Brenton Williams, Deep Blue Flying

Brenton Williams' 8 km rough water butterfly swim was among the 15 selected nominees for the 2012 World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year.

The World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year 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,

"Cold, rough, and windy. Brenton Williams smiles at the thought. In a country that breeds hardened open water swimmers who redefine grit and backbone in the open water, Williams antes up one more challenge among his South African brethren. South Africa’s toughest extreme swimmers gathered at a tough 8 km swim at the Deep Blue Invitational Swim. But he took a hard look at the cold water, stared down the wind-whipped turgid seas, and threw it a butterfly curve ball: the whole way without a break in his stroke. In water that dropped to 10.5°C, Williams kept his double-armed stroke going, breathing into the aggressively nasty Atlantic Ocean. Like bullets bouncing off the chest of a superhero, neither waves nor cold slowed down the undulating Williams. For his 3 hour 40 minute gut-wrenching butterfly in water that dipped to 10.5°C, for his focus on maintaining his stroke in seas swollen with haphazard turbulence, Brenton Williams’ Deep Blue butterfly 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, 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 of the World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year 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

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

Williams is an open water swimmer and race director. He organizes the Steers Marina Mile, the Kouga Express Eastern Province Open Water Swimming Series and the Jeffreys Bay Swim Challenge that is held along Supertubes in Jeffreys Bay in South Africa. He was also a member of the team that set a new record of 350 km for a continual open water relay swim in at the Marina Martinique in Jeffrey’s Bay, South Africa, together with Ralph West, JC van Wyk, Greg Tucker, Russell Tucker, and Sanmarie Woithe. He finished fifth in the 8 km Deep Blue Invitational Swim in October 2012 while swimming all butterfly.

Copyright © 2012 by Open Water Source

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