69-year-old swimmer completes triple cross of Lake Willoughby

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Photo by Phil White.
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WESTMORE — On September 1, 69-year-old James Penrose, of Paris, France, triple crossed Lake Willoughby, swimming a total of 15 miles in 9 hours and 30 minutes.

In doing so, he became the third person to triple cross Willoughby.

Charlotte Brynn was the first in 2017, and Greg O’Connor the second, as part of his 4-way crossing on August 16, 2021.

In doing so, Penrose became the oldest to complete the three-way crossing.

Penrose started at 6:50 a.m. from North Beach and swam the first leg with a slight wind to his back, arriving at South Beach at 9:45 a.m.

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After a minute at South Beach, he completed the second leg at 1:08 p.m., swimming into a 10 mph headwind at times through the gap.

The wind pretty much died on his return, and he arrived at South Beach at 4:20 p.m.

Water Temperature ranged from 68 to 70 F.

The air temperature was in the mid-60s but dropped in the afternoon.

Kayaking for Penrose was Kathleene Callicott, of Derby.

Rob Andersen of Newport and Phil White of Derby provided boat support.

The swim complied with traditional channel crossing rules and was organized by Kingdom Games, and has been ratified by the Northeast Kingdom Open Water Swimming Association.

Penrose began his documented marathon swimming career, completing the 10 Mile Race at Kingdom Swim in 2011.

He went on to swim the English Channel in 2012.

He completed the Catalina Channel crossing and swam around Manhattan in 2013, earning the Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming.

He has also swum the 8 Bridges 120-mile stage race down the Hudson.

Earlier this year he swam the 15 mile Border Bumper at Kingdom Swim and completed the Boston Light Swim.

He was scheduled for In Search of Memphre this year, but with the border still functionally closed for swimmers, he opted for the Willoughby Triple Cross instead.

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