Photos, report and videos courtesy of Phil White, Mina Elnacash and Gordon Alexander at th 2017 Memphremagog Winter Swim Festival, Vermont.

Winter swimmers travelled from Washington, California, Georgia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Maine, Vermont, and Ontario to the third annual Memphremagog Winter Swim Festival on March 3rd, 4th and 5th They swam in a 25-meter two-lane pool cut in the ice of Lake Memphremagog in Newport, Vermont.

The event was hosted by Kingdom Games and The EastSide Restaurant,” reported race director Phil White. “It was underwritten by the Ciderhouse Bar & Grill, the NEK Tasting Center, and Eden Ice Cider.

They swam 25, 50, 100, and 200 meter events in totally cold conditions. Saturday’s water temperature was -0.6°C (30.8°F) dropping to -0.7°C (30.6°F) on Sunday. Air temperatures were low with winds of 20 to 30 mph most of the day with slightly less inhospitable conditions on the last day.

Tiffany McQueen of California won the Best Hat Competition; the Viking is Talbott Crowell. The green top hat is Ed O’Reilly. There were many returning cold water veterans and there were also many swimming their first event in this kind of cold water. Louise Darlington was one of them. She had this to say, ‘Cheers to everyone. Hugh and I had the most amazing time – pushed ourselves beyond anything we had done previously. [The organizers] are the best – I cannot say enough about the crew, volunteers, EMTs, everyone. We felt welcomed, celebrated, and safe. Cheers to the Society. We will be back in 2018.”

For more information, visit www.kingdomgames.co.

Upper photo shows the pool-cutting team of Michael Booth, Josh McCoy, and Mac McKenny. The middle photo shows Viking, Talbott Crowell. The bottom photo shows Ed O’Reilly in the green top hat.


Memphremagog Winter Swim Festival 2017 Results:

25m Breaststroke Females
21.88 Kellie Latimer, 31
22.14 Janet Manning, 53
24.96 Elaine Howley, 39
25.62 Ozlen Luznar, 42
25.93 Kristie DeMarco, 46
26.48 Tiffany McQueen, 44
27.46 Mary Staples, 34

25m Breaststroke Males
18.64 Gregory Gomez, 58
20.54 Richard Born, 54
22.70 Sam Young, 27
22.76 Greg O’Connor, 47
23.68 Anders Jakobsson, 49
25.29 Ed Gabriels, 55
26.05 Jerome Leslie, 38
29.92 John Gale, 61

25m Freestyle Females
16.45 Martha Wood, 54
16.71 Kellie Latimer, 31
17.73 Janet Manning, 53
18.70 Robbie Bailey, 48
18.95 Elaine Howley, 39
18.97 Anne McLindon, 50
19.39 Ozlen Luznar, 42
19.95 Tiffany McQueen, 44
20.77 Mary Staples, 34
20.83 Katarina English, 28
21.41 Kristie DeMarco, 46
21.90 Nadine Bennett, 44
25.39 Louise Hyder-Darlington, 56
27.77 Mindy Bowens, 48

25m Freestyle Males
14.64 Scott Zornig, 57
15.38 Greg O’Connor, 47
16.38 Sam Young, 27
16.94 Ed Gabriels, 55
17.08 Gregory Gomez, 58
17.41 Edward Riley, 58
20.10 David Bosch, 50
20.86 John Gale, 61
21.31 Jerome Leslie, 38
22.80 Anders Jakobsson, 49

50m Freestyle Females
35.84 Martha Wood, 54
38.26 Kellie Latimer, 31
38.67 Janet Manning, 53
42.47 Ozlen Luznar, 42
42.79 Anne McLindon, 50
43.42 Rebecca Perry, 48
45.09 Tiffany McQueen, 44
48.44 Kristie DeMarco, 46
49.29 Elaine Howley, 39
54.32 Mary Staples, 34
DNF Mindy Bowens, 48
DNF Louise Hyder-Darlington, 56

50m Freestyle Males
33.69 Scott Zornig, 57
35.49 Richard Born, 54
35.68 Greg O’Connor, 47
36.99 Sam Young, 27
37.48 Ed Gabriels, 55
43.09 Anders Jakobsson, 49
45.80 David Bosch, 50
48.00 John Gale, 61
46.63 Talbott Crowell, 49
57.03 Jerome Leslie, 38
DNF Seth Bornstein, 60

100m Freestyle Females
1.18.54 Martha Wood, 54
1.23.19 Kellie Latimer, 31
1.26.35 Janet Manning, 53
1.31.04 Anne McLindon, 50
1.33.49 Ozlen Luznar, 42
1.34.50 Nadine Bennett, 44
1.39.63 Tiffany McQueen, 44
1.42.04 Kristie DeMarco, 46
1.48.93 Elaine Howley, 39
1.55.41 Mary Staples, 34
DNF Katerina English, 28

100m Freestyle Males
1.19.59 Ted Hirsch, 56
1.22.22 Ed Gabriels, 55
1.25.39 Greg O’Connor, 47
1.26.72 Sam Young, 27
1.37.26 Jerome Leslie, 38
1.42.20 Anders Jakobsson, 49
1.46.22 John Gale, 61

25m Butterfly Females
17.93 Kellie Latimer, 31
18 35 Rebecca Perry, 48
19.09 Martha Wood, 54
20.69 Janet Manning, 53
21.71 Katarina English, 28
23.35 Ozlen Luznar, 42
25.55 Tiffany McQueen, 44
26.35 Nadine Bennett, 44

25m Butterfly Males
15.53 Richard Born, 54
17.28 Greg O’Connor, 47
18.33 Ted Hirsch, 56
19.66 Jerome Leslie, 38

200m Freestyle Females
2.55.30 Martha Wood, 54
3.21.17 Ozlen Luznar, 42
3.41.40 Tiffany McQueen, 44
3.50.79 Kristie DeMarco, 46

200m Freestyle Males
2.52.23 Ted Hirsch, 56
2.54.00 Ed Gabriels, 55
2.58.11 Richard Born, 54
3.42.79 Jerome Leslie, 38
3.44.11 Anders Jakobsson, 49
3.47.97 John Gale, 61

50 x 4 Relays
2.24.25 Ice Holes
2.28.88 Boston Bombers
3.05.87 Frozen Four

There were a few DNF’s during the competition. Phil White explained the situation. “Because our water temperatures and air temperatures are some of the coldest in the world, we limit the distance to 200 meters. All swimmers had to qualify for the distances they swam.

At our safety meeting, we told the swimmers not to be heroes. We advised them that these were the coldest waters and coldest air temperatures they were likely to swim in, ever. If they were tiring, they should get out at the pool ends with platforms. All DNFs exited on their own at one end of the pool or another using the platforms.

We had pool walkers on each side of the pool with pool hooks and PFDs ready to hook the swimmers if they needed. We had experienced winter swimmers ready to slide into the pool to help if absolutely necessary. None of that was needed.

We also had EMTs at pool side and an ambulance at the ready on the shore. Mark Meredith, a local physician was at pool side on both days. Our local hospital and emergency room are within 2 miles of the venue.”

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