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Sunday, September 8, 2013

Sarah Thomas, Double-Crosser Twice Over

31-year-old Sarah Thomas did it again.

After her successful Lake Tahoe two-way crossing in August, Thomas took on another two-way attempt in Lake Memphremagog that stretches from the U.S. state of Vermont to the Canadian province of Québec. She began her 50-mile unprecedented adventure on the Canadian side when she stepped into the water in Magog, Québec just after noon on September 6th.

Starting at 12:22 pm, she faced winds of more than 20 miles per hour and oncoming waves coming directly at her from the southwest.

As part of the In Search of Memphre competition, her plan was audacious. She planned to do one whole lap of Lake Memphremagog before joining the rest of the field at midnight on the other side of the lake. The three other marathon swimmers attempting a 25-mile one-way crossing from Newport to Magog included Humphrey Bohan, Bob Fernald, and Bethany Bosch. The trio were scheduled to depart from the American side and swim throughout the night and day on September 7th.

Although reality did not match the weather forecast which had called for light and favorable winds on Thomas' first leg of the swim, she dove into Lake Memphremagog and continue southward without a complaint or regret. "Over the course of the next 30 hours, Memphre threw some serious surprises in there with windy and wavy conditions throughout most of the swim," described race organizer Phil White. "Sarah just ate her alive, one powerful stroke after another and triumphed. As did Bethany Bosch, completing her 25 mile one way swim under windy condtions. Humphrey Bohan and Bob Fernald were valiant in the face of these wily and unpredicted conditions before they were forced to pull with injuries, including Bob's broken rib."

Thomas’s swim came right on the heels of her successful 44-mile, 22 hour 15 minute crossing of Lake Tahoe in August this summer. "We enjoyed some wonderful cooperation from the folks in Magog and Newport and the border officials on both sides of the border for their enthusiastic support of this international swim. There were 22 pilots and crew members who were out on the lake supporting these inspiring swimmers. Huge, huge thanks for the support that made these swims possible."

Sarah Thomas negative-split her double crossing: 15 hours 9 minute from Canada to the USA; 6 minutes out of the water in Newport; return from USA to Canada in 14 hours 46 minutes for a total time of 30 hours 1 minutes. Bethany Bosch completed her one-way crossing in 17 hours 11 minutes.

Copyright © 2013 by Open Water Swimming

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