NANAIMO — A Victoria woman is on the verge of attempting an incredible 70 kilometre non-stop return swim across the Strait of Georgia.
Jill Yoneda, 43, plans to leave Nanaimo's Neck Point Park Friday afternoon, and if all goes well, return to the park from Sechelt roughly 24-hours later.
Yoneda is adding a 10 kilometre detour to Ballenas Island in order to double a 35 kilometre swim she completed last summer from Port Angeles to Victoria.
“As soon as I get to Sechelt I won't be touching any land, I won't be getting on a boat, I'll just be turning around and then heading back into Nanaimo and Neck Point again,” Yoneda told NanaimoNewsNOW.
Yoneda, a former member of Canada's freedive team, has faced many physical challenges over her life, including ruptured discs in her neck and leg problems. She has an ongoing rib issue making breathing difficult and broke her ankle on Christmas Day. Yoneda said her ankle injury in particular put her training three months behind schedule.
“There is a chance I won't make it this year but I'm going to try my best.”
Yoneda is using the endurance swim to help raise money for Canuck Place, her charity of choice.
While Yoneda doesn't have children of her own, she felt compelled to help as much as she can.
“I used work in Vancouver at a group home for children with disabilities. I've always just wanted to give back and to help these children.”
Yoneda will be escorted by a 20-member team of volunteers, including kayakers and paddle boarders.
Her swim is weather dependant and could be postponed due to high waves.
You can donate to Yoneda's Canuck Place cause by clicking here.
On Twitter: @reporterholmes
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