Wānaka Sun       

Lake Wānaka “felt” colder than Hāwea for charity swimmer

Posted at 6:00am Thursday 07 Jan, 2021 | By Jo Galer newsdesk@thewanakasun.co.nz

17-year-old Meg McLaughlan has raised more than $6000 for the Cancer Society and formed a fair view on which lake is coldest following her big swims of Lakes Hāwea and Wānaka completed on New Year's Day.

 “It was kind of weird coming out of the water knowing that I've finished but it still didn't actually seem real,” she said, after swimming her last 18 kilometres of Lake Wānaka on January 1, emerging to big hugs from her parents and onlookers. 

 “Right at the end the wind picked up so it was hard to finish.”

 With parents and brother in support, and after practising all year at her normal venue, Moana Pool, Meg tackled the two iconic lakes over a consecutive six-day period, with her swim speed dependent on conditions such as headwinds.

 And the question everyone wants a view on: In her opinion, having spent days and days in them, albeit in a wetsuit and booties, which of the two lakes is coldest?

 “Wānaka was actually a lot colder than Hāwea. Hāwea averaged around 15 degrees Celsius, and Wānaka was around 13 degrees and I could definitely feel the difference,” she told the Wānaka Sun.

 Meg is now enjoying a break and some long sleeps, true to teenage form.

 Meg, whose Givealittle page is still open for donations, said cancer is a disease that affects most people in some way, including her Aunt about ten years ago, so the cause was well worth the effort.

Read edition 1008 of the Wānaka Sun here.

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