Be Kind to Your Yacker Week is an unofficial secular week-long period celebrated between April 1st-7th this year, created by the founder of NEKOWSA (Northeast Kingdom Open Water Swimming Association).
The period, first proposed by Phil White, is meant to recognize, celebrate and honor individuals who support open water swimmers including kayakers, paddlers, escort pilots, coaches and support crew.
“In 2010, we started this national tribute to Be Kind to Your Yacker Week for their indispensable help and support of open water swimming,” explained Phil. The original NEKOWSA proclamation issued on March 31st 2010 in Newport, Vermont read as follows:
BE NICE TO YOUR YACKER WEEK
They guide us. They feed us. They hydrate us during endless hours of open water swimming. They comfort us and watch over us, at the ready at all times. They free us to explore the great waters of our planet and travel great distances. Without them we are nothing, damned to lap swimming without end. With them, we are liberated – freed to realize our true nature and return to our primordial state as the water creatures that we are and were meant to be.
Humble, they are. Dedicated to our support and committed to our passion, they serve – with loyalty and bravery. We can never appreciate them enough for what they do. And so, in honor and appreciation for their service to swimmers everywhere, we dedicate the week of Monday, April 12th through Sunday, April 18th, 2010 as Be Nice to Your Yacker Week.
In light of the Yackers who help and guide swimmers, Sgt. Jim Cowig of Newburyport, Massachusetts wrote the following Haiku to the Yacker:
smooth molded plastic
an oasis of safety
always at my side
Another Haiku to the Yacker was written by Steven Munatones of Huntington Beach, California:
at night alongside
darkness on the left and right
my lifeline and guide
Ode to My Yacker was written by Phil White of Derby, Vermont:
Yacker, My Yacker, wherever we roam
You water and feed me and guide my way home
Without you I’m nothing, a lost feckless soul
Locked in the lanes of my short little pool
But with paddle flashing and you by my side
The waters are open, the world is so wide
There’s nothing we can’t do, no challenge too great
One stroke at a time, my aquarian mate.
Copyright © 2012 by Open Water Source