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Cross-border Cruising For Cryptozoological Creatures

Courtesy of Phil White, Lake Memphremagog, Vermont.

On Wednesday, July 18, 2018, seven marathon open water swimmers will gather to swim the 25-mile length of Lake Memphremagog, between Newport, Vermont, USA and Magog, Quebec, Canada.

In Search of Memphre is a 40.2 km (25-mile) cross-border marathon swim across Lake Memphremagog.

Phil White started the event on the 10th anniversary of 9/11 in order to promote a more open border with our Canadian friends, to search for the legendary cryptozoological creature, Memphré, and to do some good along the way.

Swimmer Scouts:
* 14-year-old Vera Rivard
* 57-year-old Eric Schall
* 41-year-old Mary Stella Stabinsky
* 37-year-old Sharessa Gutierrez
* 34-year-old Sandra Frimerman-Bergquist
* 69-year-old Dan Shub
* 28-year-old Cara Manlandro

White explains, “They are joined by 26 others in support of the swim, serving as escort and patrol boat pilots, crew, and ground personnel. They will depart at 5:00 am on July 18th and are expected to cross the border into Canada between 7 am and 8 am. Border crossing has been facilitated by Canadian law enforcement which has reviewed the roster of participants and pre-approved the crossing. United States Border officials have also been extremely helpful in facilitating crossings.

The 16-foot aluminum escort boats with caged propellers are rented from TriMemphre in Magog, Québec, Canada. Swimmers and crew will be shuttled back to Newport by Jay Peak which has supported this swim for many years. The City of Magog has been most gracious, arranging for use of the beach at Parc de le Baie de Magog for our landing and the docking of our boats overnight after the swim. The support of Community National Bank and RDI also helped to make this swim possible.

If successful, Rivard would be the youngest to swim the length of the lake and Shub would be the oldest. In 2018, we have at least 60 swimmers undertaking swims of various distances – from 10 km to 25 miles – that involve crossing the U.S. and Canadian border.”

This year’s class of Swimmer Scouts have dedicated their swims to the Asylum Seekers and are encouraging donations to the Asylum Seeker Advocacy Project. Several of the swimmers, their support, and their families come from backgrounds of seeking asylum in the United States from horrific and dangerous conditions in their nations of origin.

The swim is organized and supported by Kingdom Games which now hosts over 25 days of running, biking, swimming, and ice skating in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont and the Eastern Townships of Quebec. For more information, visit or contact Phil White at

Race Data: September 10th 2011

1. Elizabeth Fry 13 hours 25 minutes
2. Charlotte Brynn 14 hours 40 minutes
3. Greg O’Connor 17 hours 23 minutes
4. Elaine Kornblau Howley 17 hours 58 minutes

Race Data: September 10th 2012
1. David Dammerman 11 hours 27 minutes
2. Bill Shipp 12 hours 38 minutes
3. Lori Carena 15 hours 1 minute
4. Jennifer Dunton 15 hours 6 minutes

5. David Barra 15 hours 15 minutes
6. Aurora Gore 15 hours 45 minutes

Race Data: September 7th 2013
1. Sarah Thomas 14 hours 46 minutes (followed by a 15 hour 9 minute return leg for a 30 hour 1 minute two-way crossing)

2. Bethany Bosch 17 hours 11 minutes

Race Data: September 7th 2014
1. Grace van der Byl 11 hours 33 minutes
2. David Uprichard 15 hours 59 minutes
3. Paula Yankauskas 17 hours 59 minutes

Race Data: September 5th 2015
1. Katie Benoit 15 hours 25 minutes
2. Amanda Hunt 17 hours 8 minutes

Race Data: September 11th 2016
1. Mark Smitherman 13 hours 46 minutes

Race Data: September 11th 2017
1. Cindy Werhane 13 hours 17 minutes
2. John Batchelder 17 hours 9 minutes
3. Kate Howell 17 hours 47 minutes

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