Hardy swimmers take pre-Tropical Storm Irene dip in Penobscot BayTwenty-eight participate in sixth Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse Swim
Rockland — While many coastal Maine residents were filling bathtubs Aug. 27 in advance of Hurricane Irene, 28 hardy souls plunged into a much larger tub of water, namely the Atlantic Ocean and specifically Rockland Harbor in Penobscot Bay, for the sixth annual Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse Swim.
Eighteen swimmers completed one circuit alongside the Breakwater, around the lighthouse, around the turnaround buoy, and back for 1.6 miles, while 10 swimmers repeated that navigation for 3.2 miles.
Most swimmers wore wetsuits in the 60-degree water. A fewer number, some say the "purists," said local swimmer Kristi Paynayotoff, swam the 1.6-mile circuit in a regular swimsuit, and again, only Elaine Howley of Waltham, Mass., the "New England Goddess of Open Water Swimming," Paynayotoff said, swam the 3.2 miles without a wetsuit.
In recent years, Howley has completed the triple crown of open water swims: The English Channel, The Catalina Island swim and the swim around Manhattan Island, Paynayotoff said.
Sam Manhart, teacher and swim coach at Hampden Academy, set a course record in the 3.2-mile swim. Additionally, John Gale of Portland has competed in all six events. There were three division course records set.
The Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse Swim is sanctioned by U.S. Masters Swimming, which requires adherence to strict safety guidelines, Paynayotoff said.
"The considerable work to stage this event safely was done by boat owner-operator George Sayre, kayakers who served as marshals/spotters: Ben Fuller and Cheryl Levin of Maine Sport Kayak Tours, Bill Jones of Hope, George Haselton of Rockport, Kathy Kandziolka of Camden, Anita Scott-Brosius of Camden, Chris Sprague of Camden, Alan Su of Cambridge, Mass. and Jeff Uecker of Oakland; Penobscot Bay YMCA lifeguards; certified swim official Mary Thompson; and, of course, event directors Doug and Tamao Roth," Paynayotoff said.
The individual results from the swim included:
Women's 1.6-mile wetsuit — 1, Christine Pasterczyk, 43:58; 2, Betsy McGrail, 52:58; and 3, Panayotoff, 1:01:48.
Women's 1.6-mile non-wetsuit —1, Susan Knight, 39:27 (course record); and 2, Kathy McGuire, 1:08:55.
Men's 1.6-mile wetsuit — 1, Simon Wignal, 35:35 (course record); 2, Mike LePage, 37:37; 3, Peter Casares, 38:04; 4, John Shumadine, 38:28; 5, Drew Darling, 42.45; 6, Manuel Sone, 43:12; 7, John Shankweiler, 43:25; 8, Thomas Page, 44:15; 9, Gale, 45:50; 10, Derek Cerjanec, 46:50; 11, Doug Breunig, 48:12; and 12, Brian Furtak, 1:00:50.
Men's 1.6-mile non-wetsuit — 1, Joeseph Zrioka, 43:33.
Women's 3.2-mile wetsuit — 1, Ellen Argo, 1:22:2; 2, Bridget Convey, 1:27:27; 3, Anne Uecker, 1:32:35; and 4, April Childs, 1:36:05.
Women's 3.2-mile non-wetsuit — 1, Howley, 1:31:4.
Men's 3.2-mile wetsuit — 1, Manhart, 1:08:35 (course record); 2, Donald Sorterup, 1:32:2; 3, Christopher Lynch, 1:34:55; 4, David Backer, 1:35:15; and 5, Doug Bruns, 1:45:55.
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