Vermont woman: Fastest & oldest to swim Lake George

Charlotte Brynn, a Stowe, Vermont resident and New Zealand native, swam Lake George in record time on Aug. 18-19.

Charlotte Brynn, age 54, on ‘Diane’s Rock’ in Ticonderoga — It is said to be the starting point from which Diane Struble launched her historic swim in August 1958. Charlotte became the fastest person to swim Lake George on August 18. Photo from the Lake George Open Swim Facebook page.

She “completed the 52-kilometer length (32 miles), Ticonderoga to Lake George Village, in 17 hours, 58 minutes (pending ratification),” said the Marathon Swimmers Federation.

It said it’s nearly an hour faster than the previous best of 18 hours, 49 minutes, set by David Dammerman in June 2016.

It said Ms. Brynn, 54, is also the oldest person to successfully complete the swim.

It comes 62 years “after Diane Struble pioneered the route, the first person to swim the length, in 35 hours 30 minutes in August 1958,” said the Federation. “Congratulations to Charlotte and team!”

Ms. Brynn began from Diane’s Rock near Ticonderoga — named for the late Ms. Struble — on Tuesday, Aug. 18, at around 8:44 p.m.

“I’ve been preparing for about six months,” Brynn told her local television station, WCAX in Vermont.

The station said, “Her five-person crew told her she was on the men’s and women’s speed record pace with about 6.5 miles to go, but they didn’t tell her she set the record until 10 minutes after finishing.”

“And I said, ‘Shut up!’” Ms. Brynn said.

Every half hour, the report said, crew members shouted a word of encouragement: “determination,” “desire,” “destiny.”

“That single word would allow me just to draw strength and focus and get me through the next 30 minutes,” Ms. Brynn was quoted. “For me to get out, spend just under 18 hours in the water or the soothing feeling of it — it was just terrific and it was great to have a goal and a focus.”

Diane Struble book & 9/26 fest

Diane Struble on her historic Lake George Swim — Departing Ticonderoga on August 23, 1958. She was 25, the single mother of three, and became a national celebrity. Photo from daughter Gwenn Rippon.

The Lake George Historical Association plans a day-long “meet the writer” event to celebrate Called by the Water: When Diane Struble Swam Lake George, a new book by Diane’s daughter, Gwenne Rippon.

The free celebration is Saturday, Sept. 26, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., outside under a tent at the Historical Museum, on the Old Courthouse grounds, at 290 Canada Street, Lake George Village.

Ms. Rippon will sign books and answer questions. Masking and social distancing will be required.

There will be an open mic throughout the day for speakers who remember Struble’s 1958 historic swim.

Called by the Water is the first in a LGHA book series relating to Lake George and its people, culture, history and events. It’s funded by the Touba Family Foundation, said press release.

The 52-page book tells “the remarkable story” of the late Diane Struble, the first person to swim the length of Lake George in 1958, from her daughter Gwenne’s perspective.

As reported in The Chronicle in August 2015, Struble was a 25-year-old single mother of three young girls when she accomplished the feat. The swim caused a sensation, drew thousands of people to Lake George, and landed her on national television. She became an instant star.

Call (518) 668-5044 to reserve a copy of the book for pick up at the Sept. 26 event, or to arrange for mail delivery.

Who has swum Lake George & when

Copyright © 2020 Lone Oak Publishing Co., Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Check Also

Thunder foe Florida has former 1st-round NHL pick: Josh Ho-Sang

Chris Liggio, formerly Chronicle staffer and sports commenter, writes: Tonight, our Adirondack Thunder begin the …