Solo Swims of Ontario Inc.

Hall of Fame

The Machine Men
Chris Kraus, Rick Gaenzle, Brian Ross

3-Person Relay-Crossing of Lake Ontario

On 6-7th September 2018, The Machine Men accomplished the second SSO-recorded Relay-crossing of Lake Ontario.

The 3-man USA team of Chris Kraus (58), Rick Gaenzle (53) and Brian Ross (62) completed the 51 km swim in 19 hours and 42 seconds.

Their swim started on Sep 6 at 9:47 am from Queen's Royal Park, Niagara-on-the-Lake (43 15' 27" N, 79 04' 06 W) at 9:47 am and landed at Marilyn Bell Park, Toronto (43 37'48" N, 79 25' 39" W).

Team Captain, Chris, started the swimming and they then rotated in order (Chris-Rick-Brian) at one-hour intervals throughout the swim, so that Chris also provided the finishing leg of the 51 km swim into Marilyn Bell Park.

The water temperature ranged from 21.5C at the start to 24C, with most of the swim being around 23C.

There were variable winds for the first 5 hours creating 4-5' waves for the first two hours before dying down to provide a 8-hour period of calm; however, after 14 hours of swimming, strong northerly headwinds developed and produced some challenging conditions for both the swimmers and crew, with waves of 2-3'.

Regardless of the wind conditions, the exit from the Niagara River involves passing over a Sand Bar where the waters are always choppy, unpredictable, and provide the swimmer with a "roller-coaster" ride. Here's a great piece of video of Chris as he passed through that area !

Speed Plot

Swim Master: Colleen Shields.
Team Captain: Chris Kraus.
Pilot: Christine Arsenault

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Created: 9th July 2019
Last Updated: 14th August 2019