Open water swimming season underway in the NEK

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NEWPORT — The open water swimming season on Lake Memphremagog is underway as lake temperatures continue to rise. The Northeast Kingdom Open Water Swimming Association’s First Splash on May 24 saw four swimmers take on the 54 degree water. Charlotte Brynn, a Kiwi living in Stowe, and Amanda Hunt, an Aussie living in Naperville, Illinois, spent 45 minutes in the water.

Francine Amyot and Michel Gagne from Levis, Quebec also swam.

This past weekend, Paula Yankauskas, 60, of Hyde Park became the first of the year to swim from The Clubhous to Bell Island as water temperatures hit 60 degrees.

Coming up this month are two swims on June 20, and June 27, in Newport and Derby Bay. These swims will consist of two, four, and six mile distances. Each swim is limited to 10 swimmers on each day, as each swimmer must be accompanied by a kayaker.

On July 25, a few hundred swimmers and kayakers will take to the lake for the Seventh Annual Kingdom Swim. They are travelling from 24 different states and Canadian provinces and as far away as Saudi Arabia to participate in this annual celebration of open water swimming.

Lake Memphremagog and Lake Willoughby have been selected by Open Water Source as two of the 50 great open water swimming venues in all of North America. Swimming events now take place throughout the summer on both sides of the border in Magog, Newport, and Derby.

Both Kingdom Swim and La Traversee International du Lac Memphremagog have been included in the list of the top 100 swims in the world, making Lake Memphremagog the only freshwater body of water to make the list twice.

Photo courtesy of Phil White.
Photo courtesy of Phil White.

This year’s La Traversee, the professional swim organized out of Magog, Quebec will be on August 1. There are a number of shorter amateur swims also organized on Thursday and Friday before the 34K swim on Saturday.

The Fifth Annual In Search of Memphre will see four amateur swimmers attempting the 25 mile international swim on September 5th of this year. One of the four will attempt to swim the lake one way and run back to the start.

For more information on these swims visit www.kingdomswim.org.

This year a portion of the registration fees from Kingdom Swim will be dedicated to a special project of the Memphremagog Watershed Association.

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