Memphremagog Winter Swim Festival draws swimmers from all over North America, Ireland, and Scotland

February 28, 2018

LAKE MEMPHREMAGOG, NEWPORT, VT –  Winter swimmers gathered at the Eastside Restaurant for a weekend of swimming in a 25-meter, two-lane pool cut in the ice of Lake Memphremagog.  They swam in the Hat Competition, 25 Meter freestyle, breast stroke, and butter fly as well as the 50, 100, and 200 meter freestyle.  Ice was two feet thick.  Water temp was 30.8 F. Air temps were in the 30’s on Saturday and in the 20’s on Sunday.

Many were new to the sport and had been training and acclimating to cold water swimming for months.   Most were happy to complete their distances at any speed.  But, there was also some accomplished and speedy swims, with seven pool records being broken.  Conor Turner of Dublin, Ireland set records in the 100 Meter and 200 Meter Freestyle.  Craig Ross, of Guelph, Ontario, set pool records in the 25 Freestyle, 25 Butterfly , and 50 Meter Freestyle.  Perennial speedsters, Daina Bouquin, of Melrose, MA and Martha Wood, of Manchester, MA set records in the 25 Meter Butterfly and the 200 Meter Freestyle respectively.  Winners received Beef Jerky from Brault’s Market and maple syrup from Couture’s Maple Shop and B & B.   

For all times:       

For the updated pool record board:  

For photos by Robbie and Robert Bailey of Bailey Photography and others

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Winning the highly contested Best Hat Competition was Edwin Greenfield of Richmond Hil, Ontariol and, new this year, best team Hats, the New Mexico Dream Team, led by Erin Churchill, and including, Amber Zimmerman,  Terry Casey, and RuthAnn Goradia, all from Albuquerque.  Each winner received a half a pound of Brault’s Beef Jerky.

“Most mature” winter swimmer was Ginny Peck, 72, from North Woodstock, NH.  Youngest winter swimmer was Vera Rivard, 14, of Springfield, NH.  They were awarded a bar of handmade soap provided by Lynn Kubasek, of Laguna Beach, California.

Michelle White, of Navan, Ireland received a set of ice tongs for her gritty and determined 200 meter swim and her infectious smile.

Swimmers enjoyed Friday afternoon “Warm Up” at Jaspers, a Rolling Welcome Dinner at Newport Ciderhouse Bar & Grill, a Jammy and Barr Hill Vodka Shooter Party after Saturday’s swims, a Seafood Buffet on Saturday night at The EastSide Restaurant and a full weekend of hosting by Dena Gray and her wonderful crew.  They expressed their thanks to our hosts and our wonderful crew of about 20 volunteers who were busy both days out on the ice.  

Special thanks to our many sponsors who made this possible.  Community National Bank, Newport City Inn & Suites, Eden Ice Cider, Newport Ciderhouse, Bar & Grill, Walt’s Sales & Service, Jay Peak Resort, Pick & Shovel, Vermont Sports Magazine, Burke Mountain, Passumpsic Savings Bank, and Barr Hill by Caledonia Spirits.

For more information: Phil White, Director, Kingdom Games,

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