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.
Their nomination from the World Open Water Swimming Association reads,
"Swim fast, swim straight. Over and back, flip turn at Cape Gris Nez. Don’t look up, just follow the boat. That is what the Dutch Ladies First set out to do as they traversed the English Channel on their two-way record swim under the guidance of Richard Broer. Cognizant of the newly established American ladies record of 18 hours 55 minutes, the sextet under the guidance of coach Richard Broer and Captain Lance Oram on the Sea Satin went for broke. The collective efforts of Margot Stenveld, Desirée Emmen, Janneke Harmsen-Bakker, Jasmijn Ruijgrok, Gemma Middendorp and Linda Hoogendam established a new two-way all-female English Channel record in 18 hours 22 minutes. For their ability to keep up the pace (9:57 on first leg, 8:25 on second leg), for the fastest women’s relay to ever cross the English Channel twice, the two-way swim of Dutch Ladies First 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, administrators, coaches, 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
Dutch Ladies First is a 6-women relay team of Margot Stenveld, Desirée Emmen, Janneke Harmsen-Bakker, Jasmijn Ruijgrok, Gemma Middendorp and Linda Hoogendam. The women set the two-way all-female English Channel record by 37 minutes in 18 hours 22 minutes. The team was coached by International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame board member Richard Broer of the Netherlands. The sextet swam from England to France in 9 hours 57 minutes and from France to England in 8 hours 25 minutes to set the world record.
Copyright © 2012 by Open Water Source