Brothers complete swim around Lake Tahoe |

Brothers complete swim around Lake Tahoe

Alex Close/Sierra SunMatt Evans is interviewed by members of the Channel 2 news team Tuesday at the Thunderbird Lodge after successfully circumnavigating Lake Tahoe with his brother John. The swim was a fundraiser for two local charities.

John Evans hardly seemed winded Monday afternoon as he steadily swam his way up to the dock at the Thunderbird Lodge.Despite having swam with his brother Matt all the way around Lake Tahoe, his strokes where strong and steady and he seemed to glide effortlessly through the turquoise water below the Thunderbird.The brothers, who have a family house in Incline Village, have been swimming in Tahoe for a couple years now. They decided to circumnavigate the lake as a fundraiser for two local charities, The League to Save Lake Tahoe and Incline Villages Pet Network. On Wednesday, Aug. 9, the Evans brothers set out from the Thunderbird at about 6:30 a.m. According to Matt, that was the toughest stretch of the six-day trip.The first day was definitely the toughest, Matt said while standing on the dock at the Thunderbird after the swim.According to Matt, the brothers would switch off swimming after about an hour each. While resting, the other brother would paddle the inflatable kayak they used to carry all of their gear.The brothers were almost entirely self sufficient on the trip, carrying their food and gear in the kayak and camping along the way.The first day the two swam 15 miles to Nevada Beach. On the second they swam nine miles and camped at Emerald Bay, which both brothers agreed was the best stretch of the trip.I got to swim Emerald Bay first thing in the morning, Matt said. At 7 a.m., no one was there.Setting off from Emerald Bay on the third day, the two swam seven miles to Meeks Bay. Day four was nine miles to Tahoe State Recreation Area, and day five was 12 miles to Incline Beach. In Incline the brothers were picked up and spent the night at home, since camping is prohibited on that beach.The last day from Incline to Thunderbird was five miles.Both brothers talked about the natural beauty of the lake as a major plus. Because they swam from about 8 a.m. until around 3 p.m. each day, they avoided the afternoon wind and much of the chop on the lake. Both brothers talked about the sunlight beaming its way through the endless blue of the lake.The early morning swims were really enjoyable, John said. You could lengthen your strokes and enjoy the sun coming down.During the first day, Matt suffered from mild hypothermia and decided to wear a wetsuit for the rest of the swim. His younger brother did the entire circumnavigation more naturally.Ive got to give my brother credit, Matt said. He swam the whole thing without a wetsuit.The Evans brothers said people along the way were friendly, but they did get some weird looks.Everyone at the camp sites looked at us funny. We were in bed at 8 every night, Matt said.While neither brother has much open water experience, they both swam competitively in college, and competed in the Federation Internationale de Natation (FINA) Masters World Championships at Stanford just two days before circumnavigating Tahoe.Matt took 12th in the 100-meter breaststroke and second in the 50 breast. John took fourth in the 100 breast and third in the 50 breast.As for the next step for these two water hounds, John said they are already scheming about another Tahoe swim. According to the younger Evans brother, they are thinking about swimming from Incline Village to Emerald Bay, camping, and then swimming back the next day.While they will keep swimming insanely long distances, the brothers cause is also still out there: They hope to raise $10,000 each for The League to Save Lake Tahoe and the Pet Network. They are hoping that the exposure gained by actually finishing the swim will help them reach their goal.

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