The award is meant to honor efforts and swims – successful or not, short or long – that (1) best embody the spirit of open water swimming, (2) are representative of the sense of adventure, tenacity and perseverance that open water swimmers are known for, and (3) have most positively influenced the world of open water swimming.
His nomination from the World Open Water Swimming Association reads,
“It takes power. It takes guts. It takes strength from the shoulders to the abs. It is dramatic as the body is propelled out and forward in the water. Butterfly is the most unforgiving and difficult of all swimming techniques in the open water. But Dan Projansky is powerful, strong and dramatic. After doing butterfly 9-miler at Swim4Freedom, Projansky was interested to see how far he could possibly take his butterfly goals. With a year of mental, physical and logistical preparation, he set his goal to complete the Extreme North Dakota Watersports Endurance Test (END-WET) without once breaking his stroke. Extreme is an understatement as the 27-mile (43 km) race in North Dakota and Minnesota took the Chicagoan 14 hours 30 minutes. For his double-arm stamina, for his enthusiasm to push his boundaries at physiological and psychological levels, for his full marathon of butterfly, Dan Projansky’s END-WET butterfly swim is a worthy nominee for the 2012 WOWSA Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year.”
The nominations are meant to recognize and honor some of the best efforts and swims that the global open water swimming world has seen. Reducing the number of nominees to 15 was extraordinarily difficult due to the incredible efforts and exploits of thousands of women in the sport. Extreme swimmers, disabled swimmers, ice swimmers, marathon swimmers, professional swimmers, coaches, administrators, pilots, and swimmers from all walks of life thoroughly impressed their peers, the public and the media with their open water swimming exploits throughout 2012.
The 2009 recipient was the Cayman Islands’ Andrew Smiley who completed the RCP Tiburon Mile in San Francisco, California. The 2010 recipient was the 202-mile relay swim by the Ventura Deep Six that swam down the coast of California. The 2011 recipient was Tunisia’s Nejib Belhedi who swam the 1400K Swim Across Tunisia.
The 2012 WOWSA Performance of the Year nominees are
(listed in alphabetical order of their first name):
1. Alina Warren (Scotland), Swimming Great Glen Way
2. Brenton Williams (South Africa), Deep Blue Flying
3. Dan Projansky (USA), Flying Down The Red River
4. Dutch Ladies First (Netherlands), English Channel Relay Record
5. Frank Flowers (Cayman Islands), Blossoming In The Cayman Islands
6. Haley Anderson (USA), Silver Lining At the Olympics
7. James Pittar (Australia), Shelley Beach Swim
8. Juan Ignacio Martínez Fernández-Villamil (Spain), The Heart of Navia
9. Lexie Kelly (USA), Open Water Swimming Archivist
10. Night Train Swimmers (USA/New Zealand), SF to SB Relay
11. Penny Palfrey (Australia), Marathon Adventurer
12. Philippe Coizon (France), Bering Strait Crossing
13. Saint Martin Island Long Distance Channel Swimming in Bangladesh
14. Stephen Redmond (Ireland), Tsugaru Channel Crossing
15. Trent Grimsey (Australia), English Channel Record
Projansky is an extreme open water swimmer who does butterfly on his open water swims. The 5′-6″, 160-lb mid-mannered banker from the northwest side of Chicago, Projansky typically swims 6-7 miles of butterfly in a typical week in order to train for races between 5-10 km. Among his various butterfly swims was his 8.2-mile butterfly swim in Geneva Lake in Wisconsin to raise money for The Special Operations Warrior Foundation.
His longest non-stop butterfly swim was the 27-mile Extreme North Dakota Watersports Endurance Test (END-WET) in the Red River (Grand Forks, North Dakota, USA) in July when he completed the 43 km course in 14 hours 30 minutes.
Copyright © 2012 by Open Water Source