They showed up at sunrise in New Bedford to participate in the 2022 Buzzards Bay Swim. Some came to swim, some to cheer on the swimmers while others came for the beer and pancakes at the finish line. From the youngest swimmer at 13 to the oldest at 82 to an army of volunteers, all came to support a clean Bay and the work of the Buzzards Bay Coalition.
Swimmers completed a scenic 1.2-mile point-to-point open water course from New Bedford’s South End, past the iconic Butler Flats Lighthouse and New Bedford Hurricane Barrier with a crowd of hundreds watching and cheering as they crossed the finish line at Fort Phoenix state Reservation in Fairhaven.
There swimmers and their guests were welcomed with a beach party featuring a live steel drum band, pancakes cooked to order, local craft beer, as well as awards and prizes. The nearly 200 swimmers, supported by 100 volunteers, raised $185,000 and counting to support the Buzzards Bay Coalition.
“This was my 16th swim. It was a little bit rough out there, it was a little bit of a challenge. But I’ve got to say it was just as fun as all the others. You can’t beat it. I’ve had my exercise for the day, I’m all warmed up, I’ve had some wonderful pancakes. The best way to start a day.” Bryan Robertson
This annual event supports the Coalition’s work to ensure clean water in all Bay communities, restore and protect watershed lands, and get people of all ages outside and engaged with their local environment. Supporters can still donate to the Buzzards Bay Swim by going to savebuzzardsbay.org/swim.
Cristian Twyman, 21, of Mattapoisett was the top overall finisher, completing the course in 24:30. Carlyn Soares, 24, of Boston was the top female finisher coming in two seconds after Cristian.
Four swimmers earned the “Cuttyhunk Award” for participation in 10 Swims―Alex Gallant, Jessica Harris, Frank Mark, and Rob Thieler. Five swimmers earned the “Six Mile Award,” marking five years of participation in the Swim―Michael Gryss, Sam Harris, James Hartnett, Elizabeth Kalife, and David Small.
Steve Johnson of Westport was the top fundraiser, raising a record $12,115. Pamela Gauvin-Fernandes of Assonet raised $6,210 and Nancy Smith of Dartmouth, completing her 21st swim, raised $4,175.
The Buzzards Bay Swim is sponsored by Demakis Family Real Estate, Cisco Brewing, BayCoast Bank, BETA Group, Buzzards Bay Brewing, Bristol County Savings Bank, Fiber Optic Center, KnowSeafood, Milbury and Company, and Open Soul Swimming.