On August 8-9, 2006, at age 16, Samantha Whiteside crossed Lake Ontario in 15:11. Her time was the second fastest ladies time ever recorded, and was just over one minute outside the ladies record of 15:10 that was set by 16-year-old Cindy Nicholas, 32-years previously in 1974. Samantha's swim was conducted to raise funds for The Arthritis Society and involved a significant organization that included a list of four pacers and boats carrying GPS. The safety and support of such swims have changed notably from the days of Cindy Nicholas's swim which was conducted without pacers, and for five hours had no lead-boat support for the wooden dingy. Based on the Swim Master's official report to SSO, Samantha's swim started from Niagara-on-the-Lake at 19:11:43 on Tuesday, 8th August 2006 and finished with her touching the wall at Marilyn Bell Park at 10:22:54 on the following morning. Water temperature started at 76-78°F and remained at that level for five hours before gradually falling to 65°F over the next six hours, where it stayed for the remainder of the swim - finishing at 64°F. Air temperature started at 76°F and dipped to 62°F in the hours before dawn, before starting to rise after 8:00 am into the 70s°F at the end of the swim. Water conditions were calm for most of the swim, with a small head-wind that raised 1-to-1.5-foot waves for about an hour.
Samantha's coach was Joni Maertin-Sanders; her managers were Ken Fischer and her mother Pam Whiteside; the Swim Master was John Bulsza; and the Assistant Swim Master was Marilyn Korzekwa.
In 2013, Smantha joined with four other highly-experienced ladies to swim along the length of Lake Ontario.
Their team Because Girls Can covered 242 km in 99.5 hours, under some very cold water conditions.
Their goal was to raise attention towards Gender Inequity for Girls.
Photographs were supplied by Samantha's team.
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Created: 11th February 2007
Last Updated: 6th February 2022