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Bob Burrow

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English Channel 2017

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Bob Burrow

It’s likely a wrap for the open water season of 2017.  A Facebook posting by my friend Maura of a casual swim in Southie with a handful of hardy L Street swimmers got me back in open water. It was my first time in open water since September 30th.

Walking to the Bath House bundled up in a coat and a winter hat it made me wonder if this was going to be a pleasant swim or not.  It was 55 degrees outside but with the wind off the water it felt cooler.


I was bit late so I my friends had gathered at the women’s fence and were already getting in the water.  I slowly waded into the water and thought, what the heck am I doing. I almost turned around and went back in but that would have been a weenie thing to do and beside I wanted to say hi to Maura. The only way I was going to do that was by swimming out to her.

Eventually, I made it into the water and swam to catch up to the group. I swam with my head up for a bit and then on my back and finally I was somewhat acclimated. The goal was to swim to the flag pole at the South Boston Yacht Club and back. We made it to the flag pole and the swim back we were working against the tide so it was a bit of an effort along with the cold water.  We made it back to the Bath House and walking back to the locker room I could see my skin was pretty red and with the blowing wind I knew the shakes weren’t too far away.  A sauna, a steam and a hot shower and I was in good shape and felt pretty accomplished in that weird way. Someone said the water was 52 or 53 degrees. Pretty cold but not super horrible. Clearly, I wasn’t acclimatized to the cold like before.

To confirm the finality of the open water season I saw on Facebook pictures of the the Channel Swimming Association banquet in Dover, England from night before. One of the pics was a list of all the trophy winners. Your blogger, was one of them. I won, the Robert Lyle Memorial Trophy for the Fastest American Swimmer. How about that?  I thought that was the case but it was nice to have it confirmed.


Coach Chloe also had her awards banquet in Melbourne, Australia for her swimmers this weekend too.  She sent to me a trophy, a hand blown glass orb with a jelly fish on it with a nice inscription.  It sits proudly on the mantle.


The swim at Southie, the Robert Lyle trophy and Chloe’s trophy all in the same weekend clearly says it is the end of the 2017 open water season in New England, for me, at least!

Looking forward to spring 2018 to jumping back in at Southie. *

*save a New Years Polar Bear swim or if I succumb to peer pressure before the spring.

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