1st Annual Viki Downey Polar Bear Swim
- Posted on 12/01/2018
A NEW EVENT for Winterfest in Manson, Washington. The “1st Annual Viki Downey Polar Bear Swim”, honoring Manson’s life guard, Viki Downey is scheduled for 1:00 on January 26 at the Manson Bay Park swim area.
Viki’s career as a life guard and swimming instructor began in 1965 in Idaho and this year marks her 21st season as Manson’s life guard. Over those 21 years she’s taught hundreds of kids to swim and water safety skills. Starting in 2010 Viki and the Manson community have been part of the “Worlds Largest Swim Lesson” sponsored by the World Water Park Association. This event is listed in Guinness Book of World Records. On June 20, 2014 the record was set with 36,564 people, including folks from Manson, taking a swim lesson simultaneously! Viki practices what she preaches, she swims an average of 350 days a year, in ALL weather conditions.
Viki swimming on December 10. The white specks are snow!!!!
Lake Chelan might feel like this but it will be a nice warm 40 to 45 degrees!
Polar Bear Swims are not for the faint of heart. Our water temperature in Lake Chelan will be 40 to 45-degrees and there is a good chance of snow on the ground! The Manson Chamber of Commerce, sponsors of the event, will make the swim appealing to those on the edge of participating by offering a fire on the beach thanks to co-sponsor, Lakeshore Excavating, propane heaters, a changing area, hot chocolate and cider provided by co-sponsor, North Shore Cafe to warm you up after the chilly swim.
Your challenge as a Polar Bear Swim participant is to enter the water at 1:00, swim 50 feet to a manned rubber raft thanks to co-sponsor Reed's Marine where you will receive a wrist band stating “I survived the Manson Polar Bear Swim”. Once back on shore you will be photographed providing proof positive you have accomplished your goal.
Registration is not required. Arrive at Manson Bay at 1230 on January 26 to be part of this fun event. And yes, wetsuits will be allowed and children under 12 will be required to wear a life jacket provided by the Manson Parks Department.
We thank the co-sponsors of the Polar Bear Swim:
1675 Winesap Ave
Manson, WA 98831
By Norm Manly