Sixteen-year-old, Vera Rivard of Springfield, New Hampshire and Derby, Vermont, successfully completed her English Channel attempt from Samphire Hoe Beach in Dover, England to Wissant Beach, France. This swim is one of the Triple Crowns of Marathon Open Water swimming. Start time was 9:38 a.m. and finish time was 11:48 p.m. Rivard finished with a time of 14 hours and 10 minutes.
Rivard was assisted by the boat Rowena, Pilot Peter Reed, second Pilot Peter Reed Jr. and official observer Aaron Reed from the CSA (Channel Swimming Association.) The boat crew included Vera’s mother, Darcie DeBlois-Rivard, and her 13-year-old sister Margaret Rivard. Conditions were a bit rough with air temperature of 57.9F, sea temperature of 63.5F, wind speed of 9 knots, and wind direction from the west 270°.
According to the CSA website Vera is the 1,676th person to make the crossing since 1875 the and second American to finish the swim in 2020. Vera wore a UVAC swim cap to honor her late coach, Dorsi Raynolds. “That was a swim of a lifetime. I have dreamt 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,” said Rivard after the swim.
When she isn’t swimming in local lakes, Vera trains with the Upper Valley Aquatics Center in White River Junction, Vermont.