Solo Swims of Ontario Inc.

Hall of Fame

Madhu Nagaraja


Lake Ontario

After his successful crossing of the English Channel in 2004 at age 33, Madhu moved to Oakville, Ontario and it didn't take long before he set his sights on a crossing of Lake Ontario; however, some shoulder issues forced him to rethink his plans and he took the rehabilitation time to complete some running marathons and in 2010 in the famed Marathon des Sables.

Here is a link to a more comprehensive write-up on Madhu's background and achievements.

So it wasn't until 2012, at age 41, that Madhu got his team together for his 41.3 km Lake Ontario crossing from Port Dalhousie to Oakville.

At the 21:08:11 hours start at Port Dalhousie, the weather was fine, but . . . within two hours it deteriorated and presented him with a tough 12 knot headwind for the next 11 hours. After a further two hours the wind had reversed; so for the final 10 hours of the swim Madhu had a tailwind of 12 knots. Shoreline northerly lake currents posed some problems; however, Madhu was determined to land at Coronation Park where a large crowd had gathered. So he persisted against the currents and landed at 21:34:14 hours on July 29, to complete the swim from entry-to-exit in a time of 24:26:03, which gave him the male record for this course and provided him with entry into the WOWSA 24-hour club.

The night of the lake with Madhu's swim and team inspired a poem that tried to capture the wonder of the event.

The Team

Madhu's Coach was Alex McMillan; however, as with all of Madhu's ventures, he had gathered around him an amazing team that was devoted to the success of his efforts. A book was compiled after the swim and it gives tribute to ALL of the volunteers who were involved in the venture. A number of them feature in the slide presentation below.

Madhu had one of the best pilots to guide him on his swim. John Kerr and his catamaran Exhale developed a reputation for being able to maintain the straightest courses with swimmers across Lake Ontario.

Madhu's Lake Ontario crossing and the contribution of the many members of his Team were well-captured in a wonderful 2019 YouTube video.

The Straits of Magellan

In his quest for other ventures, Madhu had his sights set on an Ice Mile (One mile completed at a water temperature below 5C) and, in particular, a crossing of the Magellan Straits - where his contact in Punta Arenas is Claudia Molkembuhr Sapunar, Profesora de Educación Fisica, Produccion de Eventos - Servicios Deportivos. Claudia has been volunteering her service and is a regional councillor of Punta Arenas.

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Created: 4th January 2015
Last Updated: 5th May 2019