Imagine being in the middle of the Hudson River – but not on a boat: Visualize what it would be like to swim across the Hudson, taking in the majesty of the landscape at eye level with the water. That’s what it’s like to swim the mile-long Great Newburgh-to-Beacon Hudson River Swim every year, according to event coordinator Nita Sutton, board member of the River Pool organization that sponsors the annual fundraiser. “It’s an amazing experience,” she says. “You really see the hugeness of nature by being in the middle of the river. You see how big things really are and how small we are.”
This year’s swim will be held Saturday, Aug. 12. Spectators can watch from the Newburgh or Beacon side. Splash-in takes at the Riverfront Marina at 40 Front Street in Newburgh at approximately 11:30 a.m.
Past years have attracted 150-250 swimmers, plus kayak escorts. It takes about half hour to a little over an hour to complete, depending on the swimmer. Each swimmer pays a $60 registration fee needs to solicit at least $100 in donations to participate. Proceeds benefit the River Pool at Beacon. Swimmers must register prior to Aug. 12.
The challenges of the swim include working against what are sometimes strong currents in the river. Swimmers go in just before the current changes, says Sutton, “so they’re pushed a little bit one way, but then the current will go somewhat still, then change in the other direction so that nobody is fighting the current.” A lot of the swims that different organizations sponsor in the Hudson River run the length of the river, she points out, which is not as difficult as this event where they’re swimming across the river.
The River Pool organization upholds the position of founding member Pete Seeger that river stewardship begins with being “on, near and most of all in the river.” Emphasis on public safety, environmental sensitivity and education about the challenges of the river are at the forefront of the group’s projects. Members of the organization and community volunteers install the pool each June and take it out of the river in September. The pool is open through Labor Day from Tuesday through Sunday from 12 noon to 6 p.m., weather permitting. New volunteers are always welcome.
The rain date is Sunday, Aug. 13
A video from the 2015 event
Note: This brief includes some quotes and descriptions from the article we ran last year. We wanted to update what needed updated because we noticed folks searching for info about this year’s event. You can read the previous article here.