NEK Swim Week 2020 – Small Group, Socially Distanced
AUGUST 8 THRU AUGUST 16, 2020
8 LAKES – 46 MILES – 9 DAYS
“Magical” “Restorative” “Wonderful Water” “Great People”
SIGN UP AS A VOLUNTER YACKER for one day, several, or all
We have revamped NEK Swim Week and have obtained permits to allow us to host this week as small group socially distanced swims. Right now, each day is capped at 10 swimmers and 10 kayakers, although that limit might change as we assess things. Each swim will be conducted in accordance with our new Standards for Conducting Small Group, Socially Distanced Swims.
Because the border is presently closed, we will NOT be hosting the Massawippi Swim this year but will replace it with a second 10 mile Clubhous Swim.
Start Times: We gather at 8 am and start all swims at 9 am
Fees; Island Pond and Caspian: $50. All others: $100
If you need us to provide a kayaker the fee is $50.
All fees paid are non-refundable. We do allow participants to transfer their fees to another event in the same year or to apply 50% to an event in the following year, providing that the election is made more than 15 days prior to the event.
The Swims, with maps,
August 8, 2020 – Crystal Swim – We gather at Crystal Lake State Park, 96 Bellwater Ave, Barton, VT 05822. Map Here. We Swim east to the cliffs, hang a right, swim south to Moose Rock, cross the lake westerly to the railroad tracks, head north back to Crystal State Beach. 5 miles +/- in a spring-fed marvel. We offer shorter distances (swim to the cliffs and back to the beach) For a chart of the swim course, click here
August 9, 2020 – Island Pond Swim – We gather at Lakeside Park, 32 Mill Street, in Island Pond (Brighton) Map Here and leave from the Public Boat Dock, swim around the island, across the lake and back. Last year we saw a pair of bald eagles fishing. 4 miles +/- For a chart of the swim course, click here,
August 10, 2020 – Clubhous Swim (see below)
August 11, 2020 – Lake Seymour – We gather at the state beach at 6619, Vermont Route 111, Morgan, VT 05853 Map Here. We swim to Wolf Point, then on to the concrete barrier wall near the dam across the lake, and back to the beach. 6.2 miles +/- Marathon Swim #2 For a chart of the swim course, click here
August 12, 2020 – Echo Lake Swim – We park at 812-1042 East Echo Lake Road, West Charleston, VT 05872, Map Here and haul our kayaks down to the water. We launch from the Northwoods Stewardship Property and swim the perimeter once for 6 K or twice for 12 K . Echo Lake is the most pristine lake of the week, although Crystal, Caspian, Seymour, and Willoughby are right in the mix and Memphremagog, Island Pond, and Massawippi are not far behind. Marathon Swim #3 For a chart of the swim course, click here
August 13, 2020 – Lake Memphremagog – Clubhous Swim. We gather at The Clubhous, 649 Sunset Acres, Derby or Newport, VT The Map Leave from The Clubhous Beach, swim to the south of Bell Island and around Bell, Black and Cove Islands several times to get 6.7 or 10.1 miles. Marathon Swim # 4. For a chart of the swim course, click here
August 15, 2020 – Willoughby Swim – A no-nonsense, 5-mile swim on one of the most majestic and pristine, glacially carved lakes in the Americas. We gather at 8 am at North Beach on Willoughby Lake Road (Route 16) in the Town of Westmore. Map Here We determine the most likely wind direction during the swim. We try to swim with the wind and leave from North or South beach at 9 am. For a chart of the swim, click here
August 16 2020 – Caspian Swim – 3 miles to Bathtub Rock and back Caspian is a hidden jewel. Just a great way to end a great week of open water swimming. We start and finish at the public beach at Greensboro. 126 Beach Road, Greensboro, Vermont. The Map For a chart of the swim course, click here
Yackers and Kayak Rentals
All swimmers must be accompanied by an escort kayaker at each swim. We STRONGLY encourage swimmers to bring their own kayakers with them. We work hard to recruit and retain a group of battle hardened and dedicated kayakers who regularly offer to help out at our swims. We charge $50 for this service per day and in turn pay a stipend to these volunteers. We make them available on a first come first served. So, if you need us to provide a kayaker we encourage you to register sooner rather than later so you can be placed higher on the list.
We can provide rental kayaks (with two pfds, a paddle, and a whistle) at the beach on the morning of the swim for a fee of $50 for a day. Full weekly rental rates of $350 for all eight days are also available.
Safety Protocols Applicable to All Swims
All swimmers must be qualified for the distances they choose to swim. They must certify that they have swum at least 2/3 the distance of their swim in the open water and that they know of no medical reason why they should not undertake their swim.
The swim will not be conducted (or will be delayed) in the event of dense fog significantly impairing visibility or a serious risk of thunderstorm during the swim. We consult marine weather channels for the latest information. We also use radar apps on our cell phone.
Should there become a reason to evacuate the lake mid swim, we use three blasts of an air horn. We pull swimmers first and ask kayakers to head immediately thereafter to shore.
Every swimmer is accompanied by a kayaker who has an extra pfd. The kayakers serve to navigate and feed the swimmers and stay close to them at all times. They also serve as notice to boaters of a swimmer in the water. If a swimmer is distressed, and needs to be pulled, the kayakers are instructed to provide the swimmer with the extra pfd and signal for help from a patrol boat, using an air horn, and by waving a small American flag.. Swimmers and kayakers must be within 15 feet of each other at all times.
Every swim has at least one motor boat patrolling the course and watching for signals from kayakers. We enlist local support on each lake and maintain a ratio of about 1 motorized boat for every 10 swimmers. All kayakers are instructed to carry their cell phones in a zip lock plastic bag and have the cell phone number of the race director pre programmed.
The lakes we swim in the Northeast Kingdom have no commercial boat traffic and minimal recreational boat traffic. Water quality is excellent throughout and pristine in most of the lakes we swim.
Please review our Standards for Conducting Small Group, Socially Distanced Swims