Stephen Redmond, Tsugaru Channel Crossing

The four attempts at the Tsugaru Channel by Irish icon Stephen Redmond were 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 or swims - successful or not - which (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,

"Do the four-leaf clovers exist in the open water? They do in the realm of Stephen Redmond. Rarely has a man, his support team and his larger community around him have been so tested and so focused in overcoming adversity in the open water world. His first two attempts at swimming the Tsugaru Channel, his final leg of the unprecedented Oceans Seven, were thwarted by currents and tides. Dejected, he returned home to regroup, re-energize, and re-plot his strategy. His third attempt – that started so promising – was suddenly cut short by unexpectedly strong winds. Depression was never more evident on a swimmer. The broad shoulders of the Irish icon drooped like tree branches heavily laden with snow. But he was not prepared to return home with a fourth failure. As the weather broke on his last day in Japan, his faith was severely tested, but he was never without hope. His love of the challenge and his luck on the final day was what he needed to complete the Tsugaru Channel in 12 hours 45 minutes. For his commitment to the cause, for his deeply held faith, for his humility in the face of fame and courage in face of angry seas, Stephen Redmond’s four attempts at the Tsugaru Channel are collectively 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 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 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

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.

Redmond is a former rugby player and triathlete who became the first person in history to achieve the Oceans Seven. He completed the following 7 channels: English Channel in 20 hours 1 minute (England to France), North Channel in 17 hours 17 minutes (Scotland to Ireland), Strait of Gibraltar in 5 hours (Spain to Morocco), Catalina Channel in 12 hours 39 minutes (Catalina Island to California), Cook Strait in 12 hours 30 minutes (South to North Island, New Zealand), Molokai Channel in 22 hours 29 minutes (Molokai to Oahu, Hawaii), and Tsugaru Channel in 12 hours 45 minutes ([[Honshu]] to [[Hokkaido]], Japan). Redmond was also the first person to swim around treacherous Fastnet Rock, a small island in the Atlantic Ocean and the most southerly point of Ireland.

Copyright © 2012 by Open Water Source

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