DOVER, England — On Tuesday, Sept. 1, 16-year-old Vera Rivard of Springfield (N.H.) and Derby, Vt., successfully completed one of the Triple Crowns of Marathon Open Water swimming: a crossing of the English Channel from Samphire Hoe Beach in Dover, England, to Wissant Beach, France. Her start time (local) was 9:38 a.m. and her finish time was 11:48 p.m. Rivard finished with a time of 14 hours, 10 minutes.
Rivard was assisted by the boat The Rowena, Pilot Peter Reed, 2nd Pilot Peter Reed Jr. and official observer, Aaron Reed, of the Channel Swimming Association (CSA). Conditions were an air temperature of 57.9 degrees F, sea temperature of 63.5 degrees F and a wind speed of 9 knots, with wind direction from the west.
According to the CSA website, Rivard is the 1,676th person to make the crossing since 1875 and the second American to finish the swim in 2020. Vera wore an Upper Valley Aquatics Center swim cap to honor her late coach, Dorsi Raynolds.
“That was a swim of a lifetime,” said Rivard after the swim. “I have dreamed of this for as long as I can remember. It was better than I could have ever hoped. I am so grateful for this adventure.”
Rivard trains with the Upper Valley Aquatics Center in White River Junction, Vt.