In Search of Mem­phre Breaks the bor­der and Raises over $26,000 for IROC

Stanstead Journal - - SPORTS -

On­the week­end of the 10th an­niver­sary of 9/11, 11 ex­tra­or­di­nary marathon open water swim­mers un­der­took the 25 mile in­ter­na­tional, cross bor­der swim the length of Lake Mem­phre­me­gog from New­port to Ma­gog. They were sup­ported by 21 yack­ers and 12 boat pi­lots and crew. The ex­pe­di­tion was or­ga­nized and hosted by the North­east King­dom Open Water Swim­ming As­so­ci­a­tion and IROC and was spon­sored and out­fit­ted by New­port Marine Ser­vices, Clyde River Re­cre­ation, and Great Out­doors.

The ex­pe­di­tion known as In Search of Mem­phre was in­tended to pro­mote a more open bor­der with Canada and to search for the elu­sive lake crea­ture Mem­phre. Par­tic­i­pants, their friends, fam­ily, and em­ploy­ers raised over $26,000 for In­door Re­cre­ation Or­leans County, a com­mu­nity cen­ter in Derby, Ver­mont which is presently fight­ing for its fi­nan­cial sur­vival. Four swim­mers com­pleted the swim: El­iz­a­beth Fry of West­port, CT fin­ish­ing in a time of 13 hours and 25 min­utes. Close be­hind her was Char­lotte Brynn, of Stowe Ver­mont with a time of 14 hours and 40 min­utes. Greg O’Con­nor com­pleted the 25 miles in a time of 17 hours and 23 min­utes. And Elaine Korn­bau-How­ley fin­ished in just un­der 18 hours with a time of 17 hours and 58 min­utes. “This was tougher than cross­ing the English Chan­nel,” said Elaine Korn­bau How­ley who was the first to sign on for this in­vi­ta­tional swim, just a month ago.

Swim­mers faced strong head­winds from the north, es­pe­cially dur­ing the first four hours of the swim, forc­ing many swim­mers to pull out. All but one, how­ever, hung in for at least the first five miles in or­der to as­sure that they crossed the bor­der.

Michel Dubois, of Cana­dian Cus­toms ar­ranged with the or­ga­niz­ers of In Search of Mem­phre for pre-clear­ance of the par­tic­i­pants at The Gate­way. They were very help­ful and very sup­port­ive of the re­sump­tion of a cross bor­der swim. US Cus­toms re­ceived the par­tic­i­pants back also at The Gate­way.

The bor­der was ours, for a brief mo­ment in time. It felt great to watch these ath­letes, their yack­ers and the pa­trol boats cross past the bor­der buoys in the mid­dle of the night. West­more Fire and Emer­gency Res­cue led the way through the night with a bea­con that al­lowed swim­mers and their yack­ers to sight on as they swam north.

We were truly hum­bled and hon­ored to sup­port this won­der­ful, high spir­ited group of marathon swim­mers, yack­ers, and sup­port. Their fundrais­ing prow­ess was awe in­spir­ing. Their en­durance in some tough con­di­tions was in­cred­i­ble to ex­pe­ri­ence. And their ex­huber­ance is con­ta­gious.

While Mem­phre re­mains elu­sive, we thank Bar­bara Mal­loy for her sup­port of this swim, In Search of Mem­phre.

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