Swimmer Spotlight: Chris “Gazelle” Arsenault

Our finish line Emcee, Gazelle, is heading off the beach and into the Bay for this year’s Buzzards Bay Swim. Read about his training journey and how you can join Team FUN 107.

BBC: How did you first become involved with the Coalition?  

CA: I’ve been working alongside the Buzzards Bay Coalition since 2011 through the collaboration efforts of FUN 107. I started as a hype man with the Fun Street Team, pumping up the swimmers and providing sound at the start line when it was Davey’s Locker. I became the emcee at the finish line about 5 years ago, cheering on the athletes as they cross the finish line in Fairhaven. 


BBC: What inspired you to shift from Emcee to Swimmer? 

CA: I envied the swimmers and kept telling myself I would get in the water one day. Finally, I ripped the band-aid off and threw my hat into the ring. I felt it was better to “be the cause” rather than just “promoting the cause.” I’m highly motivated to make that 1.2 mile swim from New Bedford to Fairhaven. With my wife by my side in her kayak, I have all the inspiration and inner fire needed to cross that finish line. 


BBC: How are you feeling as a first-time Swimmer? 

CA: When it comes to swimming, I have all the confidence in the world. I’ve taken swim classes and understand different styles and strokes. However, endurance swimming, is new territory for me. I’m in good cardio and strength shape from training in the gym, but had never attempted swimming laps in a pool for an extended amount of time. My very first attempt, went better than I anticipated and I felt incredible. My doubts began to lift. I know swimming in a pool and swimming in open water are completely different, but I’m slowly learning to adapt as I move from the pool to the open water. It’s all part of the training process. 


BBC: Why should someone join Team FUN 107?  

CA: I started team FUN 107 for the camaraderie among swimmers. Whether you’re a seasoned athlete or just looking to get your feet wet, Team FUN 107 is a beacon within its name- the “fun”! Swimming the Buzzards Bay Swim is a personal goal of mine and the more people I can surround myself with, the better. Sure, you can register as an individual, but wouldn’t it be “fun” to join my team? I think you know the answer to that! Use code FUN107 for a special discount. 


BBC: Why is it important to you to protect clean water in Buzzards Bay?  

CA: I think everyone living on the South Coast should care about the health of their local ecosystem – especially if they take advantage of Buzzards Bay and all it has to offer. Pollution and deadly toxins can easily shut down a beach, pond, lake or even a protected reservoir faster than you can say- “Who wants to go to the beach?” And we can’t forget how important the wildlife, shellfish and marine inhabitants are to our area. We only have one Earth, so let’s do what we can to protect it!

BBC: What is your favorite Buzzards Bay “hidden gem?” 

CA: My favorite Buzzards Bay hidden gems are Allen’s Pond Wildlife Sanctuary, Cherry & Webb Beach, and, of course, the Westport River by the Town Landing for a chill day on a kayak. Being out in nature is everything to me!   


BBC: and finally – how did the name Gazelle come about?  

CA: During my sophomore year in high school, a classmate told me to “JUMP” in order to finish a sprint during basketball tryouts so I’d make the cut for that year’s team.  So I leapt with everything I had (in a Gazelle fashion) and was able to beat the buzzer and make the team! As a classmate recounted the story he said “He leapt like a Gazelle” and the name stuck!  

Category: Events

Working to Save Buzzards Bay

The Buzzards Bay Coalition is a membership-supported organization dedicated to improving the health of the Buzzards Bay ecosystem for all through education, conservation, research, and advocacy.

We work to protect clean water on the Bay and on the land: