LAKE MEMPHREMAGOG – On July 16
, 2019, three ultra-marathon open water swimmers each completed the 25-mile international swim between Newport, Vermont and Magog, Quebec. Mark Sheridan, 45, of Sevenoaks, United Kingdom, Natalie Lang, 42 of Watertown, Massachusetts, and Jim Loreto, 46, of Bethesda, Maryland entered the water at 4:53 am at the EastSide Restaurant just as daylight arrived. They swam north out of Newport Bay with the benefit of light winds 4 to 5 mph from the SSW and water temperatures consistently at 72 F all along the lake throughout the day. Air temperatures were in the mid-fifties at the start and reaching the high 70’s during the day. At times winds picked up to about 10 mph creating 1-foot waves.
Sheridan was the first to exit the water at Parc de Baie-du-Magog with a time of 13 hrs and 8 minutes becoming the first Brit to complete this amateur swim since it was started in 2011. Sheridan is a Triple Crowner, having swum the English Channel, Around Manhattan (20 Bridges) and Catalina. He has served as President of the British Long Distance Swimming Association and organizes the Champion of Champions swim in Great Britain. He was escorted up the lake by Phil White of Derby, VT and Teresa Gerade of Newport, VT in Django, a 16-foot hand-made wooden dory.
Loreto exited 38 minutes later, with a time of 13 hrs and 46 minutes. He too is a Triple Crowner. He has been a Kingdom Swimmer since 2015 when he did the 10-mile swim at Kingdom Swim and 2016 when he swam the 25 km Border Buster as well as Willoughby, Echo, Seymour, and the Clubhous Swims as part of NEK Swim Week. He was escorted by Don Houghton, Jr. of Craftsbury, VT, Pam Ladds of Newport, VT, and Michel Gagne, of Levis, QC in the pontoon boat, Lucky, a recent acquisition of Kingdom Games.
Lang finished strong, just five minutes later, with a time of 13 hrs and 51 minutes. This was the longest swim of her life. She discovered us through the Even Up Triathlon series. She returned to swim the 3-mile Caspian swim in 2015 and then participated in the NEK Swim Week in 2016, 2017, and 2018. When she decided to go long, she enlisted Charlotte Brynn, Executive Director of the Swimming Hole in Stowe, as her coach and mentor. She was escorted by Rob Andersen of Nantucket, MA and Newport, VT, Gordon Lang, of Watertown, MA (her husband), Eric Dearing of Arlington, MA, and Charlotte, Brynn, of Stowe, VT in Sweatpea, a pontoon boat leant to us by Peggy Hollander, of Newport Center, VT
Providing beach support in Magog were Peter and Geneve Channell, of Stanstead, QC. The City of Magog provided the landing site and overnight docking for our boats after the swim.
In completing their swims, they became 37
, and 39
amateurs to complete
In Search of Memphre
since the swim was founded in 2011 by Elaine Kornbau Howley and Phil White, with the support of Barbara Malloy, Vermont’s 1
Lady Dracontologist, who has chronicled the many sightings of Memphre for decades. The purpose of the swim has been to re-open the lake to international swimming, to promote a more open border, to seek out our swimmer friendly but elusive lake creature, Memphre, and to do some good as we go.
We are proud to have had the British dignitary, Mark Sheridan, join the ranks of Swimmer Scouts. We are equally proud to be such an integral part of the journeys of Loreto and Lang. This expedition was a sweet one from start to finish. Memphre smiled on this group of Swimmer Scouts with fair weather, warm water, and a tail wind.
In Search of Memphre is organized by
and sanctioned by the Northeast Kingdom Open Water Swimming Association. Kingdom Games now hosts over 25 days of running, biking, and swimming events in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont and the Eastern Townships of Quebec.