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Revived Hudson River Swim Raises $25,000 for Feeding Westchester

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September 10, 2022

By Barrett Seaman—

They went off sometime after 7:00 a.m., jumping off the Nyack Marina pier in four flights, beginning with the elite swimmers. The first of the 45 entrants in the revived swim across the Hudson, Sleepy Hollow’s Adrianna Pentz, reached the tiny horseshoe-shaped beach at the southern tip of Sleepy Hollow’s Kingsland Point Park exactly one hour, nine minutes and 53 seconds later. It would be nearly two hours after that when the last swimmer waded out of the river to hearty cheers from a crowd of friends, family members and a host of Sleepy Hollow police, firemen and EMT medics there to lend support.

Work for The Hud Indy

Behind the revival of the Hudson River swim after a ten-year hiatus caused by the construction of the Mario M Cuomo Bridge, the deconstruction of the old Tappan Zee Bridge and the pandemic, is a group of local swimming enthusiasts organized under the banner of The Lighthouse Swim. Rivertown residents Marty McGinnity and Terry McGlynn along with Sue Klein of White Plains spent the last year planning for the event, recruiting swimmers along with 50 non-swimming volunteers, kayakers who kept watch over the scattered swimmers as they crossed, and corporate sponsors. Backing this year’s event was Danone, the yogurt maker, along with the developers of the adjacent Edge-on-Hudson complex and J.P. Doyle’s, the popular Sleepy Hollow restaurant.

Adrianna Pentz, first ashore in the 2022 Lighthouse Swim

The swim, even in ideal weather when the strong estuary tides are neutral, is not for sissies. Fortunately, the wind was down and the water barely rippled. But there were other impediments: flotsam, including large, semi-submerged logs, a smack of jellyfish, pockets of gasoline fumes from passing jet skis and sunlight as the swimmers headed east, directly into its relentless glare.

Some of the kayakers who escorted the swimmers to safety

First-place finisher Pentz was able to hold a steady course along a line of ten inflatable orange buoys laid out temporarily for the event, but many of the stragglers had strayed northward, adding extra yardage until one of dozens of guardian kayakers herded them back towards the landing beach. Aided by a list of swimmers’ names, event emcee Steve “Master of Simon Sez” Max called out them out as they waded ashore.

Event emcee Steve Max

As the last of the swimmers changed from wetsuits to street clothing, the event had pulled in some $25,000. This year’s recipient will be Feeding Westchester, the local charity engaged in fighting food insecurity in the county.

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