JB Lanza - Lake Sunapee

North to South

12.9 km (8.0 miles)

5 hours, 9 minutes on 29 August 2022

Observed and documented by Amy Craigen



  • Name: JB Lanza
  • Gender: female
  • Age on swim date: 37
  • Nationality: United States
  • Resides: East Lynn, Massachusetts

Support Personnel

  • Rena Marie Demeo - crew
  • Kara Obey - pilot


Amy Craigen

Escort Vessel

Name Type Port
unnamed 2006 Correct Craft Nautique 196 Blodgett Landing, Lake Sunapee, NH

Swim Parameters

  • Category: Solo, nonstop, unassisted.
  • Rules: MSF Rules of Marathon Swimming, without exception or modification.
  • Equipment used: Textile swimsuit (Sporti Tokyo Pop Thin Strap One Piece Swimsuit Bright Multi), silicone cap, BlueSeventy Flow Goggles.

Route Definition

Georges Mills Beach to Newbury Town Beach via west side of Great Island and Little Island

  • Body of Water: Lake Sunapee
  • Route Type: one-way
  • Start Location: Georges Mills Beach (north end of lake) (43.430081, -72.067298)
  • Finish Location: Newbury Town Beach (43.322116, -72.038178)
  • Minimum Route Distance: 12.9 km (8.0 miles) (map)


Cheryl Coletti-Lawson swam this same route as a two-way swim in August 2020 (documentation).

Swim Data

  • Start: 29 August 2022, 06:01:22 (Eastern Daylight, America/New_York, UTC-4).
  • Finish: 29 August 2022, 11:11:14
  • Elapsed: 5 hours, 9 minutes, 52 seconds.

Summary of Conditions

Feature Min Max
Water Temp (F) 79 84
Air Temp (F) 66 76
Wind (mph) 3 8.6

GPS Track

Trackpoint frequency: 10 minutes. Download raw data (CSV).

Click to expand map.

Speed Plot

Nutrition: See observer log.

Observer Log

Download PDF

Swimmer Statement

by JB Lanza

There were eleven major “landings” on Lake Sunapee. Blodgett Landing, a section of Newbury, NH, was originally established as a church  “Spiritualist“ community in 1876.   Being 4th generation to Blodgett Landing, our cottage is steeped in the history and memories of the area.

The “Steamboat Era” on Lake Sunapee began in 1854 and ended in the late 1920’s.  For a majority of this time there were seven commercial steamboats on the lake taking guests to the many hotels/inns that were located at these various landings from the late 1800's until the 1930's. They carried passengers, luggage, mail, cargo, etc. and gave Sunday excursions to vacationers, all before the time of cars. The largest, Armenia White, at 101 feet long and could take 650 passengers and a particular photograph of this steamboat still is a part of our cottage.

When I saw through my swimming circle of friends that someone had completed an out and back marathon swim of this lake that I spend so much time in I was astounded. Two years later I found myself swimming the historic Boston Light 8-mile Swim. I had completed several training swims along the east side of Lake Sunapee which afforded me rough conditions to prepare for my ocean swim. During my taper I found myself swimming with Cheryl, the individual who had completed the out and back, and she convinced me to go for a single crossing; it was only 8-miles.

After completing Boston Light, I realized this was possible. The opportunity to swim the length of the lake which I loved, grew up on and learned to swim on was unexpected. I scrambled to locate a pilot and submit for a marine permit all before my family closed the cottage for the season. Finding a crew was the easy part because the L Street Ice Swimming community is so supportive.

Less than a week before the go date everything came together. The morning before the swim I went out to stretch my arms and, as expected, the morning fog had set in. We reached the time of the year where the water temperature was warmer than the air in the mornings. Visibility was maybe 50 yards and I was nervous. However, I was fortunate that the next morning, the morning of my swim, the fog was minimal to none.

We met at Blodgett Landing and motored out to George’s Mills, the northern end of the lake, for my start. The swim started off flawlessly. The water was calm and effortless as I swam from the beach approximately 2 miles to Dunning Point, at which point I would start heading southwest in the open lake. As the daylight hit, we experienced overcast skies and the winds were manageable as small caps started forming in the substantial area of the lake. For my first two feeds I asked “already?” because time seemed to be flying by. At a little over the halfway point, I realized the sun had come out as we slipped between Little Island and Great Island- the water calmed down some but was not as effortless as the beginning of my swim. When I saw Sunapee Beach, I realized I had about a 5k remaining and at that feed decided to take in extra fuel; my shoulders were starting to get sore, my neck was tight, and my fingers were cramping and swelling due to the warmth of the water decreasing the efficiency of my stroke.

From my position in the water, I could not see the finish- just the lush green trees all around me. Suddenly I was close enough to see the harbor buildings. Then the dock. Then the ropes for the swimming area and I knew I was nearly there. After I ducked under the swim rope, I headed into the beach where I took 10 steps on dry land before I turned around in triumph and received a big hug from my father who was waiting for me while my mother captured the moment. I remember hearing a woman up in the gazebo asked, “where did she swim from?” and my father answering “George’s Mills” followed by congratulations and adulations.


Click to enlarge.