Lake Erie Open Water Swimming Association (LEOWSA)

jheynesjheynes Member
edited July 2018 in General Discussion
Lake Erie Open Water Swimming Assoc. LEOWSA is the official "observation" group for solo/relay marathon swims across Central Lake Erie. We are made up of a group of local successful open water swimmers along with PA state resident Darren Miller (Oceans Seven), to provide the best possible experience for marathon swimmers and to make sure rules and regulations are adhered to during an attempt.

We are currently taking applications from aspirants for summer of 2014.

LEOWSA has made the proper local contacts for Pilots, Kayakers, and US Border Patrol and Customs Agents, along with the US Coast Guard that are in charge of Lake Erie. There is an established 24.3 mile course that begins at the Tip of Long Point, Ontario, Canada and ends in North-East Twp, Pa, however there can be arrangements made for other routes if desired through Central Lake Erie.

Thanks you for your consideration. This officially our 2nd season and are still growing and learning.
For more information or application contact LEOWSA co-founder Josh Heynes @


  • timsroottimsroot Spring, TXCharter Member
    How much are sanction costs? Are all the pilots in the Erie area?

    I'm thinking hard about a swim, probably in 2015, on a route further west of the one you describe.
  • We have a packet that i can email you that has all that info.

    Yes all of our boats and Captains are out of one of the many yacht/boat clubs Erie, Pa.
  • jheynesjheynes Member
    edited January 2014
    we are on Facebook,
    Lake Erie Marathon Swimming
  • IronMikeIronMike BostonCharter Member
    I'd like an email packet. I'll pm ya.

    Just here troubling deaf heaven with my bootless cries...

  • Any plans to create a Lake Ontario Open Water Swimming Association from the American (as opposed to Canadian) side as well?

    Keep moving forward.

  • Not yet, Lake Erie is is Big enough for us to Handle right now. SOLOSwims Ontario and LOST swimming have Lake Ontario. Prob need to find somebody in the Buffalo NY area to possibly handle that from the US side.
    LEOWSA is willing to help ( if possible)
  • Thanks.

    Keep moving forward.

  • JustSwimJustSwim Member
    edited January 2014
    AOL had a nice article this week about Ryan Stevens' attempt in 2013 to swim Lake Erie and his plan to attempt the swim again in 2014. It was a featured item on their home page.

    [link added 1/16 by @evmo]
  • timsroottimsroot Spring, TXCharter Member
    JustSwim wrote:
    AOL had a nice article this week about Ryan Stevens' attempt in 2013 to swim Lake Erie and his plan to attempt the swim again in 2014. It was a featured item on their home page.

  • yes , we know about Ryan and reached out to him. However he chose in 2013 NOT do have LEOWSA be apart of his attempt.
  • LOSTswimmerLOSTswimmer Oakville, Ontario, CanadaMember
    edited January 2014
    Hey Josh, that's great that you have LEOWSA up and running! We should have the Lake Ontario Crossing Organization (LOCO) up and running by summer '14 too! We have a few swimmers already lined up (and I'll probably pass a few your way for Lake E Crossings too). More info to come!


  • jheynesjheynes Member
    edited November 2017
    Just wanted to update everyone. LEOWSA Lake Erie Open Water Swimming Assoc. has two solo marathon swimmers register, insured, and sanctioned for Solo marathon swim across Lake Erie. Both will be observed and monitored by LEOWSA and will follow the MSF rules.

    Both are doing the established "Standard Course" 24.3 miles from Long Point Ontario, Canada to Freeport Beach in North East Twp, Pennsylvania. Each will be swimming their respective events separately. Hopefully Lake Erie gets warmer by the end of July-beginning of August.

    Check out their websites and charities they are linking their event with, feel free to donate to help their respective causes.

    Norman Stark- 17 yrs old

    Elliot Spaeder- 30 yrs old

  • jheynesjheynes Member
    edited July 2018
    Norman Stark (17yr old) and his team, as of Thursday 7/17 @ 10am has decided to GO for his Lake Erie Swim, The weather, wind, and waves are prime for his swim!!, However water temps are unusually below average for this time of year. Course is from Long Point, Ontatrio Canada to Freeport Beach in North East Twp, Pa.-- 24 miles

    IF he is unable to complete tomorrow swim due to low water temps, he most likely will try again at the end of week July 28-Aug 2 or later (his choosen backup week to swim)

    HE can be followed LIVE with the SPOT GPS link below.

    You can also follow along on LAKE ERIE MARATHON SWIMMING facebook page.

    or his twitter and website

    Plan is to depart Erieby boat, in the early morning on Friday between 4:30am-5:00am

    They plan to have him in the water at Long Point Ontario between 7am-8am

    Plan is to land at Freeport Beach in North East Twp. 11-13 hrs later.

    LEOWSA (Lake Erie Open Water Swimming Assoc)
    Official Monitor/Observation
  • jheynesjheynes Member
    edited November 2017
    LEOWSA announces that Elliot Spaeder from Erie, PA (30yr old) has completed his 24.3 mile swim from the tip of Long Point, Ontario Canada to Freeport Beach in North East Twp. Pa. in an official time of 11hrs 28 min 6 sec. on July 22nd 2014. 3rd fastest for that course.

    see webpage or his FB page spaedercanamswim
  • IronMikeIronMike BostonCharter Member
    Congrats Elliot!

    Just here troubling deaf heaven with my bootless cries...

  • Wowsers!
  • IronMikeIronMike BostonCharter Member
    edited July 2014
    Annaliese Carr dropped in early this morning. Anyone know how she's doing? I went to LEOWSA's page on FB but no updates...

    Edit: I found her page and tracker:

    Just here troubling deaf heaven with my bootless cries...

  • Early reports indicated she did not attain her original goal of 75 km from Presque Isle in Erie, Pa to Port Dover.
    She and her team decided to get out at Long Point, Ontario Canada approx 43 km or 26.8 miles. Time was 22 hr 20 min.
    Still the youngest person across Central Lake Erie, just not a "distance record" for central Lake Erie. That still belongs to Randy McElwain 33 Miles
  • IronMikeIronMike BostonCharter Member
    She's freaking incredible.

    Just here troubling deaf heaven with my bootless cries...

  • yes, and its was sanctioned/observed by LOCO run by Rob Kent, LEOWSA was just a small assist but will also recognize the swim accomplishment, route and time.
  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
    edited November 2017
    Elliot Spaeder's Lake Erie swim, which was conducted according to MSF Rules, observed by Josh Heynes @jheynes, and sanctioned by the Lake Erie Open Water Swimming Association, has been added to MSF Documented Swims:

    Thanks to Josh for the excellent, comprehensive documentation.
  • jheynesjheynes Member
    edited August 2014
    Norman's twitter page iswim4vets- so far $15,000 for IFHF (Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund). Still taking donations

    Norman will be swimming Lake Erie, From Long Point Ontatio Canada-to Freeport Beach North East Twp, Pa 24.3 miles

    Planned start time around 7-7:30am EST

    Just follow this link to see my location updates:
    If the link doesn't work, try copying and pasting it to your browser's address bar.
  • jheynesjheynes Member
    edited July 2018

    LEOWSA ( Lake Erie Open Water Swim Assoc) has 1 swimmer attempting standard course 24.3 miles from Tip of Long Point Ontario to Freeport Beach in North East Twp. PA. for the summer of 2015
    Tom Steele 23 yr old local resident of Erie, Pa swam at University of Buffalo will be attempting his marathon swim during the week of July 26th-Aug 1st, with a backup window of the following week. Depending on best weather forecast.
    LEOWSA will be the official observer for this event and will be sending out the SPOT GPS link so that Tom can be followed online.

  • jheynesjheynes Member
    edited July 2018

    Here is the SPOT Gps link for Tommy 's swim across Central Lake Erie Tomorrow July 28th. 24.3 miles

    LEOWSA is the observation group

  • timsroottimsroot Spring, TXCharter Member

    Josh, is he swimming from Long Point to NE PA?

  • yes

  • tortugatortuga Senior Member

    looks like he's done in 12+ hrs

  • jheynesjheynes Member
    edited July 2015

    unofficial time 11 hrs 50 min 1 sec...... 4th fastest for the standard route for Central Lake Erie

  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin

    Three recent Lake Erie swims observed by LEOWSA are now published as MSF Documented Swims:

    All three swims went on the same day, July 31 - a big day for @jheynes and LEOWSA!

  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin

    Rob Cooney's Lake Erie swim (Long Point ON to North East, PA) is currently being tracked on

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