Thanks to all who helped make Kingdom Swim possible. This was truly a community event, welcoming young and old from all over Vermont and all over the country to come celebrate open water swimming on the Kingdom’s “Great Lake,” Lake Memphremagog. This first year, we had 101 swimmers plus their kayakers and families registered from California, Texas, Illinois, Florida, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, around Vermont, and Ontario. Our Kingdom Swimmers ranged in ages from 6 years old to 65 years old.
This event was certainly one of the most challenging athletic events ever hosted by IROC in its short history. It would not have been possible without the hearty volunteer “Yakers” who helped escort many of the swimmers or the flotilla of local “Boat People” who provided additional support, or the Newport Police and Fire Departments, Fish and Wildlife, State Police, Border Patrol and Westmore Rescue who were out on the lake, on the ready, as they always are.
We would also like to thank
Community National Bank, Louis Garneau, and Jay Peak who have been major underwriters and supporters of IROC’s summer series of athletic events right from the start. Without their longstanding support, our vision of a summer series of outdoor running, biking, swimming, and triathlon events would never have been possible.
Tony Pomerleau and Dena and Pauline Gray who joined together to help us buy our buoys for this event. These wonderful Schwimmflugel buoys lit the way for 100 swimmers and will direct hundreds more each year as this event expands through the years. Thanks also to the Eastside Restaurant and its docks for providing the staging area for our operation throughout.
Alicia Markey who designed our Kingdom Swim logo, our Poster, and our wonderful line of Kingdom Swim T-Shirts and Sweatshirts.
Newport Marine Services who provided the lead pontoon boat for the swim and our Friday afternoon tour boat.
Clyde River Recreation who provided the kayaks for those swimmers who needed them.
Our other sponsors including The Town of Derby, Hammer Nutrition, Swim Art, the Santa Barbara Channel Swimming Association, Swim Vacation, Paul Decelles Investment Planning, Boston Sports Club, Vermont Highland Cattle Company, Derby Village Store, The Pick and Shovel, Poulin Lumber, Kinney Drugs, North Country Health Systems.
Montgomery Café which catered a wonderful Swimmers and Kayakers Pasta Dinner at the Gateway Center (to rave reviews by our participants) and joined with Woodknot Bookstore in helping us offer the Last One Back to the Barn Award, a complete set of the autographed works to date by Howard Mosher.
NEKTTA which has vigorously helped promote IROC’s special events right from the beginning. Early on it understood the vision, the potential value to the community, and the need to help us get the word out. Gloria and Maree helped show us the way.
Chris Johansen, the Kingdom Aquafest Committee, and IROC’s partners Vermont’s North Country Chamber of Commerce and Newport City Recreation for organizing a wonderful weekend of activities including a very special Pet and Swimmers Parade that our swimmers young and old just loved and to the Newport City Concert Band and to Battery E for leading the march and starting the swim.
The IROC machine which planned and ran five, count them five, swims all in the same day: Pete Kellaway, Holly Spencer, Julie Gunn, Kristian Pearson and all of IROC’s staff and volunteers. They are now battle hardened veterans of these events. They did a terrific job.
Bill Alexander and Alpine Web Media for designing and updating our Kingdom Swim web site (as well as all of our other web sites) and for hanging in there with important last minute updates even while he was traveling in Thailand.
Bill Peck who hand carved our Kingdom Swim Walking Sticks offered as First Prize for the Male and Female winners of the 10 mile swim. They were absolutely wonderful prizes.
Ned Denison of Cork Ireland, Leslie Thomas of San Francisco, and Emilio Casanueva of Santa Barbara for their willingness to help and mentor us in this inaugural swim. Their guidance was critical in helping us plan and implement this event. And, they offered us two great prizes for the high pledge raisers, a guided swim from Alcatraz to San Francisco and entry into the Big Swim relay event in the Santa Barbara Channel.
And, finally the wonderful, high spirited, good natured swimmers, young and old, local and from around Vermont, New England, and the entire nation. You made this event what it was – a true celebration of open water swimming. It was an honor and a great pleasure to host you in this First Annual Kingdom Swim.
Thank you all.
Phil White and Peter Stuart, members
Kingdom Swim Organizing Committee