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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

6 Swimmers Set to Participate in the 4th Annual In Search of Memphre Swim on Sept. 6

Marathon Swimmers gear up for In Search of Memphre, on September 6th, 2014 – a 25 mile international swim between Newport, VT and Magog, QC

LAKE MEMPHREMAGOG, VERMONT AND QUEBEC. August 27, 2014 - An accomplished group of six ultra-marathon open water swimmers have sets their sights on completing the 4th annual In Search of Memphre swim on September 6, 2014. Hailing from Solana Beach, Calif., Denver, Colo., Bel Air, Md., Hyde Park, Ver., New York City and Piermont, New York, this motley band of tough swimmers will traverse the 25-mile length of the lake between Newport, Ver., and Magog, Quebec while searching for the elusive and swimmer friendly lake creature, Memphre, and to promote a more open border between U.S. and Canada. The swim was launched in particularly difficult conditions in 2011, making this the fourth year that an expeditionary force of open water “swimmer scouts” has teamed up to join The Search. 

We respect the hard work undertaken by border officials to protect us in the face of changing threats around the world. But we also want to do everything we can to promote a more open border for law abiding friends, family members, and neighbors. In addition to The Search, Kingdom Games hosts two bike rides across the border and around Lake Memphremagog in June and September. It organizes The Great Skate in February between Newport and Magog and partners with the Fondation Christian Vachon in the Relais du Lac Memphremagog, an 80-mile running race around the lake.  This year, Kingdom Swim added a 15-mile “Border Buster” swim around Province Island. Swim the Kingdom Week in August includes a 9-mile swim the length of Lac Massawippi. “We love and hate the border,” says White. “We love the diversity and cultural differences so close by, and we have many, many Canadian friends. But we hate the fact that it is a barrier to so many who will never get a passport, enhanced license, or NEXUS card. Any chance we get to organize an event that crosses the border, we jump at. It brings us closer, and, we applaud our local border officials who have been terrific, working with us to facilitate crossings,” he says.

This year’s Memphre swim starts at midnight on the evening of September 5th and continues through the day on Saturday, September 6th, 2014. The group of hardy swimmers will swim with the wind, if possible, and make the final call as to the direction of the swim at 8:00 a.m. on Friday morning. Each of the past three years have involved extremely windy and challenging conditions during at least part of the swim. During the first three years of this swim, eleven swimmers have completed the crossing while nine have failed to finish because of the difficult and variable conditions. The full list of past finishers is below.

Swimmers are expected to comply with generally accepted channel crossing rules. They don’t use wetsuits or double caps (for warmth) and they can’t hang onto their escort boats. Each is accompanied by a pilot and one crew member in a16-foot aluminum escort boat with 9.5 horse power engine with a caged propeller, which are rented from La Traversee du Lac Memphremagog. This year’s expedition is also supported by three larger motorized patrol boats that will sweep the course to monitor safety and assist the swimmers and their crews as necessary.

THE SWIMMERS 

Three of this year’s Swimmer Scouts have significant ultra-marathon open water experience.

Mo Siegel. (62, Piermont, NY) Mo Siegel has completed the Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming (Catalina Channel, English Channel, around Manhattan Island) and is a member of the “Half Century Club” for finishing a solo crossing of the English Channel after age 50. He participated in the 2013 S.C.A.R. Swim Series in Arizona and became only the sixth person to complete the 20-mile cross-Cape Cod Bay Swim between Plymouth and Provincetown, Mass., which he finished in 2013. In his professional life, Mo is president of Ice Air, LLC and is a member of the board of directors of SwimFree, a New York-based nonprofit dedicated to the health improvement of children and adults through swimming.

Graclyn van der Byl. (36, Solana Beach, CA) One of the speediest swimmers ever to set foot in Mighty Memphremagog, Grace van der Byl is the current Catalina Channel record holder (island to mainland, 7:27). She is also one of only three swimmers to have completed all seven stages of the annual 8 Bridges Hudson River stage swim, which she did in 2012. She won several stages of the 2013 S.C.A.R Swim Series in Arizona, and won the inaugural 15-mile Circumnavigation Challenge around Cape May, N.J. in 2013. She also won the 2014 around Manhattan Island Marathon Swim hosted by NYC Swim. She participated in a 228-mile relay swim along the California coast in August, 2013, with the Night Train Swimmers and is consistently ranked as an All-American and Top 10 swimmer in U.S. Masters Swimming pool competitions. She works as a swimming coach and instructor.

Craig Lenning. (35, Denver, CO) One of the most accomplished cold-water marathon swimmers in the sport today, Craig Lenning recently became only the third person in history to complete the arduous 30-mile crossing between the Farallon Islands and San Francisco. He has also completed five of the Ocean’s Seven swims—the Catalina Channel, the Tsugaru Channel, the Cook Strait, the English Channel, and the North Channel. He was the first American to successfully cross the North Channel when he completed that very cold swim in 2011. In 2013, he became the first male swimmer to complete a 44-mile double-crossing of Lake Tahoe, and in 2015, he will travel to Scotland to swim the 23-mile Loch Ness, hopefully becoming one of the first swimmers to complete the Triple Crown of Lake Monster Swims. He’s also a certified ice swimmer and participated in the 6-Day Bering Strait Relay, which won the 2013 Open Water Performance of the Year Award from the World Open Water Swimming Association. When he’s not swimming, Craig works in IT.

Three others are taking on the longest non-current-assisted challenge of their lives.

Paula Yankauskas. (60, Hyde Park, VT) Paula has been “on the stretch” for the past few years. A veteran Kingdom Swimmer in the 10-mile course, she signed on for all of NEKOWSA’s swims in 2013 and shed her wetsuit for the 10-mile WOWSA world championship. She was named NEKOWSA Swimmer of the Year for her extraordinary year. An Arizona S.C.A.R. swimmer in 2014, she came back to Vermont and did the 15-mile Border Buster without a wetsuit in preparation for this year’s Search. One of three swimmers to complete all of Swim the Kingdom Week’s 8 lakes and 45 miles in early August. Paula is a veterinarian by trade. She’s trained and ready for the biggest stretch of her life.

David Uprichard. (48, New York, NY) David outgrew his upbringing in the world of triathlons and became a serious marathon open water swimmer in 2011 when he completed the 6-mile course of Kingdom Swim in 3:16:35. That year he also completed two other 10K swims in New York Harbor and in Bermuda Around the Sound. He fell in love with the 5-mile Lake Willoughby race, which he has completed every year since 2011. He graduated to the 10-mile Kingdom Swim course in 2012.  He’s a regular at the Little Red Lighthouse Swim hosted by NYC Swim. As for Paula, 2014 is the year of “the stretch” for David. On June 14th, 2014, he completed the 28.5-mile Manhattan Island Marathon Swim in 8:17:20. He was an inaugural 15-mile Border Buster at this year’s Kingdom Swim. David is a naturalized U.S. citizen who was raised in England with a strong streak of Scottish ancestry. David is trained and ready for the toughest swim of his life.  

Franco Prezioso. (48, Bel Air, MD) Franco turned from the golf course to the water course in 2008 and has never looked back. Way overweight at the time, swimming has had a huge impact on his life, his health, and his outlook. His swim coach, Kevin Jaubert, is a “lifer” at Kingdom Swim, having participated in the event every year since 2009. He introduced Franco to the 10-mile course. In 2013 Franco did the 27-mile END-WET swim in North Dakota and completed the 15-mile “Border Buster” Swim at Kingdom Swim this year. “He’s unflappable,” says coach Jaubert. The 25-mile Search will be the longest non-current-assisted swim of Franco’s life. 


ABOUT MEMPHREMAGOG

Lake Memphremagog has been identified as one of the 50 greatest open water swimming venues in all of the Americas by the Daily News of Open Water SwimmingOpen Water Source has selected In Search of Memphre, The Willoughby Swim, and Kingdom Swim as three of the top 100 open water swims in the United States. In Search of Memphre is now one of the Triple Crown of Lake Monster Swims, that includes Lake Tahoe, Memphremagog, and Loch Ness.


IN SEARCH OF MEMPHRE RESULTS 

The swimmers who have successfully completed In Search of Memphre in previous years are:

2011
Liz Fry
Charlotte Brynn
Greg O’Connor
Elaine Kornbau Howley

2012
David Dammerman
Bill Shipp
Jen Dutton
Lori Carena
Aurora Louise

2013 
Sarah Thomas (first ever double crossing)
Bethany Bosch

For more info about the swim or for contact info for particular swimmers, contact Phil White at: phw1948@gmail.com

Here are some of the better pics from the past two years. 
2013: 

Monday, September 9, 2013

Bethany Bosch on VPR

Gosh, we just love Vermont Public Radio. Not only because they're awesome, but because they took the time to speak with our very own Bethany Bosch about her shining accomplishment this weekend during the In Search of Memphre swim.

Take a listen.

Bethany is just such a classy lady. We are proud of her and pleased that she's getting some much deserved attention. Thanks to VPR and to Bethany for being such great sports.



Two Swimmers Complete Crossings of Lake Memphremagog


Barbara Malloy, Sarah Thomas, Bob Fernald, Humphrey Bohan, and 
Phil White mug for the camera the night before the search
Sarah Thomas, 31 of Conifer, CO, stepped into the water in Magog, Quebec at 12:22 pm on Friday, September 6, 2013, facing 20+ MPH winds and waves coming directly at her from the south west. Sarah was attempting to be the first person to complete an international 50-mile double crossing of Lake Memphremagog between Magog, Quebec and Newport, Vermont. She was participating as part of the Third Annual, In Search of Memphre with the plan to join up at midnight with three other ultra marathon swimmers attempting a 25-mile one way crossing, from Newport to Magog - Humphrey Bohan, 38 of Medford Lakes, NJ, Bob Fernald, 46, of North Hampton, NH, and Bethany Bosch, 29, of Wallingford, VT, who would all be departing from Newport VT at midnight and swimming throughout the night and day of September 7th.

Prior to Thomas' start, the weather forecast had called for light and favorable winds from the north for the first leg of the swim. But that's not what she got. Rather, she found wavy conditions and a 20+ mph headwind for much of the first leg of the swim. But, Thomas didn't flinch. Over the course of the next 30 hours, Memphre threw some serious surprises in there for all the competitors, with windy and wavy condtions throughout most of the swim. Sarah just ate her [Memphre, the monster, metaphorically speaking, or course] alive, one powerful stroke after another and triumphed. So did Swimmer Scout Bethany Bosch, who completed her 25-mile one-way swim under windy condtions. Epic and historic swims, both. Humphrey Bohan and Bob Fernald were valiant in the face of these wily and unpredicted conditions before they were forced to pull with injuries, a stabbing pain in the shoulder for Bohan, and a misaligned rib for Fernald. Both deeply painful injuries that these brave swimmer scouts were smart to pay attention to. 
Bethany Bosch, Bob Fernald, and Humphrey Bohan
prepare to start their swim shortly before midnight

Thomas’s swim came right on the heels of her successful 44-mile crossing of Lake Tahoe earlier this summer. Bosch is known for her swimming buddy, 3-year old chocolate lab, Guri Bosch, who was the first dog to make the 5-mile swim the length of Lake Willoughby also earlier this summer. It's been an amazing season in the Kingdom.

Some wonderful cooperation from the folks in Magog and Newport and the border officials on both sides of the border made this swim possible. The In Search of Memphre organizing committee would like to thank everyone involved for their enthusiastic support of this international swim.

And to the 22 pilots and crew members who were out on the lake supporting these inspiring swimmers-- huge, huge thanks for the support that made this possible.
Sarah Thomas enters the water in Magog, QC to start her historic double crossing of Lake Memphremagog

The official times:

Sarah Thomas 

Leg 1

15:09 Magog to Newport

6 minutes out of the water in Newport (just long enough to reapply sunscreen and snarf down a big handful of baby carrots)

Leg 2

14:46 Newport to Magog.

Total time start to finish 30:01  

Thomas triumphant after 30 hours in the water. 

Bethany Bosch


17:11 Magog to Newport
Bosch finishes with a broad smile after more than 17 hours in the lake.

In Search of Memphre is made possible by the underwriting of Jay Peak Resort and North Country Hospital and the sponsorship of The Passumpsic Savings Bank, Northeast Delta Dental, Community Financial Services Group, Town of Derby, City of Newport, Derby Village Store, Wilson & White, PC, and is part of 25 days of running, biking, swimming, triathlon, and kayaking organized as part of Kingdom Summer Games.

Special Thanks to Barbara Malloy, Vermont’s First Lady Dracontologist, for her support of In Search of Memphre and for the many decades she has devoted to collecting and archiving over 175 sightings of our famous and friendly lake beast.

Congratulations to all four of this year’s swimmers for joining the legendary ranks of Swimmer Scouts and laying down some epic and historic swims. The Search continues.

Phil White, Director
Northeast Kingdom Open Water Swimming Association

Monday, September 2, 2013

Bizarro Borders

In addition to being a somewhat bizarro event that traverses 25 miles in search of a (possibly mythical) lake creature, the In Search of Memphre event is aimed at increasing peaceful and fun relations between the U.S. and Canada, which share a border that slices across Lake Memphremagog about five miles north of Newport, Vermont.

Crossing international borders (via lake in the middle of the night, no less) can be a bit of a dicey proposition, but thankfully, we've had a ton of support from the local customs and passport offices in the area on both the Canadian and American sides of the border. Seems like the nice folks who enforce the rules about the borders think our little adventure is interesting, and lucky for us they want to help. (Even if they might secretly think we're nuts. 'Cause let's be honest, we sort of are.)

In any event, this video about our "Bizarre Border" with Canada surfaced today among the organizing and volunteer group working on the Search, and it's just too interesting not to repost. Who knew there was so much to this border?

All Swimmer Scouts are henceforth encouraged to find the border line in the lake. Could be tough in the pitch-dark of night, but then, it'll just help hone your eyes to look for the creature.

 

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Sarah Thomas Aims to be a Dirty Double-Crosser!


That double-crossing Sarah Thomas 

Sarah Thomas, 31, of Conifer, CO will attempt a 50-mile Double Cross of Lake Memphremagog during this year's In Search of Memphre

Sarah Thomas during her historic 
44-mile double-cross of Lake Tahoe.

Derby, VT - The Northeast Kingdom Open Water Swimming Association is pleased to announce that Sarah Thomas, 31, of Conifer, CO, has decided to attempt a 50-mile double crossing of Lake Memphremagog on September 6 and 7, 2013, wind and weather conditions permitting. 

Sarah will be swimming as part of NEKOWSA's Third Annual In Search of Memphre, with three other swimmers who are attempting the 25-mile, single international crossing of the lake between Newport, VT and Magog, QC: Bethany Bosch, 29, of Wallingford, VT, Bob Fernald, 46, of North Hampton, NH, and Humphrey Bohan, 38, of Medford Lakes, NJ.

Sarah made open water swimming history earlier this summer when she became the first person to double-cross Lake Tahoe (44 miles). Craig Lenning, who swam with her on that double crossing, came in shortly behind her. Last year, Ray Gandy attempted to be the first person to double-cross Memphremagog but was hit with a spot thunderstorm at mile 46 as he was nearing completion.  

Sarah will leave from either Newport or Magog around noon on Friday, September 6. If she is successful in the first leg, she will meet up with the three other Swimmer Scouts around midnight and join them during their attempt to cross the lake.

In the escort boat supporting Sarah will be Ryan Willis, also of Conifer, CO, and Bill Shipp of Mitchellville, MD, who swam In Search of Memphre in 2011 and 2012.  

In Search of Memphre was started on the 10th anniversary weekend of 9/11 by Phil White and Elaine Kornbau Howley of Waltham, MA. The purpose of the swim was and remains: To support a more open border with Canada, to search for our legendary lake creature, Memphre, and to support charitable causes. 

Phil White, Director of NEKOWSA had this to say:
"During this year of open water swimming in The Kingdom, we have been blessed with many particularly poignant moments at both ends of the long-distance swimming spectrum. Supporting Sandy Alton and Tina Carrier as they began their open water swimming journey in earnest with their very first swims, watching the young gun, Eric Nilsson, smash the 10-mile record at Kingdom Swim, seeing the look on 58-year-old Paula Yankauskas's face as she finished the WOWSA 10-mile World Championship sans wetsuit to claim her place as a World Champion in her age group, to name just a few. Being part of this year's Search is one of those moments. Each and every one of these Swimmer Scouts is stretching themselves, swimming distances they have not swum before. With Sarah's decision to attempt 50 miles, it all just got even better."

The swim and the search are conducted with the support of Barbara Malloy, Vermont's First Lady Dracontologist. White and NEKOWSA thanked her for her support and noted, "we applaud the decades of hard and diligent work of Barbara Malloy in documenting all of the many sightings of Memphre." For more on Memphre, click here.   

Special thanks to Jay Peak Resort and North Country Hospital, major underwriting sponsors of this swim and the entire Kingdom Summer Games 2013 season, which includes 25 days of running, biking, swimming, triathlon, and kayaking in The Kingdom. Other sponsors of the series include: 

Any donations in support of individual swimmers received after July 1, 2013 and before September 7, 2013, will be donated to North Country Hospital's Patient Care Initiative Fund. So far, Kingdom Swimmers have raised $1,850 to support the fund.

For more information about the swim and the fund, go to www.insearchofmemphre.com
Or contact Phil White at phil@wilsonwhite.com




Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Countdown to Memphre 2013

T-minus 10 days and counting...

And on this day, we had some news from our other favourite lake monster across the pond, Nessie.

More locally, Abby (the beast of Aberwystwyth who's on permanent vacation in Waltham 'cause all the sea serpents and lake creatures like to chillax in Eastern Mass) is anxiously awaiting a rendezvous with Memphre in a little over a week's time. Think Pinky will let her on the same boat? Time will tell...


Sunday, August 25, 2013

2013 Swimmer Scouts Announced!


In Search of Memphre III
September 7, 2013

To support their fellow Swimmer Scouts
To search for our elusive and beloved lake creature, Memphre
To serve as ambassadors of peace in the promotion of a more open border
To support charitable causes


Lake Memphremagog, VT – The Northeast Kingdom Open water Swimming Association (NEKOWSA) is very pleased to introduce our expeditionary force of Swimmer Scouts of 2013. Each and every one of them is an accomplished marathon open water swimmer. But, they are more than that. Each brings something special to The Search. We welcome them as they embark on this journey In Search of Memphre. We love their stories involving their personal discovery of open water swimming and their support of good charitable purposes.

Sarah Thomas, 31, from Conifer, Colorado

Sarah is a triple crown marathon swimmer, having swum around Manhattan Island, and crossed the English and Catalina Channels. Most recently she became the first person ever to “double cross” Lake Tahoe, a swim that totaled 44 miles. Describing herself, she says:

"I’ve been a competitive swimmer since I was 7, but I was never all that fast- just really good at swimming for a long time without getting tired. When I first discovered open water swimming in 2007, it was like finding where I belonged in the world. Finally, there was a place where my ability to just keep swimming was actually good for something. Open water swimming is what I love to do- it makes me happy. The Catalina Channel in 2010 was my first realization that I can do more things than I ever dreamed, and it’s been an amazing journey since then. Through swimming, I’ve met some incredible people and discovered parts of myself I never knew existed. I feel blessed every day to be able to do what I do."

Sarah’s escort crew is Ryan Willis, also of Conifer, CO, and Bill Shipp of Mitchellville, MD. Shipp is a  finisher of the 2012 Search, staunch supporter of open water swimming in the Kingdom, a proud member of the Crabby Nation in Maryland, and a dyed-in-the-wool Guinness drinker. Sarah works in Human Relations for HealthSouth, a rehabilitation hospital in Colorado.

Humphrey Bohan, 38, from Medford Lakes, NJ 

Humphrey “discovered” open water swimming in 2006 with a “splash and dash” at a local state park. Since then he has successfully completed The Little Red Light House Swim (5.85 miles) in 2009 and 2010, The Boston Light Swim (8 miles) in 2009, and The Ederle Swim (17.5 miles) in 2012 This 25 mile swim will be the longest open water swim of his life. In his words:

"I have committed to moving from regular open-water swimming into marathon swimming. My resources are somewhat limited right now, so I have been focusing on swimming opportunities in the US, although I plan to do the English Channel within the next 4 years. In looking at the 10-mile Kingdom Swim, I saw the description of In Search of Memphre and am excited to swim it. It looks like a fantastic personal challenge, a breathtakingly beautiful course (no offense to the Hudson River or Jersey shore!), and a great charitable opportunity as well.  
"I was a competitive pool swimmer for most of my childhood, competing in longer and longer distances until finally competing in the 1650 free and 400 IM at YMCA Nationals. After college, I started doing some Masters swim meets as an excuse to stay in shape, but didn’t have the same enthusiasm about pool races that I had had as an age-group swimmer. Then, in 2006, the state park near me had some informal splash-n-dash races (1/2 mile lake swim, 5K run) that I tried, and I followed that up with my first 1-mile ocean swim later that summer. I was shocked at how well I did, and how much more I enjoyed swimming out of a pool. So for a couple of years I did more splash-n-dash races, until finding out about NYC Swim and entering the Little Red Lighthouse 10K in 2009. Training for that (the first time I had ever really trained in open water), and then swimming that race up the Hudson River and under the George Washington Bridge, inspired me. I had finally found what I wanted to do athletically. 
"So beginning the following summer, in 2010, I started entering every open water race I could, and looking for longer and longer distances. I moved from 5Ks, to 10Ks, to Boston Light, and then to Ederle. And now, I’m excited to go from those swims into a whole new territory of swimming, of doing more extreme distances and really pushing myself to another level."

Humphrey’s escort crew will be of Don Houghton of Craftsbury, VT and Gary Golden, of Colchester, VT. Humphrey works as a Systems Engineer at Lockhead Martin in Moorestown, NJ.

Bethany Bosch, 29, of Wallingford, VT 

Bethany is a veteran 10 mile Kingdom Swimmer participating not only in 2011 but also 2012. She raised over $1,000 for IROC and was one of the high fundraisers in 2011, raising even more in 2012. She crewed for last year’s Search, and has been to two sessions of Ned Denison’s Long Distance Swim Camp in Cork, Ireland. Recently, her swimming partner, 3-year-old chocolate lab, Guri Bosch made history with her 5 mile end-to-end swim of Lake Willoughby on August 17th. This will be Bethany’s longest marathon open water swim.

"Of all of the places in the world that one could swim, it is both inspiring and wonderful to have such a beautiful, long distance swim right in your backyard. Being a part of this swim, that does so much to benefit the people of Vermont, would be both a privilege and an honor. 
"I want my life, everything I do, to make a difference in this world – to have an impact and purpose beyond myself. Of all of the things I have tried and all of the accomplishments I’ve attained, swimming is the one thing I have found where making a difference in people’s lives through the funds I raise and doing something extraordinary is easy and seamless. Swimming is always an adventure; but the best part of it is that no matter the conditions or outcome, good has been done. That’s what makes every swim so incredibly worthwhile."

Bethany’s escort crew consists Natalie Boyle of Rutland and David Dammerman of Saratoga Springs, NY (who is a veteran Kingdom Swimmer himself and the fastest Swimmer Scout in The Search last year. Bethany works for a consulting firm that provides construction inspection for AOT.

Robert Fernald, 46, of North Hampton, NH

Robert has completed a number of marathon swims in recent years, including Boston Light (8 miles) in 2010, 2011, and 2012 and Kingdom Swim (10 miles) in 2011 and 2012. He has been training this summer with longer swims, but the Search will be the longest of his career.

"What draws me to Memphre, and the events is the stories and people behind the event and history. Swimmers way up that far north? It is great. It takes a special kind of people to hold events like you do, for the benefit of others.

"As my swimming came along with endurance distances, goals came to mind. I framed them initially as “between things.” Between island and mainland, between islands and between countries is on the list. When I swam Kingdom Swim in 2011, I had a good swim. I felt strong, like I had more.

"During the Kingdom Swim, I kept present in my stroke, and since the surface weather/conditions were less than exciting, I thought about Memphe and I started looking for her. I was thinking what if… then, every shadow and blade of grass was a part of the legend. Then the race was over. So I would like a longer time to look!

"As far as my swimming is concerned, this event will help me go beyond my next limit. I have plans of other longer swims around the world, but Lake Memphre is just a few hours away.

"I have always liked to give back (good parents), especially with my time. Self-sacrificing some would say. I coached approximately 1,000 marathon runners as part of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training Program for about 8 years in the late 90s and 2000s. Since then, I've contributed a lot of event-level volunteerism as race support or race director for a few local charities.

"I am part of the board of directors of Save the Indoor Portsmouth Pool here in Ports, NH. The short story is that the city was going to close our pool due to budget cuts. In true NH fashion, a few of us grabbed our sickles and torches and marched on to the city council meetings. We were able to convince the city to try a new operating plan that lost less money. We agreed to mutual goals for cost reduction and price increases. In the end, the program was a success. The city of Portsmouth gave us a no-cost five-year lease, and we are in the process of raising capital to improve the facility.

"My interest in swimming and with saving the pool led to a volunteer role as an open water swim coach with the local pool. The program geared specifically for open water swimmers, and 45 people signed up in January. We still hold a 90% attendance rate and have a growing population of triathletes and open water swimmers in the area."

Robert’s escort crew will be Karil Reibold of North Hampton, NH and John MacMahon of Exeter, NH, with an alternate, James Fernald of Portsmouth, NH. Robert runs a Customer Experience support operation for Whaleback Managed Services in New Hampshire.

* * *
Each swimmer is accompanied by a 16.5 ft aluminum boat powered by a 9.5 hp motor with a caged propeller. These boats are rented from La Traversee in Magog, QC. Swimmers are provided with transponders so that their progress can be followed by friends, family, and the general public.

Four larger power boats are also involved in support. They include Karen and Bruce Lippens of Derby piloting their own boat. They are Kingdom Swim veterans, volunteering to support the swim each year since it started in 2009. Alec van Zuiden, Mayor of Ayer’s Cliff, QC will be piloting a pontoon boat volunteered for service by Fran and Melanie Azur. Elaine Kornbau Howley, of Waltham, MA, a triple crown marathon swimmer who completed the 25 mile distance in 2011 will also be crewing as will Pamela Ladds, of Newport, who regularly escorts swimmers at our events. Rich Douglas will be piloting a pontoon boat supplied by Newport Marine Services. Phil White will be piloting his boat, Pinky, as central command, with assistance from Erica Sheckler, of Emmaus, PA and Kristian Pearson, of Derby, VT.

Swimmers depart at midnight from either Newport or Magog (depending on which way the wind is expected to blow). Depending on weather conditions and the natural swimming speed of individual swimmers completion times have varied from about 11 hours to 18 hours in the water.

The course from MacPherson Bay to Magog, the second half of the swim.
It's such a long lake, we need two pages to show all 25 miles of it.

The beginning of the course from Newport to MacPherson Bay, about 13 miles.