American swimmer arrives in Port Franks after nearly 21 hours in Lake Huron waters

Liz Fry began from Port Sanilac, Mich., in early hours of Saturday, establishing several records for the solo swim route

Elizabeth Fry, who finished a record-breaking crossing of Lake Huron on Saturday afternoon, is pictured with Madhu Nagaraja (left), a member of Fry's support crew who lives in Oakville, and Bryan Finlay, who has a home in Port Franks. Both of the gentlemen are marathon swimmers.

Elizabeth Fry, an American solo swimmer from Connecticut, earned a second notch (Lake Huron) toward her goal of swimming all five Great Lakes with the weekend’s swim from Port Sanilac, Mich., coming ashore on the Port Franks, Ont., beach early Saturday afternoon.

Under the supervision of John Bulsza, a swim master with Solo Swims of Ontario, the sanctioning organization, Fry faced a challenge in coming up with the required team of support vessels needed.

But an appeal that Bulsza helped with, including an article in Lambton Shield and a visit to a marina in Port Sanilac, resulted in a “go” just days before the swim.

The real headline to the story is that Fry, who works in finance in New York City, beat the previous record for this route (there is a longer crossing—Harbor Beach, Mich., to Goderich, Ont.)

Fry’s time for the Port Sanilac, Mich., to Port Franks, Ont., crossing was 20 hours, 53 minutes and 53 seconds, according to Bulsza.

We spoke to Fry just moments after her arrival in Port Franks:

At 59 years of age, Fry now holds the record in several categories, including age and gender.

Bryan Finlay, who with his wife Helen has a home in Port Franks, was helpful in monitoring a GPS tracking of Fry’s progress, making it possible (and extremely helpful) for Lambton Shield to time our arrival at Port Franks beach.

Finlay spoke to us before Fry’s arrival, explaining a little more about the implications of her record-breaking swim.

Madhu Nagaraja, a software engineer who lives in Oakville and who served on Fry’s support crew for the crossing, was the first Canadian to cross the Straits of Magellan. He accomplished that feat in November 2017.

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