Amy Craigen, Polly Madding, Laurie Craigen Finish Clubhous Swim Series

Amy Craigen, Polly Madding, Laurie Craigen Finish Clubhous Swim Series

The Saturday Clubhous Swim Series offers timed and untimed swims of 2-, 3.3-, 4-, 6.5- and 10.1-mile courses in Lake Memphremagog, Vermont under the direction of NEKOWSA founder Phil White.  Last month, Amy Craigen, Polly Madding, and Laurie Craigen finished their solo marathon swims.

On the August 4th, 42-year-old Amy Craigen [shown above] and 41-year-old Polly Madding, swam 10.1 miles in Derby Bay on Lake Memphremagog in 8 hours 31 minutes and 6 hours 6 minutes respectively.

Both women started from the Clubhous Marina at 9:01 am, swam around Bell, Black and Cove Islands four-and-a-half times before returning to the Clubhous Marina to clear the 68 to 70°F water.  Escort yacking was Kathleene Callicott while Phil White and Laurie Craigen provided boat support in Django.

Both swims were undertaken during the Saturday Clubhous Swim Series which offers timed and untimed swims of 2-, 3.3-, 4-, 6.5- and 10.1-mile distances.  

The next day, 44-year-old Laurie Craigen switched from the escort boat to the water and swam the 15-mile Border Bumper course in Newport and Derby Bays on Lake Memphremagog.  She completed the swim in 7 hours 27 minutes, starting at 6:50 am from the Clubhous Marina, touching the two green buoys at the Bluffs, The EastSide Restaurant Marital Dock, the Northern Star, the red buoy at Farrants Point, the lighthouse, and the rock at the Canadian border slash on the west side of the lake before returning just north of Black Island and then back to the Clubhous Marina, clearing the water at 2:17 pm. She was escorted on the swim by White, piloting Django, and crew member, Polly Madding.

White recalls, “Some feisty 10 to 15 mile an hour winds picked up from the south during the last 10 miles of her swim. Swimming across the wind during the last third of the swim, forced Laurie to dig deep and find a bit of the monster within.  That rascally Kiwi, Charlotte Brynn with Pam Ladds at the yack, came out to greet her and chased her for three miles from the lighthouse to the border.  They never got closer than about 200 yards.  Having them at her tail caused Laurie to keep her pace up.  As she crossed from the border to Black Island, Laurie got seasick from the waves and vomited in the lee of Black Island.  Just then we spotted Team Rivard coming out to greet us in three kayaks led by Darcie DeBlois-Rivard, Margaret and her boyfriend Cody, with Vera in the water, her pink cap bobbing happily in the waves. Vera buddy-swam with Laurie for the last 1 and a quarter mile.”

Laurie Craigen in the Border Bumper
Laurie Craigen finishing the Border Bumper

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Steven Munatones