With calm seas, high tide, a touch of cloud cover and many helping hands, the 34th Annual Point-to-Point Compo Beach Swim was a tremendous success.
Swimmers came from all over New England, and even as far as Hawaii, to compete in the Family Y’s 1-mile open-water swim, held Sunday morning. Three “waves” of swimmers set off from the high-tide mark near the cannons in five-minute intervals to swim out to a large orange buoy near the eastern edge of Westport’s crescent-shaped beach and back to the finish line. (For complete results, click here.)
For some of our long-distance swimmers — especially the youngsters competing in the Y’s inaugural Kids’ Swim, sponsored by First County Bank — this was their first attempt at going “Point to Point.”
For others, this year’s race was part of a tradition that stretches back years, even decades. As local writer Mike Lauterborn reported for the Westport News:
Among participants, there were veterans with memories of earlier swims.
“The last time I did this was in 1999,” said Maury Wind of Westport. “Life interrupted. I’m extremely excited to be back, and a little nervous. I will finish upright and with dignity.”
Ann Louise Onton of Woodbridge said she first swam the race in 1995. “I’ve done it every year except two. I have a vascular leg ulcer and am not really supposed to get my leg wet, but I’m very committed to participating in this race, for the challenge and the cause. I’m a competition junkie and also it’s a great opportunity to catch up with old friends.”
Beating Onton’s track record was Bernie FitzGerald Jr. of Port Washington, N.Y. “This is my 19th year participating,” he said. “My first time was 1993, when I had a hip replacement. The Y encouraged me to participate as a physical and mental therapy. I use the race as a measure of my rehabilitation and mark my progress.”
Kudos to all our swimmers who competed this year, and we can’t wait to continue the tradition next year–
Special thanks to Mark Sedlak and Nicole Turechek, our event coordinators, and all of our sponsors: Fairfield County Bank, Stew Leonard’s, Cohen & Wolf and First County Bank. Their support and all other proceeds from Point to Point go back to our community to help those in need, as part of the Family Y’s annual Strong Kids Campaign.
Enjoy more photo highlights from the 2012 Point-to-Point Compo Beach Swim with the gallery below.