Jim Loreto, Natalie Lang, Mark Sheridan Swim Across The Southern BorderCourtesy of Phil White, lake Memphrémagog, Quebec, Canada.
In Search of Memphre is a 40.2 km cross-border marathon that begins in the American state of Vermont and finishes in the Canadian province of Quebec across Lake Memphremagog.
Lake Memphremagog in the southern border of Canada turns into lac Memphrémagog on the north side of the border, but in between is a whole lotta wind-generated waves.
On July 16th, three swimmers each completed the 25-mile swim between Newport, Vermont and Magog, Québec.
Phil White reported, “45-year-old Mark Sheridan of Sevenoaks, United Kingdom, 42-year-old Natalie Lang of Watertown, Massachusetts, and 46-year-old Jim Loreto of Bethesda, Maryland entered the water at 4:53 am at the EastSide Restaurant just as daylight arrived. They swam north out of Newport Bay with the benefit of light winds 4 to 5 mph and water temperatures consistently at 72°F all along the lake throughout the day. Air temperatures were in the mid-50°F at the start and reaching the high 70°F’s during the day. At times winds picked up to about 10 mph creating 1-foot waves.
Sheridan was the first to exit the water at Parc de Baie-du-Magog with a time of 13 hours 8 minutes becoming the first British swimmer to complete this amateur swim since it was started in 2011. Sheridan is a Triple Crowner after having swum the English Channel, around Manhattan Island (20 Bridges Swim) and the Catalina Channel. He has served as President of the British Long Distance Swimming Association and organizes the Champion of Champions event in Dover Harbour. He was escorted up the lake by Phil White and Teresa Gerade in Django, a 16-foot hand-made wooden dory.
Loreto exited 38 minutes later, with a time of 13 hours 46 minutes. He also is a Triple Crowner and has been a Kingdom Swimmer since 2015 when he did the 10-mile swim at Kingdom Swim and 2016 when he swam the 25 km Border Buster as well as swims in the lakes of Willoughby, Echo, and Seymour, and the Clubhous Swims as part of NEK Swim Week. He was escorted by Don Houghton, Jr., Pam Ladds, and Michel Gagne in the pontoon boat, Lucky, a recent acquisition of Kingdom Games.
Lang finished strong with a time of 13 hours 51 minutes. This was the longest swim of her life. She discovered the Kingdom Games through the Even Up Triathlon series. She returned to swim the 3-mile Caspian Swim in 2015 and then participated in the NEK Swim Week in 2016, 2017, and 2018. When she decided to go long, she enlisted Charlotte Brynn as her coach. She was escorted by Rob Andersen, Gordon Lang, Eric Dearing, and Charlotte Brynn in Sweatpea, a pontoon boat on loan by Peggy Hollander.
Peter and Geneve Channell provided beach support in Magog. The City of Magog provided the landing site and overnight docking for the escort boats after the swim.
The trio became 37th, 38th, and 39th amateurs to complete In Search of Memphre since the swim was co-founded in 2011 by Elaine Kornbau Howley and me with the support of Barbara Malloy, Vermont’s 1st Lady Dracontologist, who has chronicled the many sightings of Memphre for decades. The purpose of the swim has been to re-open the lake to cross-border swimming, to promote a more open border, to seek out the swimmer-friendly-but-elusive lake creature, Memphre, and to do some good as we go.
We are proud to have had the British dignitary, Mark Sheridan, join the ranks of Swimmer Scouts. We are equally proud to be such an integral part of the journeys of Loreto and Lang. This expedition was a sweet one from start to finish. Memphre smiled on this group of Swimmer Scouts with fair weather, warm water, and a tail wind.
In Search of Memphre is organized by Kingdom Games and sanctioned by the Northeast Kingdom Open Water Swimming Association. Kingdom Games now hosts over 25 days of running, biking, and swimming events in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont and the Eastern Townships of Quebec.”
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