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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

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