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North Country Hospital's Patient Care Initiatives Fund here!

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
Or contact Phil White at