Victory For Vera, Team Rivard Crosses The English Channel
While teenagers across America saw their schools close, their teams stop training, and their competitions cancelled, 16-year-old Vera Rivard was focused and kept busy.
Her dedication in these uncertain times helped her achieve two major goals: a 45.9 km 20 Bridges circumnavigation swim around Manhattan Island and a 33.5 km crossing of the English Channel on September 1st in 14 hours 10 minutes.
Escorted by Peter Reed and his son, Peter Reed, Jr. under the auspices of the Channel Swimming Association, Rivard’s crew included her mother Darcie Deblois-Rivard and her 13-year-old sister and training partner Margaret.
Rivard wore a Upper Valley Aquatic Center swim cap to honor her late coach Dorsi Raynolds where she has swum since she was 5 years old. Since her first open water swim at Kingdom Swim on Lake Memphremagog in 2014 at the age of 10, she has continued to swim in longer, more difficult conditions each subsequent year. In 2018, she completed the 40 km In Search of Memphre on Lake Memphremagog, a significant steppingstone to her English Channel success.
Rivard said, “That was a swim of a lifetime. I have dreamt of this for as long as I can remember. It was better than I could have ever hoped. I am so grateful for this adventure.”
Phil White gives plenty of credit where credit is much due, “Vera’s parents, Darcie DeBlois-Rivard and Kevin Rivard have supported Vera and Margaret every step of the way, year after year, kayaking for them longer and longer distances as they have grown in the sport. They have enabled their daughters to reach for their dreams. And reach they have.”
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