Willoughby swim wrap-up
At the ninth annual Willoughby Swim on Saturday, August 18, Stephen Rouch, 38, of Indianapolis, Indiana, won the five-mile event with a time of 1:55:22. And he set the record for a ten-mile double cross with a time of 4:24:21, handling head winds and waves with ease on the return.
Margaret Rivard, 11, of Springfield, New Hampshire, came in third among the double-crossing females, to become the youngest person to complete the round trip. Rachel Horgan, 32, of Atkinson, New Hampshire, took first among the women in the five-mile swim with a time of 2:00:24.
Winners took home a six-pack of Burke Mountain ski tickets, some Brault’s beef jerky, and a quart of Couture’s maple syrup.
Thirty-three open water swimmers took on the five-and ten-mile Willoughby. The day was cool, cloudy, and rainy, with winds of 5 to 10 miles per hour from the northwest. Water temperatures were 70 to 71 degrees. Despite the tough conditions, all swimmers completed their swims.
Westmore Fire and Rescue provided motorboat support along with Kingdom Games. Lunch following the swim was provided by White Caps Campground, which also opened up its garage for our use on this rainy windy day.
Willoughby Swim is part of the NEK Swim Week, organized by Kingdom Games and the Northeast Kingdom Open Water Swimming Association that offers swims on eight lakes over nine days in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont and the Eastern Townships of Quebec. Next year, Lake Willoughby will be the venue for the five-mile USMS (U.S. Masters Swimming) National Championships. –– submitted by Phil White.