Pat Gallant-Charette Completes Lake Malawi Swim in Stillwater Eight Challenge

Pat Gallant-Charette Completes Lake Malawi Swim in Stillwater Eight Challenge

On May 22, 2023, at the age of 72 years and 109 days, Pat Gallant-Charette accomplished a remarkable feat by successfully completing the 24km designated route of the Stillwater Eight Challenge in Lake Malawi, Africa. Accompanied by her son Tom as her crew and with the logistical support organized by Howard James of Open Water Africa, Pat’s achievement is yet one more testament to her endurance and determination in the world of marathon swimming.

Pat Gallant-Charette’s Lake Malawi Swim

Pat Gallant-Charette, an experienced marathon swimmer with over 25 years of swimming career, undertook the challenging Lake Malawi swim as part of the Stillwater Eight Challenge (pending ratification from the Marathon Swimmers Federation (MSF)). Pat completed the swim in an impressive time of 13 hours and 5 minutes. The swim itself offered a unique and adventurous experience, including camping overnight at a desolate beach before embarking on the swim. Pat expressed her satisfaction with the organization of the event, crediting Howard James of Open Water Africa for his exceptional job.

Pat Gallant-Charette’s Accomplishment in the Stillwater Eight Challenge

Once ratified, Pat Gallant-Charette will become the first person to complete five out of the eight swims in the Stillwater Eight Challenge. Her successful completion of the Lake Malawi swim adds another remarkable chapter to her already impressive swimming repertoire. Joe Zeimatis, another accomplished marathon swimmer, has completed four of the eight challenges.

The Stillwater Eight Challenge Overview

The Stillwater Eight Challenge, proposed by Michelle Macy, is a series of marathon swims across eight different lakes around the world. The challenge aims to push the limits of endurance and showcase the beauty of these diverse environments. The revised locations of the Stillwater Eight Challenge, with the input and advice of marathon swimmers such as Evan Morrison, offer a formidable test for swimmers seeking new achievements.

Stillwater Eight Challenge Locations:

  1. Loch Ness, Scotland: Known for its deep black and chilling waters, this swim covers a distance of 37 km or 23 miles. The swim authentication can be obtained from the Marathon Swimmers Federation or the British Long Distance Swimming Association.
  2. Lake Zurich, Switzerland: This organized race takes swimmers from Rapperswil to Zurich, covering a distance of 26.4 km or 16.4 miles. The race is recognized worldwide, and the organization responsible is Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team.
  3. Lake Tahoe, USA: With a distance of 40.2 km or 24.9 miles, this challenging swim takes place in Lake Tahoe, known for its temperature and altitude difficulties. The swim is ratified by the Lake Tahoe Marathon Swim Federation.
  4. Lake Taupo, New Zealand: Located on the North Island of New Zealand, Lake Taupo is the largest lake in the country. Swimmers must conquer a distance of 34 km or 21 miles, and the swim is ratified by the Cook Strait Swim organization.
  5. Lake Ontario, Canada: This unpredictable swim covers a distance of 51 km or 31.5 miles in Lake Ontario. The swim is recognized by Solo Swims of Ontario and the Marathon Swimmers Federation.
  6. Lake Titicaca, Bolivia: Swimmers face extreme challenges due to the cold temperatures at high altitude during the swim from the Island of the Moon to Copacabana. The swim is ratified by Patagonia Swim. (route not yet determined)
  7. Lake Malawi, Malawi, Africa: Lake Malawi, covering a distance of 23.5 km. The swim presents difficulties due to water temperature, logistics, and wildlife. The swim is organized by Open Water Africa.
  8. Sea of Galilee, northwest Israel: This swim spans a distance of 20.5 km or 12.7 miles through a lengthwise traverse of the lake. The swim is ratified by the Galilee Sea Marathon Swimming Association.

Photo credits: Tom Charette Facebook