open water

Are You a Long Distance All-Star?

Each year, the USMS Long Distance Committee recognizes excellence in long distance swimming by naming an All-Star Team. To qualify, compete in at least three national championship long distance events, including one open water event and one ePostal event. Gain points for every Top 10 finish. Accumulate the most points in your age group to be name a Long Distance All-Star!

2019 is a great time to go for All-Star status because New England is be hosting TWO USMS Open Water National Championships! Get started early by swimming the 1-hour ePostal this month.


Open Water Events

Sprint: 8/16, Lake Willoughby, VT

2-mile Cable: 6/15, Eagle Creek Park, IN

Middle: 6/1, Lake Berryessa, CA

Long: 8/17, Lake Willoughby, VT

Marathon: 9/22, Knoxville, TN

Ultramarathon: 7/7, Portland, OR

ePostal Events

in any pool of the appropriate length

1-Hour: 1/1-2/28, 25-yards or longer

5K: 5/15-9/15, 50-meters

10K: 5/15-9/15, 50-meters

3000-Yard: 9/15-11/15, 25y or 25m

6000-Yard: 9/15-11/15, 25y or 25m

Summer Meet & Open Water Result Links

Kingdom Swim Recap

Contributed by Charlotte Brynn, NE-LMSC Open Water Chair

NEWPORT, VT --  The 10th Annual Kingdom Swim was held on July 28th in Lake Memphremagog in Newport, Vermont. The 125 swimmers competed under sunny skies in 72-74F water temperatures. Swimmers raced in the 1 mile, 5 km, 10 km, 10 mile, or 25 km Border Buster event into Canada and back. Masters swimmers from New England represented well in all courses and posted many top finishes.

Winners of the beautifully hand-carved Vermont walking sticks in the 25 km Border Buster race were 25-year-old Anthony Szmul of Queensbury, NY in 8 hours 13 minutes 56 seconds and 50-year-old Charlotte Brynn of Stowe, VT in 8 hours 31 minutes 44 seconds. 

In the 10-mile race, 29-year-old Morgan Grozier of East Orleans, MA and 57-year-old George Boerger of Kingston, MA each won a walking stick, a pound of Brault's Beef Jerky, a quart of Couture's Maple Syrup, and a six-pack of Burke Mountain ski tickets.

Alana Aubin post-10km victory

Alana Aubin post-10km victory

In the 10km race Eric Nilsson stormed away from the field -- to no one's surprise -- finishing first in a time of 2 hours 10 minutes 49 seconds. Alana Aubin completed another strong Kingdom Swim to win the overall female division in a time of 2 hours 38 minutes 48 seconds.

Registration for the 2019 Kingdom Swim opened September 1. With only 30 spots in each event, register early to secure your spot and chance to enjoy a weekend of friendly open-water competition in the scenic Northeast Kingdom!


Top 5 Finishers

25 km Border Buster

Female
1. Charlotte Brynn 8:31:44 
2. Martha Wood 8:45:43 
3. Daniela Klaz 9:05:25 
4. Melodee Nugent 9:19:14 
5. Emily Boerger 9:51:43

 Male
1. Anthony Szmul 8:13:56 
2. Bill Shipp 9:00:36 
3. Michael Pollanen 10:14:39 
4. John Batchelder 10:22:06 
5. Andrew Wallace 10:25:55 


10-Mile

Female
1. Morgan Grozier 4:46:19 
2. Molly Lunn Owen 5:13:02 
3. Keone Weigl 5:15:24 
4. Britt Hulbert 5:21:22 
5. Puranjot Khalsa 5:24:36 

Wetsuit

1. Carol Shuford 6:13:14 
2. Joanne Navilliat 7:37:50 

Male
1. George Boerger 5:51:15 
2. Leopoldo Gomez 6:37:51 
3. John Gale 8:06:15

Wetsuit

1. Andrew Westbrook 6:06:38 
2. Damase Olsson 7:01:35 


10 km

Male
1. Eric Nilsson 2:10:49 
2. Sheldon Katz 2:54:29 
3. Peter November 3:01:58 
4. John Hughes 3:12:39 
5. Kevin Joubert 3:12:51 

 

Female
1. Alana Aubin 2:38:48 
2. Melissa Andrews 2:40:33 
3. Joan Hudak 2:43:19 
4. Vera Rivard 3:01:13 
5. Holly Donnelly 3:14:42 

Wetsuit
1. Lee Ann Banks 3:17:29
2. Patricia Lambert 3:28:07 
3. Robyn Shiely 3:49:15 
4. Cheryl Coletti-Lawson 3:52:28 
5. Sally Kidd 4:37:07 

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5 km

Female
1. Katharine Dunn 1:10:21 
2. Laura Kenny 1:21:41 
3. Madeline Craig 1:24:11 
4. Tori Lamphere 1:24:35 
5. Julie Bosak 1:24:11 

 Wetsuit
1. Jody Goodrich 1:33:50 
2. Melissa McEvoy 1:35:09 
3. Katherine Ruffin 1:37:00 
4. Cindy Rodd 1:41:46 
5. Katie Hudon 2:00:36 

Male
1. Lawton Harper 1:25:27 
2. Jesse Marshall 1:29:37 
3. Jimmy Wu 1:42:27

Wetsuit

1. George Randall 1:52:15 
2. Victor Yanessa 1:52:22 


1-Mile swim

Male
1. Robert Hrabchak 26.03 
2. Josep Garrison 28.39 
3. Hermes Cabellero 28.48 
4. Will Golec 29.02 
5. Denis Beaudry 30.58 

Female
1. Louise Davies 29.04 
2. Judith Ebsary 29.12 
3. Rachel Gagnon 30.43
4. Quinn Manion 31.26 
5. Anne Hrabchak 35.05 

Event Spotlight: Peaks to Portland Swim to Benefit Kids

Contributed by Charlotte Brynn, NE LMSC Open Water Sanctions Chair

Event: Peaks to Portland Swim to Benefit Kids

Date: July 28, 2018

Distance 2.4 miles

Location: Casco Bay, Maine

Maine is right up there on my list of favorite places to swim. It has a lot to do with the vastness of the ocean, the variety of rugged coastline and sandy beaches, and the vibrant, friendly open water swimming community. Traveling to an open water swim event is a great way to experience another area, meet new people and discover new places to swim.

I was impressed to learn that the long running Peaks to Portland swim had a swimmer who has participated for 30 years! I wanted to learn more about the draw of this long running event and what keeps people coming back. Sarah Leighton, from the YMCA of Southern Maine, filled me in on all the things that make this swim so special and a must for your open water calendar!

Charlotte Brynn: Peaks to Portland is a 2.4 mile swim that has a wealth of history dating back to before WWII. Tell us about some of the early swims.

Sarah Leighton: Peaks to Portland started in the 1920s. At that time, there were no wetsuits so swimmers would grease their bodies in an effort to keep warm. Back then, the fastest swimmers finished the swim in one hour and fifteen minutes. Today swimmers finish in as little as 40 minutes. The swim was suspended at the start of World War II due to the fear of mines in the water. It wasn’t until 1981 that it was revived by the YMCA of Southern Maine, and we’ve hosted the event ever since.

CB: The Maine coastline is famous for its rugged good looks, and Maine swimmers are some of the most welcoming swimmers I’ve encountered around the world. What are some of the highlights of the swim that help make it an OW event not to miss? 

SL: There’s no better way to experience Maine than the Peaks to Portland Swim.  Swimmers take the Casco Bay Ferry in the early morning to picturesque Peaks Island where they begin their journey. Together with 500 other swimmers, they swim with the tide across Casco Bay. They pass the historic Fort Gorges, built in the 1850s. And at East End Beach, thousands of cheering spectators and volunteers welcome them across the finish line.

CB: You provide terrific support to swimmers before, during and after the swim, from training support, to what to bring and wear to park. What tips can you share for a swimmer new to Peaks to Portland?

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SL: When it’s cold, swimmers are forced to train in a pool, but it’s important that they transition their training to the ocean at least a couple weeks prior to the event. This helps swimmers acclimate to the cold water and reduces their chance of developing hypothermia on race day. Veteran swimmers also encourage new participants to practice in their wetsuits and with their kayaker (even if it’s in fresh water). That way, you’re used to the extra buoyancy provided by your suit and you and your kayaker have a chance to develop a good communication system. If you’re looking for additional support, consider signing up for one of the YMCA of Southern Maine’s Peaks to Portland training classes!

CB: Finally, please tell us about some of the inspirational swimmers that swim Peaks to Portland. 

SL: The Peaks to Portland Swim attracts a diverse group of swimmers. Last year, our oldest swimmer was 74 years old, and our youngest was 16. We welcome swimmers of all types as long as they’re able to swim one mile in 40 minutes or less. Last year, swimmer Merry Farnum completed her 30th Peaks to Portland Swim!  In fact, she completed all 30 swims without a wet suit – now that’s tough! As an advocate for the YMCA of Southern Maine, she also raised over $3,000 to benefit youth. Fundraising is an important part of this race – last year we raised over $180,000 all of which went to supporting kids in our youth development programs.

CB: Thanks Sarah, all the best another successful event this year!

Tenth Charles River One Mile Swim (Sanctioned)

Contributed by Kate Radville, CRSC

BOSTON, MA -- The Tenth Charles River One Mile Swim will take place on June 2, 2018. The USMS sanctioned swim will feature chip timing, fabulous t-shirts, fun prizes, gorgeous scenery and a convenient location in the heart of downtown Boston. Wetsuits are optional, making this the ideal early season tune-up for your open water swimming.  Please visit our website for registration information or email us with questions. Join us to either swim or volunteer and help us make our tenth swim our best swim yet!

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12th Annual Swim & Fin Race for Salem Sound Goes Swimmingly

Contributed by Megan Podeszwa, Salem Sound Coastwatch

SALEM, MA -- The 12th Annual Swim & Fin Race for Salem Sound went off without a hitch on August 20. We couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful morning to send nearly 150 swimmers into the clean, swimmable waters of Salem Sound!

Swimmers ranged in age from 11-74 and competed 500 meter, 1 mile and 5K races. We had so much great talent join us and swimmers of all abilities. It was a great race to watch!

On land, spectators had great views of the course as well as a DJ, raffle, kids coloring table, and touch tank! Swimmers received their choice of clam chowder or meatballs after the race and others had the option to purchase food. There was also plenty of coffee and baked goods to go around!

The energy of the crowd was great as swimmers went in and came out of the water. Swimmers received ocean-themed awards by age group as well as wetsuit and non-wetsuits. First place was a scallop shell, second was a surf clam shell, and third was a quahog shell. The fastest male and female in each race received large scallop shells. 

Robert Kysela (Portland, ME) of Maine Masters (MESC) won the men's 5k race, followed by Christopher Borgatti (Byfield, MA, Unattached) and Chris Waldman (Portland, ME). Emily Dobrindt (Milton, MA) was the women's 5k champion with Rachel Saks Aronis (Natick, MA) taking second and Tsveta Stanilova (Portland, ME, MESC) finishing third. At the 1-mile distance, Benjamin Czech (Providence, RI), Joe Wang (Framingham, MA), and Richy Puopolo (East Boston, MA) were the top three men. Lyndsay Martin (New York, NY), Kaelyn Patch (Brentwood, NH), and Fiona Price (Northborough, MA) took podium spots in the women's race.

A great day was had by all and for a great cause. It was amazing to see so many people caring about our local environment and what better way to show how much you care about clean water.  Thank you to everyone who came out to support Salem Sound Coastwatch!

39th Annual Celebrate the Clean Harbor Swim Draws Swimmers from Near and Far

Contributed by Guy Davis, GBM, NE LMSC Vice-Chair

NE LMSC Treasurer and ANA swimmer Al Prescott

Charles River Masters swimmers David Bentley and Andrea Sonan

GLOUCESTER, MA -- Now in its 39th year, the New England Open Water Swimming Association's ever popular Celebrate the Clean Harbor Swim was held on August 19th. The swim follows a 1.2 mile rectangular course out and back from Niles Beach, a sheltered cove on the north side of Gloucester Harbor. The event now includes a 500m youth swim, an introduction for 8-12 year old swimmers to the fun and challenge of open water racing. Although more overcast than the usual perfect summer sunshine that this event typically enjoys, the conditions were perfect for racing with comfortable water temperatures and very little breeze or chop. North Shore and Boston area swimmers dominated the nearly 90 entries, including longtime former race director Richie Martin in the largest and most competitive division of Men 60-69 years. There were also participants from all over New England and from as far afield as Illinois. 

This year's non-wetsuit overall winners were Kaitlin Pratt (Wakefield, MA) and Graham Lott (Gloucester, MA). Wetsuit overall winners were Hannah Perkins (Beverly, MA) and, for the third consecutive year, Ethan Saulnier (Salem, MA). Kaitlin and Hannah are both 13 years old, and Hannah is a former winner of the youth swim. Overall winners received Megalodon teeth and division winners received shark teeth as prizes. Many thanks to race director Dave Swensen and his team, volunteers, and sponsors for the professional management, a relaxed and family-friendly atmosphere, competitive racing and the coolest prizes.

Maine Swimmers Dominate at Nubble Light Challenge Revival

Contributed by Guy Davis, GBM & NE LMSC Vice-Chair

YORK, ME -- Southern Maine's popular Nubble Light Challenge open water race made its triumphant return on August 12 after a three year hiatus. The picturesque two and a half mile course takes swimmers from York's Long Sands beach around the rocky Cape Neddick headland, through “the Gut” - the narrow passage of water that separates Nubble Island from the mainland, and on to finish at Short Sands beach. Weather conditions were very favorable, with water temperatures in the low 60s, light winds, and a moderate swell. Nevertheless, the swim's long stretches of open ocean and unpredictable tidal currents around the headland most certainly warrant the race's moniker. The warmly cheering crowds on the rocks overlooking the Gut and at the finish provided great encouragement to the swimmers.

Maine Masters swimmers dominated this year's event with wetsuit winners Cheryl Daly and Justin Burkhardt and non-wetsuit winners Susan Knight and Simon Wignall. Congratulations to all who swam and completed the Nubble Light Challenge!

The race is a fundraiser for the great work of the Maine chapter of NAMI (the National Alliance on Mental Illness) whose programs enhance the lives of any one impacted by mental illness through support, education and advocacy.

Great Bay Masters swimmers at the Nubble Light Challenge

Big thank yous go to Bob Reed, Bob Fernald, and Jen Zorn for their great work reviving and organizing this terrific event and to the many wonderful volunteers and sponsors who contributed to the fantastic atmosphere and very enjoyable event.

Race website

Fundraising page

Race Facebook page

NAMI Maine website

Photos by Tracy Phillips Photography via Nubble Light Challenge Facebook page

MAMA Swimmers Lead the Way at the Mighty Merrimack Swim

Contributed by Al Prescott (MAMA), NE LMSC Treasurer

LOWELL, MA -- The Minuteman Masters turned out in force to support the Mighty Merrimack 1- and 2-mile Swim on August 6. Next year's race is scheduled for August 5, 2018.

Pictured left to right are:

"Big" Al Prescott, 1st overall non-wetsuit, 1 mile
Mark Devlin, 1st overall non-wetsuit, 2 mile
Kathy McGovern, 1st overall female, 2 mile
Denise Veenstra, 1st place age group, 2 mile
Maria Beconi, 1st place age group, 2 mile

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Pat McDermot Swims Across Lake George

Contributed by Stacy Sweetser, GSP

PatStart.jpeg

LAKE GEORGE, NY -- Pat McDermot (GSP) has been swimming for six years, the last two of which have included long distance open water swims. He recently completed an official unassisted marathon swim in Lake George, NY. Pat's crew included his wife Lynn McDermot (kayak support for 20+ hours), his brother Jay McDermot (support boat captain), and additional crew of Sharon McDermotKatie McDermotLaura FoleySheryl Scott (GSP) and Karen Cole (GSP). Pat departed Diane's Rock on July 18 at 3:23 pm and swam against the wind during the day. Thankfully the wind relented during the night and Pat held his expected pace. The next morning, Pat battled headwinds to finish at the south end of Lake George around 4:15 pm on July 19. His total time was 24 hours and 50 minutes. Amazing!

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