Ultra-Marathon Open Water Swimmers Head From Vermont to Quebec

Photo Courtesy: Andy Ross

On Wednesday, July 18, 2018, seven ultra-marathon open water swimmers will gather to swim the 25-mile length of Lake Memphremagog, between Newport, Vermont and Magog, Quebec. In Search of Memphre is an amateur swim, started on the tenth anniversary of 9/11 intended to promote a more open border with our Canadian Friends, to search for our legendary lake creature, Memphre, and to do some good along the way. The Search is now in its eighth year.

Joining this July’s Search are Vera Rivard, 14, of Springfield, NH and Derby, VT, Eric Schall, 57, of Kingston, PA, Mary Stella Stabinsky, 41, of Plains, PA, Sharessa Gutierrez, 37, of Omaha, NE, Sandra Frimerman-Bergquist, 34, of Excelsior, MN, Dan Shub, 69, of Baltimore, MD, and Cara Manlandro, 38, of Derwood, MD. They are joined by 26 others in support of the swim, serving as escort and patrol boat pilots, crew, and ground personnel.

They will be departing from the EastSide Restaurant and Prouty Beach in Newport at 5:00 am on July 18th and expected to cross the border into Canada between 7 am and 8 am. Border crossing has been facilitated by Canadian law enforcement which has reviewed the roster of participants and pre-approved the crossing. US Border officials have also been extremely helpful in facilitating crossings. The 16-foot aluminum escort boats with caged propellers are rented from TriMemphre in Magog. Swimmers and crew will be shuttled back to Newport by Jay Peak which has supported this swim for many years. The City of Magog has been most gracious, arranging for use of the beach at Parc de le Baie de Magog for our landing and the docking of our boats overnight after the swim. The support of Community National Bank and RDI also helped to make this swim possible.

If successful, Rivard would be the youngest to swim the length of the lake and Shub would be the oldest to do so.  In 2018, at least 60 swimmers will be undertaking swims of various distances (from 10 km to 25 miles) that involve crossing the border.

This year’s class of “Swimmer Scouts” have dedicated their swims to the Asylum Seekers and are encouraging donations to the Asylum Seeker Advocacy Project at https://asylumadvocacy.org/  Several of the swimmers, their support, and their families come from backgrounds of seeking asylum in the United States from horrific and dangerous conditions in their nations of origin.

The swim is organized and supported by Kingdom Games which now hosts over 25 days of running, biking, swimming, and ice skating in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont and the Eastern Townships of Quebec. www.kingdomgames.co

— The above press release was posted by Swimming World in conjunction with Kingdom Games. For press releases and advertising inquiries please contact Advertising@SwimmingWorld.com.

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Author: Daniel D'Addona

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Dan D'Addona is the lead college swim writer for Swimming World. He has covered swimming at all levels since 2003, including the NCAA championships, USA nationals, Duel in the Pool and Olympic trials. He is a native of Ann Arbor, Michigan, and a graduate of Central Michigan University. He currently lives in Holland, Michigan, where he also is the Sports Editor at The Holland Sentinel.

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