The first-ever Tom Wear Memorial Swim kicked off on Sunday, September 27, in unusually cold water of 66 degrees on a rainy day. Even with the bad weather organizers had 27 race day registrations for a total of 130 registered swimmers. Swimmers of all ages and abilities participated in the event, and there were more volunteers than positions to fill. Race organizers Bridgette Hobart, Esther Poulsen, and Regina Makowski were thrilled with swimmer compliments on the organized event and look forward to hosting the event next year. It was great to see our close community come together along with the Marine Police, EMTs, and Coast Guard to support this event. With their support swimmers felt secure in the water despite the difficult conditions, which is critical in an event attracting many first time open water swimmers. This type of an event is not possible without the support of individual and business sponsors, volunteers, athletes, safety and rescue organizations. We look forward to building on this year's success and bringing more athletes and spectators to visit the wonderful lake we are privileged to enjoy all year. The race started promptly at 9 a.m. Sunday, despite the rainy, chilly weather. Competitors started at the Prospect Point Boat Yard and swam a one-mile loop that took them to the Mason Street Pub, south around another buoy, past Oh! Sullivan's, and then back to the boat yard. Fifteen-year-old Paul Stoley of Lebanon won the men's open division with a time of 18:58, followed by Dylan McDermott of South Plainfield (19:34) and Brody Lawson of Basking Ridge (19:35). For the women's open division, 16-year-old Stephanie Koziol of Summit won with a time of 20:24, followed by Carson Gannon of Morristown (21:15) and Gaby Charmont of Chester (21:59). Jeffrey Stuart of Glastonbury, Conn., and Jeffrey Jotz of Rahway tied for first place in the overall men U.S. Masters Swimming division, with identical times of 20:34. KC Nichols of Morristown finished third in the division, with a time of 21:42. Nancy Steadman-Martin of Oceanport finished first in the overall women's USMS division, with a time of 21:37. Jennifer Bauman of Morris Plains finished in second with a time of 22:24, and Jessica Smith of Binghamton, N.Y., finished third with a time of 24:21. Awards were also given for top finishers in a variety of age groups and other divisions, including a wetsuit division and a shortened quarter-mile race. For the full results and recap, visit the race's website at http://twms2009.blogspot.com/. The amount of money raised so far is $7,588.83, but donations continue to be collected and the final tally will be reported soon.