Swim Challenge Across Sunapee Harbor

Seventy-seven years young Skip Hause made a swim challenge to Helaina Sacco, Head Swimming, Diving Coach & Aquatics Coordinator for Colby-Sawyer College, New London, NH. Skip has challenged a celebrity swimmer in a fund-raiser for the past seven years; a half-mile open water swim from Sunapee Harbor’s Lake Avenue to Dewey Beach.

The Handicap:
Given Skip has 46 years more practice than Helaina, BUT Helaina has been an elite college swimmer, they agreed Skip needed a handicap of a twelve-minute head start. This means both swimmers begin at Skip’s dock in Sunapee Harbor, but Helaina must wait a full twelve-minutes before she starts her swim. This twelve-minute time came from using Skip’s best time four-years ago of a 26-minute crossing for the half mile swim. Helaina, never having raced in open water since her teenage years, and given her estimated time for the half-mile swim, both felt comfortable the twelve-minute lead for Skip may result in them reaching the Dewey Beach shoreline at the same time.

Oh, one other thing, Helaina must use four different strokes during the swim: the freestyle (crawl), backstroke, butterfly, and breaststroke.

The stakes for this very sociable race is raising funds for the Colby-Sawyer College swim team.

  • Stephen L Priest
  • Skip Hause
    Key Cast
  • Helaina Sacco
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Short, Television, Web / New Media
  • Runtime:
    20 minutes 57 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    July 1, 2021
  • Production Budget:
    2,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography

Steve Priest has a thirst for outdoor activities. Running, cross country skiing, biking, hiking, paddling, and triathlons are among the interests that keep him physically fit, mentally alert, and young.

When trying to explain his enthusiasm for outdoor actions, Steve paraphrases Thoreau’s, “Discover I had not lived” with the expression, “Never say, ‘I wish I had’.” Steve does not want to rationalize a missed opportunity to enjoy life. Personal and physical barriers of embarrassment, reticence, and other priorities are not justification for saying, “I wish I had.”

Steve has been a college professor and a healthcare administrator. He has written books and articles on information technology. These quests are professionally rewarding and intellectually challenging; however, they do not provide physical fitness.

His outdoor pursuit began after a torn Achilles tendon, a resultant limp, and weight gain. He turned to physical activity in search of a stress reliever as well as a “lifestyle for the long haul.”

Steve’s writings on ‘Outdoor Play’ enthusiastically portray the entertainment of the outdoors. Travel with Steve to meet the challenges of the outdoors that are the cornerstone of his lectures and stories.

Steve’s ‘Outdoor Play’ multi-media presentations include:

* Hiking New Hampshire’s Sunapee-Ragged-Kearsarge Greenway: 75-Miles and Fourteen Loop Trails
* Androscoggin Source to the Sea
* Maine’s Knife Edge Trail to Baxter Peak at Northern Terminus of Appalachian Trail
* A Rescue on the Allagash Wilderness Waterway
* The Seasons of New Hampshire
* Canoe & Kayak Challenges on the East Branch of the Penobscot
* Paddling New Hampshire and Maine
* AMC’s Madison Hut
* Hiking Mt Monadnock
* The Welch Dickey Mountain Trail
* Mount Washington via Tuckerman Ravine and Lion Head

Steve Priest resides in Sunapee, New Hampshire with Catherine, his wife of many years. They have two sons and two grandchildren.

Steve’s books are available as hardcopy and e-Books at Amazon’s Kindle and hardcopy at Morgan Hill Bookstore, New London, NH, Colby-Sawyer College Book Store, New London, NH, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Gift Shop, Lebanon, NH, and Village Sports, New London, NH.

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Director Statement

Never say, "I wish I had ..."

" Everyone must do something. I believe I will go outdoors with family and friends"