Simon Wignall, Julie Dansereau Win Peaks To Portland

Courtesy of Pat Gallant-Charette in Casco Bay, Maine.

Saturday’s 33rd annual 2.4-mile Peaks to Portland swim held in scenic Casco Bay under sunny skies.

363 swimmers participated with only a handful of swimmers in the non-wetsuit (bioprene) division. 9 swimmers were pulled from the 58ºF (14ºC) water due to difficulty with hypothermia.

The winner of the men’s non-wetsuit division was Simon Wignall of Falmouth, Maine with a time of 46:48.4. Julie Peterson Dansereau of Windham, Maine won the women’s division in 49:28.8.

Many swimmers had difficulty with the chilly waters. George Hunihan (non-wetsuit) of Milford, Connecticut is an English Channel swimmer who attempted to swim a two-way from Portland to Peaks Island then back to Portland. But after swimming to Peaks Island, he was feeling the effects of 58ºF and called it a day.

Many swimmers were surprised at the cold water conditions. Sarah Charette swam the Peaks for the first time, wearing a wetsuit. “I never would have made it to the finish line if it wasn’t for wearing a wetsuit.” Veteran open water swimmer Ellen Shockro was pulled due to hypothermia, but the host YMCA was well-prepared to treat swimmers with hypothermia. “During my swim, I heard several whistles being blown from kayakers to alert officials that a swimmer was in distress,” recalls Pat Gallant-Charette.

Scott Yeoman of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania won the men’s wetsuit division with and the winner of the Women’s wetsuit division was Cheryl Daly of Maine winning the women’s division.

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