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THE MONSTER WITHIN AND WITHOUT

What lies beneath and ahead for a storied Canadian-American swim. By Elaine K Howley

It’s been said that there are no new ideas in literature, and the same can probably be said for marathon swimming. In this series, we look into the history of some lesser known events and their modern incarnations.

Historical photos courtesy of William Connor. Modern images by Phil White

1 Billy Connor, age 19, poses with his mother and various onlookers before starting his 1955 swim.

Open water swimmers are accustomed to interacting with wildlife from time to time. Jellyfish, birds, seals, whales, and on occasion, sharks, may drop in to see what all the fuss is about as a human attempts to cross a body of water. What most of us don’t expect to encounter is a cryptid, a pseudoscientific term for creatures that are presumed extinct or imaginary. But that’s exactly what happened to Billy Connor when he made the first crossing of the 25-mile length of Lake Memphremagog between the northern corner of the US state of Vermont and southern Quebec in Canada.

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About Outdoor Swimmer

Welcome to the first issue of Outdoor Swimmer! We are dedicated to providing inspiration and information for people who swim outdoors – and for people who want to swim outdoors but haven’t yet quite plucked up enough courage to escape the confines of the pool. If you were a reader of H2Open, the former name of Outdoor Swimmer, we hope you will be pleased with the changes we have made. But don’t worry, we haven’t changed radically! We still have all the same great features we had before, but the changes we have made are those that were suggested by you in our reader survey. We will focus more on the social aspects of outdoor swimming and increase our coverage of wild swimming, as well as expanding our training section to include distance-specific plans to help you reach your swimming goals. We are also thrilled to have joined forces with the Outdoor Swimming Society to bring you reviews of all the best kit for outdoor swimmers. This issue we look at goggles, next month we will be reviewing wetsuits. Let us know what you think of the changes, and what you would like to see more (or less) of in Outdoor Swimmer. Enjoy the magazine and happy swimming. Jonathan Cowie Editor
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