Paul Asmuth Inducted In Vermont Open Water Swimming Hall of Fame

Paul Asmuth Inducted In Vermont Open Water Swimming Hall of Fame

Courtesy of Charlotte Brynn, Vermont Open Water Swimming Hall of Fame.

Paul Asmuth dominated the early years of crossing Lake Memphregog, just one of the many reasons for being inducted in the Vermont Open Water Swimming Hall of Fame in its Class of 2020.

Charlotte Brynn, chairperson of the Vermont Open Water Swimming Hall of Fame, explains the honor, “In 1979, Lake Memphremagog became a world-renowned venue of the professional open water swim race La Traversee Internationale du Lac Memphremagog, spanning 25 miles between Newport, Vermont in the U.S. and Magog, Québec, Canada. During the years 1979 through 2003 (after which it was run exclusively in Québec between Magog and Georgeville and back, until it closed down in 2016), the event attracted some of the finest open water marathon swimmers from around the world and brought marathon open water swimming to Vermont.

It is an iconic and storied swim. La Traversée that inspired the creation of Kingdom Swim in Vermont in 2009, an amateur swim which has become the flagship event for dozens of open water swims in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont, including In Search of Memphre, an amateur length of Lake Memphremagog.

In 2018, the Vermont Open Water Swimming Hall of Fame recognized and inducted Shelley Taylor-Smith one of the most successful, fiery, and world-famous swimmers in La Traversee history. She holds the women’s record of 8 hours 37 minutes 46 seconds which she set in 1994. This year, Paul Asmuth’s powerful presence in the early days of this race helped define this event and lake Memphremagog as one of the world’s most prestigious open water races and open water swimming venues.

Asmuth dominated La Traversée during the early days. Winning the second year and finishing first in 6 out of 7 swims between 1980 and 1986. Setting the course records in many of these years and in 1985 at 8 hours 29 minutes 31 seconds.

In addition to his dominant presence in Vermont, Paul ascended on the world scene in the 1980’s becoming the most dominant racer on the professional circuit and one of the world’s greatest professional marathon swimmers. He won the 23-mile Around the Island Swim in Atlantic City an unprecedented eight times. He has a record six wins in the Traversée Memphrémagog in Canada, holding the record from 1980 to 1994.

Paul won the granddaddy of marathon swims, the lac St. Jean crossing in Roberval, Quebec two times at 21 miles and once at 40 miles setting a record of 17 hours 6 minutes in water under 15°C water. He won the 20-mile Capri-Napoli Swim three times and held the record at 6 hours 35 minutes. He won four times and set the course record for the 14-mile Les Quatorze Mille de Paspebiac Swim at 5 hours 35 minutes. All totaled, he has seven World Professional Marathon Swimming Federation titles. His solo swims include three English Channel crossings including the men’s record (8 hours 12 minutes), the only swimmer to complete the 31-mile Nantucket to Cape Cod in Massachusetts and the first person under seven hours around the 28-mile Manhattan Island Marathon Swim.

Brynn announced Asmuth along with the other Class of 2020 inductees in the Vermont Open Water Swimming Hall Of Fame.  “The Vermont Open Water Swimming Hall of Fame was established in 2016 and recognizes those Vermonters and those with substantial connections to Vermont who have achieved greatness in the open water and those who make significant , awe-inspiring contributions to their success.

The New England State of Vermont is situated in the northeast corner of USA and is one of the most  tranquil and scenic states, boasting many pristine lakes that range in both size and elevation. Much of the appeal is the crystal clear waters, breathtaking mountains, wide open spaces, playful lakes and wonderful open water swimming community which consists of homegrown Vermonters  and those with significant ties to Vermont. It is an honor to congratulate and welcome our new 2020  inductees.

We will be hosting an induction ceremony on July 23rd at Jaspers in Newport, Vermont.  On July 24th, the Kingdom Games will host the 2021 Kingdom Swim with 1-, 3-, 6-, and 10-mile events and a 25 km course held in the magical waters of Lake Memphremagog.”

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Steven Munatones