Vera Rivard of Derby swims the English Channel

in Derby/Newport/News

DERBY — On Tuesday, 16-year-old Vera Rivard from Derby, Vermont, and Springfield, NH, finished her English Channel solo swim in 14 hours and 10 minutes.

She started out from Samphire Hoe beach in Dover England at 9:38 a.m. and set foot on Wissant Beach in France at 11:48 p.m.

“That was a swim of a lifetime,” Rivard said. “I have dreamt of this for as long as I can remember. It was better than I could have ever hoped. I am so grateful for this adventure.”

According to the CSA website, Vera is the 1676th person to make the crossing since 1875 and the second American to finish the swim in 2020.

Vera wore a UVAC swim cap to honor her late coach, Dorsi Raynolds of the Upper Valley Aquatic Center in Hartford, Vermont, where Vera has swum during the colder months since she was 5-years-old.

Vera’s first open water event was the 1-mile swim at Kingdom Swim on Lake Memphremagog in 2014, when she was 10.

She swam longer, further, and more each year at a variety of events hosted by Kingdom Games and the Northeast Kingdom Open Water Swimming Association.

In 2018, when she was 14, she completed the 25-mile international swim on Lake Memphremagog between Newport, Vermont, and Magog, Quebec.

Earlier this summer, Vera swam 28 miles around Manhattan Island, in a solo 20 Bridges Swim organized by New York Open Water.

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