2012 Swim Schedule

Well, I’ve planned a season of mostly under the radar swims, but I’m still quite excited to explore some new venues, and (hopefully) revive some old ones.

My OW season opened in Arizona with invitations from Kent Nicholas and Gia Kolack to swim part of each of their lake series swims. Though there is a lot of overlap in each of their visions, each series is quite different and offers unique challenges. I hope they both are inspired to turn these into annual events.

Gia’s series consists of 6 lakes; 10 miles in each lake. The courses were marked out by GPS. From the starting point, the support boat would cruise out 5 miles and drop anchor. Swimmers turned around the boat and headed back to the starting point. Janet and I joined Gia for Roosevelt Lake on May 6th. It was the third or fourth lake in her 6 x 10 mile series.

On May 4th and 5th, we swam with Kent in Saguaro Lake and Canyon Lake. These courses were determined by the lakes themselves, and we swam the lengths… dam to dam. the S.C.A.R challenge continued on to Lake Apache, and will conclude with a night swim at Lake Roosevelt.

I’ve been quite busy planning events in the Hudson, so haven’t gotten in any long swims since… a broken rib (slipped on the trail to Saguaro Lake) had me on the sidelines a bit as well, but… the show must go on!

2012 Swim Schedule

May 4th Saguaro Lake, Arizona +/- 9.5 miles
May 5th Canyon Lake, Arizona +/- 9 miles
May 6th Lake Roosevelt, Arizona 10 miles
June 30th 8 Bridges Stage 5, Hudson River 19.8 miles
July 21 La Traversee du Lac St Jean, Quebec 32k
July 28-29 Lake Inari, Finland 20k
August 4 Vidostern, Sweden 21k
August 21-23 Cape Cod Bay, MA 20 miles
???Sept 9 Memphre, Newport, VT 25 miles Committed
???Oct ??????????????? (a few ideas in the works)


Its not news that I love the idea of consecutive stages, so I was very excited to learn from the forum’s very own PWB that an Arizona swimmer, Kent Nicholas, was putting together a 4 lake multi day event just a short distance from Phoenix. Kent successfully crossed the Catalina Channel last year and will be coming east a couple of times this season to tackle MIMS and Kingdom.

The series is S.C.A.R. and the four lakes are Saguaro, Canyon, Apache, and Roosevelt.
Today we swam Saguaro dam to dam… perhaps 9 miles. Tomorrow we swim Canyon.

A small group of swimmers (8), we met up with each other, our in-water support (boats and kayakers) and ground support (vehicle jugglers) at 5:00 AM. The warm up would be a challenging hike down a rugged trail with kayaks, and our gear in flip-flops (yes, we were warned that more substantial footwear would be a good idea).

The juxtaposition of extreme desert flora surrounding abrasive rocks with the cool water (65 degrees at the start) creates a dramatic landscape, though not entirely natural. This series of lakes are actually dammed sections of the Salt River.

We had to swim east for about 500 yards to touch the buoy line to start. Once there, we formed our little tri-pods (heh heh…) of 2 swimmers and 1 kayaker.

Young Greyhound Pod
Gordon Smith
Shauna Nelson
James Sieffert

Wise Greyhound Pod
Kurt Dickson
Patrick Brundage
Wayne Rich

Skyscraper Pod
David Barra
Janet Harris
Jason Walters

Westwood Warrior Pod
Meg Rich- Z
Kent Nicholas
Candy Nicholas

Rover Kayaker:
Scott Mara

Some adjustments were made with kayaker assignments and we were off… start time about 7:30.

I liked the sound of “skyscraper pod”, even though the tallest building in the nearest town to my High Falls residence is only 6 stories.

The banks of the river/lake are lined with sage and saguaro cacti that alternate between open areas and tall canyon walls rising straight out of the water. The rugged beauty of this lake is breathtaking, and I was at times distracted… wanting to focus my attention on one feature or another. Still, Janet and I podded well together, stopping briefly every 30 minutes for a feed.

The Greyhounds (both young and wise) didn’t disappoint, and were out of our sight after about an hour. I don’t know about the young’uns, but for the Wise Pod; this was their longest OW swim ever, by a fair amount. I feel honored to have been able to share the lake with these USMS Stars for this occasion!

…..Canyon tomorrow!