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‘Wharf to Wharf Swim’ due Sept. 20 in Mathews

Swimmers are being sought for the 3rd Annual Wharf to Wharf Swim on Sunday, September 20, at 1 p.m. at Williams Wharf Landing on Mobjack Bay’s East River in Mathews.

The 1,400-meter open water swim crosses the East River to historic, but now defunct, Hicks Wharf, and returns to Williams Wharf. 

The swim is a fundraiser for the Mathews Land Conservancy (MLC), a 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization that owns and operates Williams Wharf for the general public. 

Swimmers for this event are needed and they are expected to raise $100 minimum in sponsorships to swim, with prizes going to the top three fundraisers. Although this is a fundraiser and not a race, times may be recorded if desired, and participants may use wetsuits and fins if they wish. 

The conditions for a dip in the East River are typically ideal at this time with times for completing this event ranging from 15 minutes to an hour. The expertise of swimmers have varied in the past, and participants’ ages have ranged from 10 to over 65.

Williams Wharf is home to the championship rowing programs that are offered through Mathews High School Crew and the Mobjack Rowing Association. To date these programs have produced over $2 million in collegiate scholarships and members on the U.S. National Team. 

The Mathews Land Conservancy has expanded this site, with its recent acquisition of the contiguous B. Williams & Co. Store, to 5-plus acres of scenic waterfront. This building was built in 1869 and housed the commercial activities that serviced the wharf. It is intended that the B. Wms. & Co. Store be a repository and place to display the artifacts and memorabilia collected over the years that are associated with wharf activities. The store and a historic display there will be open to the public for this event.

The swim will highlight this scenic and historic site, and both participants and spectators are encouraged to come out for this fun event. Homemade crabcakes and clam chowder will be served, and spectating from the new waterfront pavilion should make for a fun Sunday outing. 

For more information on wharf activities and to register for the swim, call the MLC at 725-9685 or visit

posted 08.17.2009

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