NEK Swim Week
AUGUST 12 THRU AUGUST 20
8 LAKES – 45 MILES – 9 DAYS
“Magical” “Restorative” “Wonderful Water” “Great People”
Start Times: We gather at 8 am and start all swims at 9 am
Lunch: Sandwiches and fresh picked steamed corn are served at all swims. BYOB at all the beaches we use.
Fees; This year we have varied the fees depending on the day. Swim all 8 days for $650. This year, with the help of The Friends of NEKOWSA, we have been able to purchase some motor boats to add to the support we can bring to each lake. As a result, we have been able to double the caps we had previously posted. The revised caps are noted below with each swim.
The Swims, with maps, fees and caps for each:
August 12, 2017 – 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 Fee: $100. Cap: 30 swimmers
August 13, 2017 – 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 +/- Lunch sandwiches are offered on the beach with BYOB. For a chart of the swim course, click here, Fee: $50. Cap 30 swimmers.
August 14, 2017 – Lac Massawippi, Ayre’s Cliff, Quebec. We determine the direction of the swim at 4 pm on Tuesday the day before the swim. We swim the 9-mile length of the lake. Shorter distance swimmers will be ferried out in a patrol boat and dropped in the lake to swim their chosen distance to shore. If we swim North to South we leave from the bridge in North Hatley 56-68 Rue Main, North Hatley, QC J0B, Canada. If we swim South to North, we leave from the College Servite, 470 Main Rue, (Route 141) Ayer’s Cliff, QC J0B 1C0, Canada Here’s The Map to the lake. For the chart of the swim course click here Marathon Swim #1. After party at Auberge Ayer’s Cliff. Fee: $150. Cap 30 swimmers.
August 15, 2017 – 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 Fee: $125. Cap: 30 Swimmers.
August 16, 2017 – 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 Fee: $125. Cap 30 Swimmers
August 17, 2017 – Lake Memphremagog – Clubhous Border Slash Swim. We gather at The Clubhous, 649 Sunset Acres, Derby or Newport, VT The Map Leave from The Clubhous Beach, swim 2 miles west past the south end of Bell Island, turn north to the slash on the east side of Province Island, across to the slash on the East shore of the mainland, then south east around Eagle Point and back to The Clubhous beach. Marathon Swim # 4. After swim pot luck BBQ at The Clubhous. For a chart of the swim course, click here Fee: $125. Cap: 40 swimmers.
August 19, 2017 – Eighth Annual 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. This swim is a true race. Sandwiches at the White Caps Campground and all the steamed corn you can eat. For a chart of the swim, click here Fee: $150. Cap 50 swimmers.
August 20, 2017 – Caspian Swim – 3 miles to Bathtub Rock and back or 1.5 miles to The Rock, 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 Fee $50. Cap 40 swimmers
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 $150 for this service and in turn pay a stipend to these volunteers and offer them free lodging. 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 $65 for a day. Full weekly rental rates 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 and consult with Paul Monette, of Newport Vermont who has agreed to serve as meteorlogical adviser. 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, or waving a brightly colored shirt. 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. We obtain the cell phone number of every kayaker.
We have a life guard on the beach. We notify the nearest EMT services of the swims. And would use the 911 number in the event of an emergency.
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.