CAMBRIDGE — Two local coaches will put aside the athletic rivalry between Easton and Cambridge and swim side by side as friends during a challenging journey up the Choptank River on Sunday.
Easton’s Kara Erskine and Cambridge’s Herve Hamon plan a marathon swim of 11 miles on June 20 from the boat ramp at Gerry Boyle Park at Great Marsh to Suicide Bridge restaurant on Cabin Creek.
Erskine, the 42-year-old coach of Easton High School’s swim team, has never undertaken this kind of distance before, but she said she is looking forward to showing her team “that coaches rule.”
Hamon, the 59-year-old certified master swim coach, swam solo from Tilghman Island to the boat ramp at Gerry Boyle’s Park, an 11-hour, 17-mile swim in June 2020. Hamon, who coached the Cambridge-South Dorchester High School swim team in the 2019-2020 season, also swam with another swimmer from the Cambridge Long Wharf Marina to the Oxford ferry, a 6.5-hour and 11-mile swim. He also recently coached adult swimmers in open water swimming as athletes prepared for the recent Eagleman.
The two coaches have trained together for this, recently completing a 15-mile, two-man relay swim around Wye Island, and they can be seen often swimming around Hambrooks Bay. Both are grateful of the quality of the water in the Choptank, thanks to the continued efforts and vigilance from Riverkeeper Matt Pluta and ShoreRivers.
“We want to recognize the support of CMS, the Cambridge Multi Sport group of triathletes, and the enduring camaraderie and constant training coordination by Michael Keene, without which this would not be possible,” said Hamon. “This community is what makes challenges like this happen.”
Erskine and Hamon take to the water at 6 a.m. at Gerry Boyle’s Park. Spectators at Long Wharf, the Cambridge waterfront at Sailwinds, the Choptank River fishing pier or the Hyatt may be able to see two swimmers heading east up the river, under the watchful eye of the Hood family (Raleigh, Victoria, and their son Jasper), and Kara’s sister.
Mike Detmer is a staff writer for the Dorchester Star and Star Democrat based in Maryland. You can reach him at email@example.com.