Ideal conditions for Save the Bay swimmers
With three days of high winds before Saturday's swim, it was a pleasant surprise for the swimmers to wake up to clear skies and calm seas.
The swim is the largest fundraiser of the year for Save the Bay. The group raised a record amount of money this year. The annual event usually closes out at 450 swimmers registered, but not all swimmers participate the day of the swim.
Islander Patrice Kilroy completed her fifth swim with her best time. "The conditions were so good that when I finished I was ready to turn around and go back to Newport. Last year was unbelievable, it was very windy and choppy and you would swim and felt like you were going nowhere. You could hardly get your arms over the waves."
The 32nd annual 1.7-mile annual swim started at the Naval War College in Newport and ended at Potter's Cove in Jamestown. Out of 413 swimmers, 11 were from Jamestown, including first time swimmer Eric Desvaux. "It was flat calm and a perfect day. Everything went really smoothly and I guess the conditions were the best they have ever been. I was shooting to do 50 minutes and I did 48:31 so it was better than I expected," he said.
The top finisher from Jamestown was first-time participant Andrew Kallfelz, who completed the Swim in 43:50 for 26th place. "It was almost like swimming in a pool," he said. Kallfelz was a swimmer in high school and recently began swimming again at the YMCA in Middletown and swam a few times at Mackerel Cove. This was his first open water swim/race. "Any time I am in town I will do the swim again," said Kallfelz.
The top female finisher from Jamestown was Jean Lambert who practices with the Rams Masters Team at St. Georges in Middletown. For her seventh swim Lambert was very happy with her time of 48:41. "The conditions really could not have been any better," she said. According to Lambert, she has been a lap swimmer for many years for exercise and because she enjoyed it. Her technique has improved swimming for the Masters Team and she credits her coach there for helping her achieve her personal best time in the Save the Bay Swim.
Most participants mixed practice in the pool and the open water to prepare for the Swim. Desvaux swims regularly at the Newport Athletic Club and did his open water swims at Second Beach and Mackerel Cove
Kilroy practiced swimming at Mackerel Cove with Lambert on a few occasions and was happy with her time of 56:32 beating last year's time by almost 20 minutes. Kilroy said, "I would recommend to anybody that enjoys swimming to get out there and train and do it. Save the Bay does a great job and we are lucky to be able to swim in such clean water."
Other Jamestown residents who participated in the Swim and their times are Michael Coletta 1:29.05, Kendra Davis 1:08.35., Edward Flanagan 1:07.19, Anne Lane 1:06.30, Dennis Nixon 1:17.54, Andrea Silvia 1:23.17, and Onne van der Wal 52:54.