Angie Ng didn’t see the creature.
First, she’s not sure the legendary monster of the Loch Ness exists. And secondly, the water in the Scotland loch is pitch black.
“People say that it doesn’t exist because it’s a tourist trap,” the 52-year-old mother and nurse practitioner said, with a sly smile. . So … I didn’t see it — it’s not there (laughs), … but also the water is very deep and it’s very dark. So I didn’t get (how dark it was) until I swam in it. It was just black, so maybe it was hiding under the water, but I didn’t want to think of that (laughs).
“To me,” she added, “I always figured Nessie is friendly because there’s so many toys and fun things of it, so never really a ‘RAWR’ kind of monster, but a friendly one, so I guess that helped (laughs).”
Ng partnered with friends Ryan Leung, Eliza Chang and CK Mak, and on July 27, they dove into the frigid Loch Ness waters to complete a 23-mile relay swim. Not only did they complete the bucket-list feat, but did so in record time. The foursome, all of whom hail from Hong Kong, finished in 11 hours, 29 minutes and 27 seconds, besting a record set by a Czechoslovakian team set in 2019 by 9 minutes.
Ng hangs her swimming cap on the record, which was certified by both the British Long Distance Swimming Association and Marathon Swimmers Federation, and is another impressive accomplishment for the longtime swimmer.
Ng also swam across Victoria Harbor in Hong Kong in 2016, marking the second time she accomplished that feat. She also did it as a 9-year-old and finished seventh, however, that swim was not held for decades due to water pollution.
“Why did I do it?” Ng asked. “There is really only one reason and that reason is … because it’s there! Because, really, why not? Yeah, it seems dangerous or a big goal, but it’s taking a calculated risk — because it’s not like I was going to do it without any preparation.”
Preparation included hours upon hours swimming laps at the pool at the Seven Oaks Clubhouse, starting all the way back in January. However, there was one thing Ng wasn’t prepared for. The airlines lost her luggage, which she would not have for the entirety of her three weeks in the United Kingdom.
“As adventurous as it can be, you try to plan for everything, but from the start, everything could go wrong,” Ng said. “As soon as I get there, I didn’t have my prescription goggles, I didn’t have my swimsuit, I didn’t have anything. … I had to go into town and look and look for a new swimsuit. … And in the shop there was a mannequin with a swimsuit and it fit perfectly — it’s the only one left and it’s bright orange, so (it’s) perfect for open-water swim, but that’s what I had to do within the first hour after I land.”
So as Ng battled the cold 50-degree water, while not thinking if Nessie was watching from below, she thought about what the accomplishment meant.
“Lesson learned: Even when nothing goes according to your plan, try to go with the flow and just see what surprises life will bring you,” she said. “Never underestimate your potential. A working mother can be very determined and powerful, too.”
Now back stateside and still getting in her laps, Ng shows no signs of slowing down. Already there have been discussions on her next challenge: swimming the English Channel, which, “I think that for open-water swimmers, that swimming that is the ultimate goal,” she said.
Because even at her age, Ng is a creature of habit.
“At age 50, it almost feel like the beginning, because it doesn’t matter the age,” she added, “I still want to be adventurous, and whether you’re 17 or 70, I think you’re still looking for something. You know when it’s something that you know it’s not a piece of cake, but you want to finish it — that’s what this was for me. I always want to finish the next challenge.”
Published August 31, 2022