Friday, January 08, 2010
Polar participants get chills and thrills
"It's like being shot with a thousand nail guns."
That's how Todd Rowland, president of the Smith Mountain Lake Water Ski Club, described his initial plunge into Smith Mountain Lake for the club's annual Polar Bear Ski Day on Jan. 1.
This year, eight skiers, including Jerry Hale, at 65, the oldest participant ever, and Rowland, who participated sans wetsuit, rang in the new year and a new decade. They braved water temperatures in the mid-40s, air temperatures in the mid-30s and an overcast sky to continue a 17-year tradition.
The group effort was launched from the dock of Ginger and Tom Tanner, who hosted the event for the third straight year.