The World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year honors the woman who (1) best embodies the spirit of open water swimming, (2) possesses the sense of adventure, tenacity and perseverance that open water swimmers are known for, and (3) has most positively influenced the world of open water swimming during the year.
Her nomination from the World Open Water Swimming Association reads,
"Look at Tina Neill and nothing hints at records. Talk to Tina Neill and nothing she says hints of greatness. But the introverted, humble explorer of the raw potential of the human spirit has been making waves in the open water throughout her career. In her own quiet way, Neill loudly proved once again how uniquely special she is. She hit the lumpy water at night, battled the elements far from shore, and finished the next night, completing an unprecedented 28 hour 41 minute crossing of the 52-mile (83.6 km) San Clemente Channel. Like her record-setting backstroke swims in the England and Catalina Channels, she efficiently funneled her talents and enthralled her crew with her strength, stamina and speed. For her quiet nature despite swims that scream volumes, for always remaining under the radar despite record-setting exploits, for the pure genius of her aquatic talents in completing 4 marathon swims during 2012, Tina Neill is a worthy nominee for the 2012 WOWSA Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year."
The 2012 nominees are (listed in alphabetical order of their first name):
1. Ana Marcela Cunha (Brazil), World Professional Marathon Champion
2. Anna-Carin Nordin (Sweden), Oceans Seven Swimmer
3. Annaleise Carr (Canada), Young Marathon Swimmer
4. Catherine Vogt (USA), Dual Olympic Coach
5. Diana Nyad (USA), Xtreme Dreamer
6. Esther Nuñez Morera (Spain), Professional Marathon Swimming Champion
7. Grace van der Byl (USA), Marathon Record Breaker
8. Janel Jorgensen McArdle (USA), Swim Across America President
9. Julia Washbourne (Hong Kong), Eco-Swimming Aquapreneur
10. Karen Gaffney (USA), Swimming Philanthropist
11. Keri-Anne Payne (Great Britain), British Open Water Icon
12. Pat Gallant-Charette (USA), Channel Swimming Late Bloomer
13. Risztov Éva (Hungary), Olympic Champion
14. Shelley Taylor-Smith (Australia), Pioneering Administrator
15. Tina Neill (USA), San Clemente Channel Swimmer
Neill member of the 24-hour club with several world records to her name. She holds the world record for the fastest backstroke crossing of the 20.2-mile (32.5 km) Catalina Channel done in 2008 in 10 hours 37 minutes. She also holds the record for women for the most successful crossings of the Catalina Channel with four. She also holds the world record for the fastest backstroke crossing of the English Channel done in 2005 in 13 hours 22 minutes (which is faster than the average English Channel time of 13 hours 33 minutes).
In 2011, she did a double crossing of the Catalina Channel in 22 hours 2 minutes, a 17 hour 17 minute crossing of the Molokai Channel, and the 19-mile (30.5 km) Santa Cruz Channel in 2011 in 10 hours 32 minutes.
In 2012, she crossed the 17-mile (27.3 km) Kaulakahi Channel in Hawaii and the 28.5-mile (45.8 km) Manhattan Island Marathon Swim in 2012 as well as becoming the first person to complete a swim between San Clemente Island and the California mainland with a 28 hour 41 minute effort over the 52-mile (83.6 km) course in September 2012. She was also a member of the six-member HTC Relay team with Forrest Nelson, Emily Evans, Steve Lowe, Kent Nicholas, and Mike Mitchell that set a new course record of 25 hours 48 minutes from San Clemente Island, around the western edge of Catalina Island, to the Southern California mainland at Cabrillo Beach in 2012.
Copyright © 2012 by Open Water Source