How 6 friends made ‘Epic Swim’ across Lake Michigan


After years of planning a swim across Lake Michigan, the 55-mile open water adventure turned out better than Jon Ornée anticipated.

Ornée and five friends — his brother David, Nick Hobson, Jeremy Sall, Todd Suttor, and Matt Smith — swam Lake Michigan in relay fashion in just under 21 hours, far less than the 24-30 hours they anticipated the journey would take them.

The swimmers — all of whom live in the Holland-Zeeland area — left from Two Rivers, Wisconsin, at the Rawley Point (Twin River) Lighthouse, at 7:15 p.m. Aug. 11, and landed in Ludington, Michigan, near the Big Sable Point Lighthouse, at 4:10 pm. Aug. 12. They made a little history, becoming the first-ever relay crossing and the fastest-ever mid-lake crossing at 20:50 hours.

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About Author

Production engineer and certified swim coach. Full-time IT consultant, spare-time swimming aficionado. 2 sons, 2 daughters and a wife. President of the Faroe Islands Swimming Association. Likes to run :-)

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