Roberta Doinella, Vancouver: 26:38. 

The top female finishers in the 750 metre event are: Leah Cline, Bowen Island: 15:10; Gemma McCutcheon, Vancouver: 20:51; and Di Izdebski, Bowen Island: 23:01. 

The top male finishers for the 750 metre event are: Dan Nixon, Vancouver: 13:42; Pedro Feitosa De Lucena, Vancouver: 15:23.

To our 2022 corporate and community sponsors, to our legion of volunteers, our donors and of course to our fabulous swimmers - please know that together you are part of this beautiful thing called SwimBowen, a little event doing great, big things. We couldn’t do it without you. 

And that’s the Bowen community event I know and love - the kind that brings us together, bringing out the best in all of us. Years down the road we won’t remember the details of the event, the weather, or how fast or slow we swam. We will however remember how SwimBowen made us feel, and how a little community can pull together and change their corner of the world for the better. 

Thank you Bowen Island and beyond!