Thursday, October 30, 2008

Swimming from the U.S. to Canada

One of the great races on the pro FINA Open Water Swimming Grand Prix circuit with a long, proud history is the Traversee Internationale du Lac Memphremagog.

The race, which used to start in the city of Newport in the state of Vermont (USA) and head 34K north across the U.S.-Canadian border to finish in Magog, Canada, is now one large loop course solely inside Quebec.

The 2008 Traversee Internationale du Lac Memphremagog was the 30th edition of the race. Petar Stoychev handily won, finishing about a minute ahead of Mazen Aziz of Egypt. Stefanie Biller of Germany also won the women’s race in a dominant fashion over Britta Kamrau.

The former cross-border swim has occasionally created unusual situations for the swimmers. Scenes of Vermont reported that in the 2003 race, Mohammed Hassan from Egypt had taken three months to obtain a visa to enter the U.S. for the competition.

But, the Department of Homeland Security told Hassan that his name was on an FBI list. Because of this, Hassan would not be allowed to swim out of the United States and into Canada, but he could leave by any land exit point. The ruling was resolved when the Department of Homeland Security said Hassan could swim across the border as long as he agreed to report back to a U.S. border as soon as the race was over...which is what he did.

Photos from Scenes of Vermont.

Copyright © 2008 by World Open Water Swimming Association


Anonymous said...


one notice. The race from the US to canada was the last time in 2003. Because of the situation you explained they chanced the route. Now its "only" a 34km loop starting and finishing in the beautiful city of Magog.

Steven Munatones said...

I sincerely apologize for this mistake. When I spoke with the swimmers who recently did the swim, they did not inform me of this change. I will correct. When I swam in the 1984 Magog race, it was a real pleasure to cross the US-Canada border while swimming. Thank you very much for the correction and comment.

Anonymous said...

No problem. I swam there 3 times now and never crossed the border :)
That´s why I noticed this.