US Winter Swimming Championships

You’ve all asked and wondered, and now finally, here it is, folks!  The “What I’m Doing Next”.  At least, as far as swimming adventures are concerned.  Below is the press release from Newport, VT about the Winter Swimming Championships – with my personal interjections from time to time.

This was one of the bays we couldn't swim in.  The one next door only had some ice floating in it.

This was one of the bays we couldn’t swim in when we went for a training swim last weekend. The one next door only had some ice floating in it, though, so we could get in.

Swimming around Ice

Helen and I about to go for our quick swim in Boston Harbor this past Saturday! It was great!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 11, 2015

From San Francisco to St. Petersberg, Finland to Montana, Winter Swimmers sign on to the US Winter Swimming Championships in February.

LAKE MEMPHREMAGOG, NEWPORT, VERMONT – Work begins in earnest this week to prepare for the inaugural US Winter Swimming Championships on February 21-22, 2015. (It’s the first one… how could I NOT sign up?!?!  Right in VT? C’mon!) Winter swimmers from around the nation and around the world have already begun to make plans to travel to Newport, Vermont for the 25, 50, and 100 meter championship swims. All in a 25 meter two-lane pool to be cut in the ice on Lake Memphremagog near The EastSide Restaurant in Newport, Vermont. (Yes.  A pool in the ice – both treacherous and beautiful…) Already, 25 swimmers have registered or committed to joining us. They come from Pittsburgh, San Francisco, St. Petersberg, and Boston, New York City, Vermont (I am not the only Vermonter!), Maryland, Chicago, Montana, Russia, Latvia, and Finland have already registered or committed to join this swim. Current Roster is attached along with a separate introduction to many of them. (You can go to the following article to get some insight into the kind of crazies who do this: http://dailynews.openwaterswimming.com/2015/01/explore-and-excel-in-extreme.html?spref=fb)

Every day we get new inquiries from swimmers wanting to participate. Are we excited, or what? And for local “novices” we will offer a charity “plunge” (quick in and out of the pool – do it, it will be awesome!) on Friday afternoon, February 20th to raise money for Jess Sicotte, a Derby Elementary School teacher battling cancer – to give our local residents an opportunity to experience what winter swimming is all about and to raise money for a neighbor in need. Kingdom Games, US Winter Swimming Association and Newport Parks and Recreation Department have all partnered to make this extraordinary event possible.

For more info about the swim or to register to join us, check out: http://www.uswsa.org. (Check out this website, anyway.  It’s bizarre and extreme and fun!) Newport Parks and Recreation Department will be cutting the pool on Friday and Saturday, January 23rd and 24th. We are looking for help from local contractors and high school students to build the wood liner around the edges of the pool. We are also looking for trucks, trailers, and other equipment to move the blocks of ice from The EastSide Restaurant to Gardner Park for use in the ice maze as part of the upcoming Winterfest Celebration to be held on February 7th. Anyone interested in helping, please contact Phil White at 802-249-9100 phw1948@gmail.com or Andy Cappello and Jessie Booth at 802-334-6345 newportrecreaqton@gmail.com. (Volunteers make the world go round!)

The Winter Swimming Championships are part of a full season of Winter Games on Lake Memphremagog hosted by Kingdom Games, including the North American Marathon Speed Skating Championships (1/31-2/1), The Great Skate (2/1) and Memphremagog Pond Hockey Classic (2/7-2/8). With the support of Newport City Renaissance Corporation, Newport City Inn and Suites, Little Gnesta, the City of Newport, and Dan Gauvin of Lakeview Aviation we will be maintaining the speedskating oval and a Nordic Skating Trail as long as we can this winter. (Even if you can’t make it for the swim, do something else wintry and fun!) They will be open to the public.

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