Wayne Riddin, Midmar Mile Director

Wayne Riddin of South Africa was among the 15 selected nominees for the 2012 World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year that were announced today.

The World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year honors the person 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.

His nomination from the World Open Water Swimming Association reads,

"Imagine 18,000 open water swimmers gathering in one location to compete in a variety of amateur, charity, disabled and elite competitions, in a country where there are only 6,000 competitive swimmers. This is the environment that Wayne Riddin and his team have created in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa. The Midmar Mile is the world’s most exciting open water swimming series of events. From timing systems and buoy placement, from online social media interaction to celebrities, from Special Olympics to professional athletes, the Midmar Mile has it all. Its 12 seeding events, its hot spots, its Facebook strategy, its royalty, its aerial coverage, its biathlons, its family teams, its car give-away: there is so much Riddin has created to develop the most extravagant, innovative, comprehensive open water swimming event in the world. For his innovation and aquapreneurial drive, for his commitment to give back to the sport of swimming, for his leadership to create a wholesome community of open water swimmers, Wayne Riddin is a worthy nominee for the 2012 WOWSA Open Water Swimming Man of the Year."

The 2012 nominees are (listed in alphabetical order of their first name):

1. Benjamin Schulte (Guam) – Fearless Olympic Marathoner
2. Craig Dietz (USA) – The Limbless Waterman
3. Colin Hill (Great Britain) – Olympic Showman
4. Doug Woodring (Hong Kong) – Ocean Environmentalist
5. Milko van Gool (Netherlands) – Humanitarian Swimmer
6. Oussama Mellouli (Tunisia) – Olympic Champion
7. Pierre Lafontaine (Canada) – Able & Ambitious Administrator
8. Ram Barkai (South Africa) – Mindful Ice Man
9. Salvatore Cimmino (Italy) – Swimming in the Seas of the Globe
10. Stephen Redmond (Ireland) - Oceans Seven Pioneer
11. Thomas Lurz (Germany) - Ambassador and Gentleman
12. Trent Grimsey (Australia) - English Channel Record Breaker
13. Wayne Riddin (South Africa) – Midmar Mile Director
14. Wayne Soutter (South Africa) – The Unthinkable
15. Morrie Chiang (Taiwan) – Sun Lake Moon Director

Online voting will take place here at WOWSA until December 31st.

The 2008 recipient was Randy Nutt of the USA. The 2009 recipient was Petar Stoychev of Bulgaria. The 2010 recipient was Marcos Diaz of the Dominican Republic. The 2011 recipient was Jamie Patrick of the USA.

Ridden is a coach, administrator and the race director of the aQuellé Midmar Mile in South Africa, the world's largest competitive open water swim that attracts nearly 20,000 swimmers of all ages and abilities every year to the Midmar Dam in Kwazulu Natal. A former winner of the aQuellé Midmar Mile himself, Ridden has led the operations to a level unprecedented in the open water swimming world. He also serves on the board of directors of the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame where he is the Africa Co-Vice President.

Copyright © 2012 by Open Water Source

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