PORTLAND – Against a backdrop of moored sailboats, Scott Yeomans came out of the water at East End Beach and sprinted across the sand to the finish line. Victory in the annual Peaks to Portland swim was his for a second straight summer.

“It’s such a feeling of accomplishment. It gives you reason to train. It’s much better when you have a purpose and for me, this is it.”

Pam Torrey, 51, of Portland was the first female finisher. Michael Leake, 34, of Bennington, Vt., was the first male to finish without wearing a wetsuit. He was 19th among all males. Susan Knight, 42, of Kennebunk was the first female in the non-wetsuit class, finishing sixth among all females.

Yeomans, 48, lives in Bethlehem, Pa., and swam competitively for Cornell University years ago. That was pool racing with its marked lanes and sensing, if not actually seeing, the swimmers he had to beat. Saturday’s race was 2.4 miles across open water, guided only by a kayaker.

After Yeomans cleared medical personnel he sprinted again, this time to hug Beth Ansheles of South Portland, his cousin and his spotter.

“These were great conditions,” he said. “Nice, flat water. I caught the wake of a couple of boats and bobbed a bit but it was a great swim.”

His winning time of 45 minutes, 32.8 seconds was about two minutes slower than his winning time last year.

This summer’s race had 316 swimmers in the water, the most ever. For only the second year, swimmers started in four, unseeded waves which caused some momentary confusion later.

Yeomans was in the first wave and first out of the water. A swimmer leaving in one of the other three waves could have had a faster time and won. Mistakenly, for about 30 minutes, another swimmer with a faster time was listed ahead of Yeomans in the computerized scoring.

The error was corrected and Yeomans heard the applause when the official results were announced.

Sam Manhart, 43, of Hampden was second in 46:59.6. Jeremy Hutchinson, 37, of Portland was third. Evan Campbell, 17, of Cumberland was the first teenager to finish among men. He was 24th.

Torrey, who swam at Princeton some 30 years ago, was relieved. She strayed off course last year and finished fourth. At Saturday’s start she was nervous. But this summer she worked more closely with Jim Brokaw, her pilot, and it paid off.

“I thought there was more chop on the water this year but I really felt strong.” She finished in 50:14.5. Cheryl Daly, 40, of South Portland was second. Sara Schad, 18, of North Yarmouth was fifth and the first teenager to finish, beating Campbell’s time by more than a minute.

Terry Swain, the Cumberland County YMCA aquatics director, was the last off Peaks Island by about five minutes. She finished to applause and the siren from the harbormaster’s boat.

The swim is a fundraiser for the Cumberland County YMCA. According to director Hildy Ginsberg, more than $26,000 was raised this year.

Staff Writer Steve Solloway can be contacted at 791-6412 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: SteveSolloway


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