On Saturday, July 21st, 317 swimmers dove in and swam 2.4 miles from Peaks Island to Portland’s East End Beach, and our own Saer Huston was one of them.
The Peaks to Portland Swim is an annual fundraiser for the Cumberland County YMCA. Proceeds from the race go toward the Y’s financial assistance program, helping to ensure that they can continue to make YMCA programs and services accessible to all. This year, the swim brought in $26,000 for the Y.
The swim is open to people ages 16 and older with a variety of fitness levels and competitive experiences. The only requirement is that you must be able to swim 1 mile in 45 minutes or less.
This was Saers first year as a Peaks to Portland swimmer, “Growing up in Portland and loving all aspects of the water – surfing, paddle boarding, swimming, sailing – I thought it would be a really cool event to be part of.”
He finished the 2.4 miles in an impressive 54:35 minutes. He placed 37thoverall, and 9thin his division of 30-35 year-old males.
He describes the event, “There were 317 swimmers and 317 support boats (each swimmer has a support person in a kayak or other small craft to follow them through the entire swim) and a couple dozen spectator boats making for a ton of people in the water. It looked like some sort of wildebeest migration!”
(Photo courtesy of The Forecaster)
While we all know the ocean waters of Maine’s coast are cold, the water temp on Saturday was 66°F, which is relatively warm. The swimmers couldn’t have asked for better weather: sunny, warm, calm.
“Genell (Saers wife) was my support boat person, one of perhaps 4 stand-up paddle boarders. In my opinion, she was the best support boat out there.”
“It was super impressive seeing all ages, male and female, just doing an amazing job with a very long, long swim. This was my first year swimming, but it won’t be my last.”