Cutoff Date and Time for Voting was January 1, 2016 at 12:00 am (California time)
Official results have been announced at
The Daily News of Open Water Swimming.
Click on the links below to see the official announcements...
The nominees were presented in the following four categories:
2015 WOWSA Open Water Swimming
Man of the Year Nominees
- Antonio Argüelles, (Mexico) Channel Swimmer Redux
- Attila Mányoki, (Hungary) Prolific Ocean Swimmer
- Ben Hooper, (Great Britain) Transoceanic Challenger
- Benoît Lecomte, (France/U.S.A.) Transoceanic Adventurer
- Christof Wandratsch, (Germany) Ice Swimming Record Holder
- Evgenij Pop Acev, (Macedonia) FINA Grand Prix Champion
- Ingemar Patiño Macarine, (Philippines) Pinoy Aquaman
- James Tout, (U.S.A.) Long-overdue Triple Crowner
- Lewis Pugh, OIG (Great Britain) Ocean Advocate
- Rohans More (India) Oceans Seven Adventurer
- Rostislav Vítek (Czech Republic) Ice Swimmer Extraordinaire
- Simone Ruffini (Italy) Olympian & World Champion
1. Antonio Argüelles, Channel Swimmer Redux (Mexico)
Argüelles is well on his way to accomplishing the Oceans Seven - at the age of 56. Already with 2 English Channel swims and 2 Catalina Channel swims under his cap, he knocked off the Strait of Gibraltar in 4 hours 23 minutes and the Tsugaru Channel in 12 hours 38 minutes with plans set for the Molokai Channel, Cook Strait and North Channel. He does this while balancing all kinds of corporate, governmental and philanthropic activities and inspiring an entire generations of his fellow Mexican swimmers of all ages through books, talks and his own indomitable spirit. For his unflagging spirit, for his writings and inspirational talks, and palpable joy while in the water, Antonio Argüelles is a worthy nominee for the 2015 World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year.
2. Attila Mányoki, Prolific Ocean Swimmer (Hungary)
Mányoki is tearing through the Oceans Seven channels at a fast rate including doing the third fastest crossing of the Tsugaru Channel with a 7 hour 29 minute swim and setting the record across the Molokai Channel in 12 hours 2 minutes despite landing on the north shore of Oahu, a feat never before attempted or accomplished. He did his third Oceans Seven swim when he completed a 10 hour 59 minute crossing of the Catalina Channel. The 31-year-old awed his Japanese, Hawaiian and Californian crews and the general public back in his native Hungary. For his eloquent interviews and explanations why he enjoys open water swimming, for his prolific track record in the open water, and his ambassadorship for the sport, Attila Mányoki is a worthy nominee for the 2015 World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year.
3. Ben Hooper, Transoceanic Challenger (Great Britain)
Hooper started his Swim The Big Blue across the Atlantic Ocean in November with the ultimate goal to swim every mile across the Atlantic Ocean from Dakar, Sénégal to Natal, Brazil. Hooper, an self-described common man who overcame death as a child, will swim up to 12 hours per day every day for up to 4 months, a scheduled stage swim adventure of at least 1,731 mile (2,786 km) in length. For his logistical planning and fundraising to attempt an unprecedented transoceanic crossing, for his inspirational activities, and for his work with university researchers in the fields of psychology, endurance nutrition, expedition medicine, and oceanography, Ben Hooper is a worthy nominee for the 2015 World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year.
4. Benoît Lecomte, Transoceanic Adventurer (France/U.S.A.)
Lecomte started The Longest Swim, a pioneering transoceanic stage swim across the Pacific Ocean from Tokyo, Japan to San Francisco, U.S.A. the 48-year-old Lecomte will swim up to 8 hours per day every day for up to 6 months, a scheduled solo adventure of 5,419 miles (8,721 km) using fins, snorkels, googles and wetsuits while conducting innovative research in medicine and oceanography by wearing a special wearable RadBand contaminants/radiation collector and using NASA’s remote guidance echo to study his microbiome (microscopic lifeforms that colonize the human body). For his logistical planning and fundraising to attempt literally the world's longest swim, for attempting a dream to complete his second transoceanic crossing with live webcasting, for his coordination and cooperation with researchers and scientists interested in the marine environment, Benoît Lecomte is a worthy nominee for the 2015 World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year.
5. Christof Wandratsch, Ice Swimmer Record Holder (Germany)
Wandratsch is flat-out, mind-boggling, world-class fast and has been all his life in both international competitions and as a soloist in lakes, rivers, seas and oceans. "Wandi" not only set a record across the Bodensee, a 12 km swim in 2 hours 28 minutes, but he also set the record for a 1000m ice swim at the inaugural International Ice Swimming Championships in Murmansk, Russia in 13:00.51, swimming in 0°C water and -7°C air. The 49-year-old hosted the Ice Swimming German Open - 1st Aqua Sphere Ice Swimming where ice swimmers competed in 25m, 50m, 450m, and 1000m races. For his speed at any distance and any water temperatures, for his administration and ambassadorship in the ice swimming world, and for his cheerfulness and joy in sharing his love of the open water, Christof Wandratsch is a worthy nominee for the 2015 World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year.
6. Evgenij Pop Acev, FINA Grand Prix Champion (Macedonia)
Evgenij Pop Acev always competes, but 2015 was definitely his award-winning year. The 27-year-old won the FINA Open Water Swimming Grand Prix title for the first time, a fitting cumulation to a long season in which he placed 4th in Argentina'a 25 km Maratón Internacional Aguas Abiertas Villa Urquiza - Paraná, 6th in Mexico's 15 km Maratón Cancún, 5th in Canada's 32 km Traversée internationale du lac St-Jean, 1st in Macedonia's 33 km Ohridski Plivački Maraton, 2nd in Italy's 36 km Maratona del Golfo Capri-Napoli as well as finished 14th at the 25 km FINA World Championship race and concurrently competes on the FINA/HOSA 10K Marathon Swimming World Cup circuit where he competed in Abu Dhabi, Cancún, Balatonfured, Setúbal Bay, Lac St-Jean, Lac-Mégantic, China and Hong Kong. For his willingness to travel the world, for becoming Macedonia's first FINA Grand Prix champion, and for his world-class stamina, Evgenij Pop Acev is a worthy nominee for the 2015 World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year.
7. Ingemar Patiño Macarine, Pinoy Aquaman (Philippines)
Ingemar Patiño Macarine has transitioned from a middle-aged triathlete to an inspirational open water swimmer with a large national fan base and big dreams. He has significantly energized the Filipino open water swimming community with his unprecedented several solo marathon swims throughout his native Philippines over the last 3 years. In 2015, he completed the 10.5 km Hinatuan Passage in 5 hours 8 minutes, the 19.9 km Cebu Channel crossing in 7 hours 45 minutes, and the 12.9 km Saranggani Bay while promoting local areas for tourism and clean sea. For his enthusiastic love of open water swimming adventures, for devising all types of unprecedented crossings in a country where many thousands of more pioneering swims are possible, and for his dream of attempting many more ocean and channel swims, Ingemar Patiño Macarine is a worthy nominee for the 2015 World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year.
8. James Tout, Long-overdue Triple Crowner (U.S.A.)
James Tout became the second oldest person to achieve the Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming, but the 62-year-old from Austin, Texas did it in dramatic fashion over a 4-day period where he completed his 10th lifetime circumnavigation, a 28.5-mile swim around Manhattan Island in New York performed only three days after completing his 20.2-mile Catalina Channel crossing in 11 hours 18 minutes in California. Most incredibly, his latest Manhattan Island Marathon Swim was his lifetime best in 7 hours 31 minutes, beating his previously best time set in 1991 as a 34-year-old. For battling back from heart disease, for achieving his goal of 2 marathon swims in 4 days, and for swimming the fastest he has even swum around Manhattan Island after nearly 3 decades, James Tout is a worthy nominee for the 2015 World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year.
9. Lewis Pugh, Ocean Advocate, OIG (Great Britain)
Lewis Pugh never stops fighting for mankind's future. Over a period of 15 days in February and March, the renowned ocean advocate, completed a series of four frigid swims in Antarctica to spur governments to declare the pristine Ross Sea a Marine Protected Area. His swims included swims at Campbell Island at 52º South, Cape Adare at 71º South, and Peter 1 Island at 69º South. His final 350-meter swim along the Ross Ice Shelf at the Bay of Whales at 78.3º South was the most southern swim ever undertaken – or can be undertaken in waters between 0ºC and was conducted under the most inhospitable conditions imaginable. The sea was -1ºC, the air temperature was -37ºC, and the wind was gusting 40 knots. For his innovative means to generate global attention that helps positively reshape the marine world, for his pioneering swims in Antarctica in such challenging conditions and for setting the standard in creating environmental swims, Lewis Pugh is a worthy nominee for the 2015 World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year.
10. Rohans More, Oceans Seven Adventurer (India)
Rohans More knows how to program his life as he steadily climbs the Oceans Seven rankings. The 29-year-old software programmer became the first Indian to successfully complete a crossing in the swirling eddies of the Tsugaru Channel in Japan (in a fast 10 hours 37 minutes) as well as a tough, jellyfish-strewn crossing of the North Channel in 12 hours 46 minutes. He also completed the Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming with a 7 hour 43 minute Manhattan Island Marathon Swim to add to his growing resume of marathon swims. For his ability to handle cold, rough waters far removed from his training base in warm waters, for his constant smile before, during and after his channel swims, and for his ambassadorship of open water swimming in different communities, Rohans More is a worthy nominee for the 2015 World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year.
11. Rostislav Vítek (Czech Republic) Ice Swimmer Extraordinaire
Rostislav Vítek has transitioned in his twenties from being a fast competitive swimmer to top Olympic 10K marathon swimmer. His transformation continued in his thirties to becoming one of the fastest channel swimmers in history and now he has found his ultimate niche as an ice swimmer. He set the ice mile record in Blansko, Czech Republic in 4.83°C water and 1°C air temperature with a time of 20:29, beating the previously fastest man in the ice swimming community, Christof Wandratsch. Since Philip Emslie first set the ice mile record with a 22:30 in South Africa, Vítek has dropped the record 2 minutes in 4 years. The 39-year-old is helping push the boundaries of human endurance and cold water acclimatization as he enters his fourth decade of swimming. For his world-class speed, for his transformation and wide-ranging open water swimming capabilities, and for his sense of adventure to try something new, Rostislav Vítek is a worthy nominee for the 2015 World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year.
12. Simone Ruffini, Olympian & World Champion (Italy)
Simone Ruffini made a remarkable triple performance at the FINA World Championships in Kazan, Russia. Not only did he qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games in the 10 km marathon swim, but he also swam an average pace of 1:10.3 per 100 meters in strategically winning the 25 km world title in 4 hours 53 minutes. But his hard training and competitive spirit in the water was secondary to his boldness and creativity on dryland. He topped off his aquatic exploits with a marriage proposal to fellow world-class swimmer Aurora Ponsele on the awards podium and in front of a global audience. For his heartfelt proposal in front of cameras and eyeballs around the world, for his gold medal victory and Olympic marathon swimming qualification, and for executing upon so many life-changing activities during the 2015 world championships, Simone Ruffini is a worthy nominee for the 2015 World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year.
2015 WOWSA Open Water Swimming
Woman of the Year Nominees
- Alex Cape, (Canada) Freshwater Adventurer
- Aurélie Muller, (France) Olympian and World Champion
- Bridgette Hobart Janeczko, (U.S.A.) Prolific Marathon Swimmer
- Chloë McCardel, (Australia) Channel Swimmer & Coach
- Elina Makïnen, (Finland) Ice Swimmer
- Elizabeth Fry, (U.S.A.) Double Downing
- Lorna Cochran, (South Africa) Nonagenarian Swimmer
- Pilar Geijo, (Argentina) FINA Grand Prix Champion
- Rachele Bruni, (Italy) Olympian & FINA World Cup Champion
- Renata Novakova, (Czech Republic), Ice Swimming World Champion
- Sharon van Rouwendaal, (Netherlands) Olympic Cross-over Speedster
- Tita Llorens, (Spain) Marathon Swimmer
1. Alex Cape, Freshwater Adventurer (Canada)
Alex Cape had a huge goal: to swim for the longest known distance in a freshwater setting. Her chosen venue was Canada's Cowichan Lake. Swimming alongside Susan Simmons for the third straight year, Cape kept going when Simmons was unexpectedly overcome with nausea at 44 km. She swam past 50 km, past 60 km, past 70 km, past 80 km, past 90 km. Cape continued to forge on nearing the marks set by Vicki Keith (104 km in Lake Ontario in 1987) and Ted Erikson and Abdul-Latif Abou-Heif (96 km in Lake Michigan in 1963). She voluntarily walked up onshore after 50 hours 36 minutes at 94.2 km (58.4 miles). For her gradual upping her distance over a 3-year period, for being a supportive friend of her swim buddy with multiple sclerosis, and for swimming the third longest lake swim in history, Alex Cape is a worthy nominee for the 2015 World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year.
2. Aurélie Muller, (France) Olympian and World Champion
Aurélie Muller is making the most of her second chance. The 2008 Olympian did not make the 2012 Olympics, but she came roaring back as the 2015 world champion in the 10 km marathon swim. Her victory at the FINA World Swimming Championships made her the first female swimmer to qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. With her tattoo "chase your dreams" on her foot, the 25-year-old realized one step of her dream by dramatically separately herself from a lead pack full of Olympic medalists and world champions by over 20 seconds. For her dominating victory that demonstrated her new-found confidence and tremendous stamina and speed, for never letting up on her Olympic dreams despite disappointment, for her genuinely cheerful and radiantly positive mindset before and after her first world championship title, Aurélie Muller is a worthy nominee for the 2015 World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year.
3. Bridgette Hobart Janeczko, (U.S.A.) Prolific Marathon Swimmer
Bridgette Hobart Janeczko planned and successfully completed 9 swims across the New York Finger Lakes, a 156-mile charity swim for Nazareth College. The company owner and race director from Lake Hopatcong, New Jersey has her hands full, but she had plenty of energy to promote Nazareth College's Wellness and Rehabilitation Institute with her The 5 Majors & The 4 Minors Swimming for a Cause. She completed crossings of Canandaigua</a> (15.5 miles in 7 hours 38 minutes), Keuka (19.88 miles in 9 hours 7 minutes), Skaneateles (16.03 miles in 7 hours 27 minutes), Cayuga (37.9 miles in 20 hours 33 minutes), Seneca (37.9 miles in 24 hours 31 minutes), Honeoye (4.5 miles in 2 hours 2 minutes), Conesus (8.08 miles in 3 hours 47 minutes), Otisco (6.21 miles in 2 hours 56 minutes), and Owasco (11.1 miles in 5 hours 57 minutes). For her ability to juggle so many things at once, for her serving as a catalyst to bring together the communities of the New York Finger Lakes, and for unprecedented Finger Lakes charity swim series, Bridgette Hobart Janeczko is a worthy nominee for the 2015 World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year.
4. Chloë McCardel, Channel Swimmer & Coach (Australia)
Chloë McCardel had a summer like no other in English Channel swimming history. Not only did she become only the fourth person in history to complete a three-way crossing in 36 hours 12 minutes, but she also coached a number of charity relays and did a long training swims in Loch Ness. She has now completed a total of 12 English Channel crossings at the young age of 30. With her husband Paul McQueeney aboard and the Brickell brothers piloting her escort boat, McCardel completed 3 solo crossings within 6 days (8 hours 52 minutes on Monday, 9 hours 56 minutes on Thursday, and 9 hours 48 minutes on Sunday. For her 115 km (63-mile) triple crossing of the English Channel where she faced hypothermia and intense pain on a 11:34 first leg, 11:08 second leg, and 13:30 leg, for her motivational coaching of English Channel relays and marathon swimmers, and for her inspirational swims that motivate swimmers of all ages and abilities, Chloë McCardel is a worthy nominee for the 2015 World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year.
5. Elina Makïnen, (Finland) Ice Swimmer
Elina Makïnen was non-stop wherever and whenever she competed in ice swimming competitions. At the Pirita Open in Estonia, in solo races at the Finish Championships, Winter Swimming Championships, or on relays at the World Ice Swimming Championships in Russia, she was both a friendly spirit and a competitive athlete. She completed the 450m endurance swim in a quick 6 minutes 33 seconds and covered 1,100m in 18 minutes. She also led off the winning Viimsi Veeklubi relay team with Henri Kaarma, Bruno Nopponen and Andres Olvik and later participated in the Fast and Frozen two-way North Channel relay. For her winter relay successes, for her mental strength and ice swimming knowledge, for her silver medal performance in the 1000m race (15:12) and her gold medal in the 450m endurance swim at the World Ice Swimming Championships in Russia, Elina Makïnen is a worthy nominee for the 2015 World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year.
6. Elizabeth Fry, Double Downing (U.S.A.)
Elizabeth Fry is a race director of the 25 km St. Vincent's Foundation Swim Across the Sound who blew the minds of many of the world's elite marathon swimmers. The veteran 57-year-old channel swimmer set another almost unfathomable bar in the open water community to improbable heights. Fry took one of the world's longest open water swimming competitions, the S.C.A.R. Swim Challenge, a 4-day stage swim in Arizona, and obliterated all sense of time and distance. Instead of doing the already-tough 41.7 miles (66.9 km) in the race, Fry simply double downed 83.4 miles (123.8 km): on Day 1, she swam back and forth 19 miles (30.4 km) in Saguaro Lake in 7 hours 32 minutes, on Day 2, she swam 18 miles (28.8 km) two ways in Canyon Lake in 7 hours 27 minutes, on Day 3, she double-crossed 34 miles (54.6 km) Apache Lake in 15 hours 47 minutes, and on Day 4, she double-crossed 12.4 miles (20 km) Roosevelt Lake 6 hours 18 minutes. For her two-timing 36 hour 55 minute S.C.A.R., for challenging herself for 4 consecutive days of double-crossings, and for continuing to support and provide leadership in one of the world's most successful charity swims in Connecticut, Elizabeth Fry is a worthy nominee for the 2015 World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year.
7. Lorna Cochran, Nonagenarian Swimmer (South Africa)
Lorna Cochran keeps entertaining and inspiring entire generations of open water swimmers. She extended her unprecedented record as the oldest finisher of the annual aQuellé Midmar Mile in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa with her 17th crossing of the Midmar Dam at the age of 92. While she confirmed her retirement from competitive open water swimming, she did her swan swim surrounded by 11 members of the remarkable Cochran clan that span four generations in the 1-mile race. For continuing to train and making her way across Midmar Dam for her last time and then emerging from the water to the delight, respect and applause from the large crowd, for pioneering competitive open water swimming for nonagenarian swimmers, and for going out with gracious style and humble grace in front of her 7 children, many of her 25 grandchildren and 28 great-grandchildren, Lorna Cochran is a worthy nominee for the 2015 World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year.
8. Pilar Geijo, FINA Grand Prix Champion (Argentina)
Pilar Geijo won the FINA Open Water Swimming Grand Prix</a> title in a tight season-long battle over Alice Franco of Italy. Pilar has now won the professional marathon swimming title 4 times out of the last 5 years: 2010, 2011, 2014 and 2015. The 31-year-old swimmer trains under her husband Diego Tricárico at Club River Plate where she competed 25 km Maratón Internacional Aguas Abiertas Villa Urquiza - Paraná (2nd in Argentina), the 15 km Maratón Cancún (5th in Mexico), the 32 km Traversée internationale du lac St-Jean (1st in Canada), the 33 km Ohridski Plivački Maraton (4th in Macedonia), and the 36 km Maratona del Golfo Capri-Napoli (2nd in Italy). For successful and close husband-and-wife teamwork, for consistently proving her strength and stamina over many closely competitive marathon swims, and for her positive spirit in promoting the sport of open water swimming, Pilar Geijo is a worthy nominee for the 2015 World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year.
9. Rachele Bruni, Olympian & FINA World Cup Champion (Italy)
Rachele Bruni had the year of her life. The 26-year-old not only won the competitive 10-race FINA/HOSA 10K Marathon Swimming World Cup professional circuit, but she also qualified for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games with a fourth place finish at the 2015 FINA World Championships in Kazan, Russia. She battled within tight packs in every race on the national and international scene, expertly positioning and pacing, surging and printing as necessary to emerge as one of next year's podium favorites for the Olympic 10 km marathon swim at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. For her competitive spirit, for her intensity of training, and for her tough international schedule, Rachele Bruni is a worthy nominee for the 2015 World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year.
10. Renata Novakova, Ice Swimming World Champion (Czech Republic)
Renata Novakova emerged as an unexpected superstar at the inaugural World Ice Swimming Championships in Murmansk, Russia. She set a world record in the 1000m ice swim in 14:21.68 in 0.8°C water and -7°C air, quite close to the veteran men on the male podium. Because the ice requires years of acclimatization and plenty of experience to achieve one's full potential, the 18-year-old is bound to rewrite the record books throughout her career. In her first outing, the teenager swam quite competitively against the established giants of the sport. For her victories on the Czech Cup circuit where she participated in 18 events ranging up to 1000m in water below 8°C, 4°C, or 2°C every Saturday from October until April, for training with her sister in Pardubice, and for showing that endurance ice swimming has both a bright future and huge potential, Renata Novakova is a worthy nominee for the 2015 World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year.
11. Sharon van Rouwendaal, Olympic Cross-over Speedster (Netherlands)
Sharon van Rouwendaal seeks and finds the award podium no matter what the venue. Van Rouwendaal became only the second woman in FINA history to medal in both swimming (400m freestyle bronze) and open water swimming (10 km marathon swim silver medal) while winning events from the world record setting 800m short course freestyle relay to the 15 km FINA Open Water Swimming Grand Prix race in Cozumel, Mexico. The humble 23-year-old qualified for the 2016 Olympic 10K Marathon Swim by finishing second in the 10 km marathon swim at the 2015 FINA World Championships in Russia. She finished second in the 5 km team pursuit at the FINA World Championships, won $17,000 at the 10 km Swim the Swan in Perth, Australia over an elite field and placed fourth in the 5 km race at the 2015 FINA World Championships. For her extraordinarily busy schedule at the FINA World Swimming Championships, for her willingness to race everything from 200m to 10 km, for her love of hard training under coach Philippe Lucas, Sharon Van Rouwendaal is a worthy nominee for the 2015 World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year.
12. Tita Llorens, Marathon Swimmer (Spain)
Margarita 'Tita' Llorens Bagur tried and tried to make a successful crossing of the Mallorca Channel between Ibiza to Mallorca, island in the Balearic Islands archipelago. She finally completed an unprecedented solo swim of 84.3 km (52.3 miles) that challenged the 46-year-old a total of 28 hours 13 minutes until she crawled upon Mola de Mallorca. For her persistence in attempting the Mallorca Channel over 2 years, for her comeback after a 74 km, 21-hour swim where she was pulled, and for her humble nature in concert her kayaker escort husband, Francisco Siscu Pons, Tita Llorens is a worthy nominee for the 2015 World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year.
2015 WOWSA Open Water Swimming
Performance of the Year Nominees
- Andreas Fath, (Germany) Swim for Science (Rheines Wasser)
- Andrea Fazio, (Italy) Like Father, Like Son
- Christian Reichert, (Germany), FINA World Cup Champion
- Dan Projansky, (U.S.A.) Butterflying Marathoner
- Jim Clifford, (U.S.A.) Oldest Triple Crowner
- Fast and Frozen by Henri Kaarma (Estonia), Ryan Stramrood (South Africa), Anna Carin-Nordin (Sweden), Patrick Corcoran (Ireland), Zdeněk Thalmika (Czech Republic), Elina Makïnen (International) Two-way North Channel Relay
- Ganga Avahan by Paramvir Singh, Gullupilli Narahari and Saripilli Srihari (India), Stage Swimmers
- Jordan Wilimovsky, (U.S.A.) Olympian & World Champion
- Kelly Gneiting, (U.S.A.) Sumo Swimmer
- Kimberley Chambers, (New Zealand) Farallon Freestyler
- Matthew Moseley, (U.S.A.), Trifecta Lake-Ocean-River Swimmer
- Mike Arbuthnot, (South Africa) Midmar Mile Founder
- Nejib Belhedi, (Tunisia) Camel Swim
- Night Train Swimmers by Grace van der Byl, Dave Holscher, Kimberley Chambers, Adam Eilath, Ashley Horne, Vito Bialla (International) NT300 Relay
- Oceans Seven Relayby Rick Gaenzle, Chris Kraus, Brian Ross (U.S.A.) Triumphant Trio
- Susan Simmons, (Canada)
- Swim the Eden Expedition by Calum Hudson, Jack Hudson, Robbie Hudson (Great Britain) Brotherly Wild Swim
- Team Nadadores Locos by Amy Appelhans Gubser, Kirk McKinney, Les Mangold, John Sims, Jeff Everett, Andrew McLaughlin (U.S.A.) Two-way Farallon Islands Relay
- The Deep Enders by Jim McConica, Tom Ball, John Chung, Zach Jirkovsky, Tamie Stewart, Stacey Warmuth (U.S.A.) San Nicholas Channelers
- The Old Men And The Sea Relay by Don Baker, Bill Spore, Dave Radcliffe, Graham Johnston, Bob Best, Bob Beach, Norm Stupfel (U.S.A.) Catalina Cruisers
- Theodore Yach, (South Africa) Robben Island Swims
- Trent Theroux, (U.S.A.) Comeback Circumnavigation
- Wendy Trehiou, (Jersey) Saint Malo to Jersey
1. Andreas Fath, Swim for Science (Rheines Wasser), (Germany)
Professor Dr. Andreas Fath took 25 stages and 28 days to swim 1,231 km (765 miles) in a stage swim along the length of the Rhine River from Lake Toma in the Graubünden Alps of Switzerland to the North Sea estuary in Hook of the Netherlands. The Swimming Professor from Furtwangen University dealt with heavy rains, strong currents and changing weather conditions while conducting research and testing with an European team of scientific collaborators. The Professor not only swam the mighty Rhine, but he also stayed true to his calling as a teaching professor, research scientist and accomplished inventor. The Professor of Physical and Analytical Chemistry who specializes in Ecological Engineering tested the micro-plastics pollution in the Rhine in a search for removing these substances with a unique chip and membrane attached to his leg. For his Rheines Wasser that combined athletics, navigation, logistics and science, for leading a scientific and logistics team from across Europe, and for testing the water for industrial chemicals, hormones, antidepressants, sweeteners, antibiotics, painkillers, drugs, pathogens and micro-plastics, Professor Dr. Andreas Fath's Rheines Wasser is a worthy nominee for the 2015 World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year.
2. Andrea Fazio, Like Father, Like Son (Italy)
Andrea Fazio has followed along the wake of his father Nino Fazio. The 15-year-old Andrea set a new record for a crossing of the Strait of Messina (Stretto di Messina), a standard previously thought to be unbeatable. With his swim of 30 minutes 6 seconds from Sicily to mainland Italy, a father and the son now simultaneously hold the record in a channel for both the single and double crossings. For his his challenge against an unassailable record, for learning about the open water from a paternal teacher, and for his technically beautiful stroke, Andrea Fazio's Strait of Messina record swim is a worthy nominee for the 2015 World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year.
3. Christian Reichert, FINA World Cup Champion, (Germany)
Christian Reichert won the most exciting FINA/HOSA 10K Marathon Swimming World Cup series in history. His battle with Allan Do Carmo started out in his favor, but he had to hold off the 2-time Brazilian Olympian with 2 top finishes in Canada and China and culminated his season with a victory in Hong Kong 10 km marathon swim on the last stroke. For the first time in his career, he stood on top of the series podium, a credit to his willingness to fly everywhere and anywhere to compete. It was a fitting cumulation to a long season in which he placed 7th in Viedma (Argentina), 3rd in Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirate), 10th in Cozumel (Mexico), 5th in Balatonfured (Hungary), 2nd in Setúbal Bay (Portugal), 4th in Lac-Mégantic (Canada), and 1st in Hong Kong in addition to competing in Kazan (Russia) at the FINA World Championships where he won gold in the 5 km team pursuit race. For his first career World Cup series title, for his consistent high-level performance around the world, and for his dramatic last-stroke, last-second victory on the final race of the FINA World Cup, Christian Reichert's World Cup series victory is a worthy nominee for the 2015 World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year.
4. Dan Projansky, Butterflying Marathoner (U.S.A.)
Dan Projansky has been flying for much of his adult life. His latest butterfly effort was a 36-mile (57.9 km) 15 hour 22 minute down the Red River between North Dakota and Minnesota. The mild-mannered banker from Chicago trains butterfly in a pool just like his races in the open water - straight, non-stop, uninterrupted double-arm pull with a steady dolphin kick. For his freshwater butterfly effort in muddied waters, for his 15+ hours of non-stop butterfly, and for his love of the toughest, roughest stroke on the planet, Dan Projansky's END-WET swim is a worthy nominee for the 2015 World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year.
5. Jim Clifford, Oldest Triple Crowner (U.S.A.)
Jim Clifford became the oldest person to complete the Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming with a fast 10 hour 3 minute crossing of the English Channel, the fastest time in history for the swimmers over the age of 50, performed less than 2 months short of his 64th birthday. Clifford started his journey to the Triple Crown at the age of 62, an inspirational role model for those on the second half of their lives. For his level of enthusiasm for endurance events in his sixth decade of life, for his extremely fast English Channel swim, and for his gentle spirit that exudes appreciation and gratitude to everyone involved in his journey, Jim Clifford's English Channel swim is a worthy nominee for the 2015 World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year.
6. Fast and Frozen, by Henri Kaarma (Estonia), Ryan Stramrood (South Africa), Anna Carin-Nordin (Sweden), Patrick Corcoran (Ireland), Zdeněk Thalmika (Czech Republic), Elina Makïnen (International) Two-way North Channel Relay
Fast and Frozen were both in its 2-way North Channel relay. The team of formidable ice swimmers completed an unprecedented double-crossing journey across the North Channel from Ireland to Scotland to Ireland. Henri Kaarma (Estonia), Ryan Stramrood (South Africa), Anna Carin-Nordin (Sweden), Patrick Corcoran (Ireland), Zdeněk Thalmika (Czech Republic), and Elina Makïnen (Finland) left the shores of Northern Ireland escorted by Pádraig Mallon of Infinity Channel Swimming. Inspired by the previous 2-way attempts by Kevin Murphy and Alison Streeter MBE, the team took 29 hours 57 minutes to pioneer a 2-way crossing escorted (appropriately enough) by Aquaholics II. For their 15 hours 46 minutes through Lion’s Mane jellyfish from Ireland to Scotland, for their 14 hour 13 minute return leg., and for their belief in themselves and their dream, Fast and Frozen's North Channel relay is a worthy nominee for the 2015 World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year.
7. Ganga Avahan by Paramvir Singh, Gullupilli Narahari and Saripilli Srihari (India), Stage Swimmers
Wing Commander Paramvir Singh, Sergeant Gullupilli Narahari and Sergeant Saripilli Srihari plan to take 35 days to swim 2,800 km (1,740 miles) down the river Ganga from Devprayag to Gangasagar on a tandem swim expedition, called Ganga Avahan, where they will swim up to 12 hours per day. As they traverse 60 to 80 km each day during daylight hours, they will encounter long, violent rapids up to Grade V that will expose them to significant risk. The swim is dangerous where rescue is difficult, even for their Army, Navy and Air Force medical and support teams. For the courage to face gharials, snakes, quicksand, rocks, swift currents, and hyenas, for their willingness to promote Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (Clean India Mission), and for their unprecedented tandem swim of 2,800 km through India, Ganga Avanhan is a worthy nominee for the 2015 World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year.
8. Jordan Wilimovsky, Olympian & World Champion (U.S.A.)
Jordan Wilimovsky is as unlikely a world champion as he is a likely one. With a technically and strategically brilliant performance at the FINA World Championships, he won the 10 km marathon swim and become the first male swimmer to qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. A man of slender build, he competes against athletes much larger and seemingly stronger than himself. But his quiet resolve, his voracious hunger for hard work, his relentless focus on technique, and his tremendous leg strength have helped him develop into the Olympic pre-race favorite in the 10 km marathon swim. For his outstanding technical skills, for his off-the-charts navigational IQ, and for his gradual improvement to become a world champion and Olympic gold medal favorite, Jordan Wilimovsky's dominating performance to win the world title in the 10 km marathon swim in Kazan, Russia is a worthy nominee for the 2015 World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year.
9. Kelly Gneiting, Sumo Swimmer (U.S.A.)
Kelly Gneiting certainly pulled the most amount of any open water swim this year during his 22-mile (35.4 km) solo swim across Navajo Lake from New Mexico to Colorado in 22 hours 46 minutes. The 200 kg (440 lbs.) sumo wrestler now has done both a marathon run and a marathon swim. He trained over 200 hours swimming over 200 miles to prepare his oversized body to tackle his latest challenge despite having bronchitis and experiencing searing pain from an injured ankle. For gutting out the last 320 meters over an agonizing 3 hours, for training months on end for a goal seemingly out of his wheelhouse, and for being the heaviest person to complete an ultra-marathon swim, Kelly Gneiting's Navajo Lake swim is a worthy nominee for the 2015 World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year.
10. Kimberley Chambers, Farallon Freestyler (New Zealand)
Kimberley Chambers added another feat to her impressive, but unlikely, swimming resume when she became the first woman to swim from the Farallon Islands to the Golden Gate Bridge. The 38-year-old former ballerina's 30-mile tenacious solo swim took an agonizing 17 hours 12 minutes that ended with Chambers in the hospital. For her drive to overcome severe dehydration and push her body to the deep abyss of discomfort and pain, for being the first women to tackle arguably the world's most difficult channels, and for her unfailing courage despite the presence of the Great White Sharks, Kimberley Chambers' Farallon Islands swim is a worthy nominee for the 2015 World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year.
11. Matthew Moseley, Trifecta Lake-Ocean-River Swimmer (U.S.A.)
Matthew Moseley completed a unique trifecta of unprecedented marathon swims by finishing 3 swims in a lake, ocean and river. He planned and completed the first swimming descent of the Colorado River, swimming a tough 76.4 km (47.5-mile) through Canyonlands over 13 hours 56 minutes. It was the last of his solo series that included a 38 km (24-mile) inter-island swim in Puerto Rico in 12 hours 1 minute 55 seconds, called Cruce y Nado por los Arrecifes de Coral, and his 40.2 km (25-mile) swim across Lake Pontchartrain in 14 hours 55 minutes. For his harrowing river marathon, for his unique marketing of the sport through music and movies, for this constant theme of helping improve the marine environment, Matthe Moseley's trifecta marathon swim series is a worthy nominee for the 2015 World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year.
12. Mike Arbuthnot, Midmar Mile Founder (South Africa)
Mike Arbuthnot has gone 42 for 42. The 82-year-old completed his 42nd Midmar Mile out of the 42 editions ever held. That kind of consistency and dedication is unparalleled in the open water swimming world. He has done a total of over 80 swims across the Midmar Dam in South Africa, and keeps training and maintaining his healthy lifestyle. For his original vision in creating the Midmar Mile, for this decades-long commitment to support the event in every and any means possible, and for his continued wellness that serves as an inspiration to those in the younger generations, Mike Arbuthnot's 42nd consecutive Midmar Mile swim is a worthy nominee for the 2015 World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year.
13. Nejib Belhedi, Camel Swim (Tunisia)
Nejib Belhedi has been turning heads and changing mindsets with this World Iron Swim tour, but with his 4 km swim in Mahdia, he made people stop in their tracks. The English Channel swimmer completed a number of World Iron Swims throughout his native Tunisia where he pulled children, adults and camels along in a boat during highly publicized swims of peace in the turbulent world around his homeland. For his creativity of selecting a 1.5-ton camel to pull along to highlight his swims of peace, for his relentless promotion of the joy, challenge and healthfulness of open water swimming for people of all ages, and for his constantly cheerful attitude that rubs off positively on children and adults, Nejib Belhedi’s Camel Swim is a worthy nominee for the 2015 World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year.
14. Night Train Swimmers by Grace van der Byl, Dave Holscher, Kimberley Chambers, Adam Eilath, Ashley Horne, Vito Bialla (International) NT300 Relay
The Night Train Swimmers continue to up the bar for six-person relays and charitable giving. Every year they do something new and inspirational. This year's NT300 relay accomplished their goal of swimming 300 non-stop miles in San Francisco Bay. They swam a total of 500.5 km (311 miles) from Monday to Friday, a tough work week where they raised enough money to help gunshot victim Arthur Renowitzky receive expensive cutting-edge technology to help him walk again. Grace van der Byl, Dave Holscher, Kimberley Chambers, Adam Eilath, Ashley Horne and Vito Bialla survived and thrived on very little sleep, a lot of hard work, and much inspiration throughout 5 days and nights in the chilly San Francisco Bay. For their charitable effort on behalf of a young man, for their record-setting distance swims, and for their efforts to raise as much money as possible for others in need, the Night Train Swimmers is a worthy nominee for the 2015 World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year.
15. Oceans Seven Relay by Rick Gaenzle, Chris Kraus, Brian Ross (U.S.A.) Triumphant Trio
Rick Gaenzle, Chris Kraus and Brian Ross achieved a dream with a unique twist. Based on their strong friendship and goal of doing something unique, the trio not only completed their 3-man relay crossing of the Cook Strait, but also became the first relay team in history to complete the Oceans Seven with that 13 hour 51 minute crossing in New Zealand. For their creativity in achieving the first relay Oceans Seven, for their crossing of the North Channel, Molokai Channel, Catalina Channel, English Channel, Strait of Gibraltar and Tsugaru Channel, and for their joyous perspective while facing cold and rough waters, the Oceans Seven Relay of Rick Gaenzle, Chris Kraus and Brian Ross is a worthy nominee for the 2015 World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year.
16. Susan Simmons, Swimming with Multiple Sclerosis (Canada)
Susan Simmons had a huge goal: to swim for the longest known distance in a freshwater setting. Her chosen venue was Canada's Cowichan Lake. Swimming alongside Alex Cape for the third straight year, Simmons has dealing with an obstacle few swimmers face: multiple sclerosis. She was able to overcome MS to organize this swim, but she had to walk on shore at 44 km with nausea after 21 hours 18 minutes of struggle. She was disappointed for sure, but she is also undaunted. For her unwavering support of her swim buddy who continued to swim to 94 km, for her inspirational efforts as an MS sufferer, and for her continued drive to get back in the water and ultimately achieve her goal, Susan Simmons’ 105 km swim attempt is a worthy nominee for the 2015 World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year.
17. Swim the Eden Expedition by Calum Hudson, Jack Hudson, Robbie Hudson (Great Britain) Brotherly Wild Swim
25-year-old Calum Hudson, 23-year-old Jack Hudson, and 28-year-old Robbie Hudson, called the Wild Swimming Brothers, completed their 3-man GPS-tracked 9-day 145 km (90-mile) Swim The Eden Expedition along Cumbria's River Eden in England from Hell Gill Beck in North Yorkshire to the Solway Firth where the river flows out into the Irish Sea. They camped out along the river and carried along their provisions and gear, living a primal wild swim that captured the attention of both open water swimmers and not, inspiring many others to enjoy and protect the natural world. For their year-long preparation that included a 25-minute swim in Gulf of Corryvreckan, the world's third largest whirlpool, for their desire to rekindle memories of their childhood and brotherhood growing up along the River Eden, and for their unprecedented brotherly wild swim, the Swim The Eden Expedition is a worthy nominee for the 2015 World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year.
18. Team Nadadores Locos by Amy Appelhans Gubser, Kirk McKinney, Les Mangold, John Sims, Jeff Everett, Andrew McLaughlin (U.S.A.) Two-way Farallon Islands Relay
Team Nadadores Locos, a San Francisco-based 6-person relay, swam from the Golden Gate Bridge to the Farallon Islands and back, a total of 59.4 miles in 34 hours 54 minutes. Under the escort of Captains Brent McLain and Marino Cacciotti, Amy Appelhans Gubser, Kirk McKinney, Les Mangold, John Sims, Jeff Everett, and Andrew McLaughlin completed the first two-way crossing of the Farallon Islands. For their plotting and planning a doable course to and from the Farallon Islands, for their deep-seated desire to keep alive their dream after an initial failure, and for their unprecedented adventure, Team Nadadores Locos' two-way Farallon Islands crossing is a worthy nominee for the 2015 World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year.
19. The Deep Enders by Jim McConica, Tom Ball, John Chung, Zach Jirkovsky, Tamie Stewart, Stacey Warmuth (U.S.A.) San Nicholas Channelers
Far, far offshore from the California coast, an uninhibited island made famous by the 1960 novel Island of the Blue Dolphin rests. Despite the plethora of ocean swimmers around the Pacific Rim, no one had yet attempted to swim the 112.8 km (70.1 miles) between San Nicholas Island and the California mainland. But The Deep Enders, a passionately serious group of masters swimmers in Ventura, took on the challenge. The sextet (64-year-old Jim McConica, 55-year-old Tom Ball, 45-year-old John Chung, 34-year-old Zach Jirkovsky, 42-year-old Tamie Stewart, and 59-year-old Stacey Warmuth), escorted by Greg Elliot, battled rough conditions and marine life to complete the unprecedented relay in 33 hours 37 minutes. For their long swim back from over 100 km out to sea, for their triumphant effort and logistics to get the swim accomplished, and for their ongoing pioneering spirit that spews enjoyment when they hit the ocean, The Deep Enders’ San Nicholas crossing is a worthy nominee for the 2015 World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year.
20. The Old Men And The Sea Relay by Don Baker, Bill Spore, Dave Radcliffe, Graham Johnston, Bob Best, Bob Beach, Norm Stupfel (U.S.A.) Catalina Cruisers
The Old Men and The Sea Relay literally lived up to their name. With 84-year-old Don Baker, 80-year-old Dr. Bill Spore, 81-year-old Dave Radcliffe, 84-year-old Graham Johnston, 82-year-old Bob Best, 85-year-old Bob Beach, and 82-year-old Norm Stupfel, the octogenarian sextet demonstrated an impressive level of confidence, calm and capabilities as veteran swimmers of the ocean. The men completed a 12 hour 15 minute crossing of the Catalina Channel that deservedly garnered national media attention. For simply and spectacularly going about their business in the Pacific Ocean, for their training for and execution of a channel relay, and for their humble nature after receiving public acclaim, The Old Men and The Sea Relay is a worthy nominee for the 2015 World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year.
21. Theodore Yach, (South Africa) Robben Island Swims
The Robben Island swim is a destination event, enjoyed by thousands who come from around the world to swim 7 km from the famed island prison to the beautiful shores of Cape Town, South Africa. But there is one swimmer who stands out. Mile after mile, year after year, decade after decade without fail, Theodore Yach has looked across the cold waters from Robben Island to his beautiful Cape Town and put his head down. 94 times the 55-year-old has successfully made the Robben Island crossing, encountering everything from tricky tides to threatening sharks. Along the way, he has down many other challenging swims for charitable purposes, but it is Robben Island that always calls him back to the sea. For his charitable works and campaigns centered around Robben Island, for his lifelong dedication as the King of Robben Island, and for his sense of adventure to keep pushing himself as he ages, Theodore Yach's Robben Island Swims is a worthy nominee for the 2015 World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year.
22. Trent Theroux, (U.S.A.) Comeback Circumnavigation
Trent Theroux completed a 16 hour 20 minute 41.5-mile circumnavigation swim around Aquidneck Island in Rhode Island's Narragansett Bay. His charity swim, called Back to Newport, benefits RISE Above Paralysis, was a deeply personal cause. After being was run over by a motorboat where the propellers severed all the major muscles in his back and carved out five pieces of his spine, Theroux was paralyzed. He was down and out. But Theroux fought all the back and swam to raise money for those who are not fortunate enough to stand up from the hospital bed. For his never-ending spirit, for his courage to tackle an unprecedented swim, and for his charitable giving to those who face similar problems, Trent Theroux's Back to Newport swim is a worthy nominee for the 2015 World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year.
23. Wendy Trehiou, (Jersey) Saint Malo to Jersey
Wendy Trehiou pioneered a tough swim from Saint Malo to Jersey in the English Channel. Her 57.4 km (36-mile) swim pushed all her button for 24 hours 7 minutes as she faced a strong head wind and choppy sea conditions. But the veteran from Jersey just kept on putting one arm in front of the other and grit her teeth when she was stung by jellyfish. The 46-year-old breast cancer survivor knows how to deal with setbacks and pain, but does so much a smile and appreciation for all those around her. For her dramatic comeback from fighting cancer with a pioneering swim, for her second 24-hour Club swim of her career, and for her constant spirit of adventure despite tough swimming conditions, Wendy Trehiou’s Saint Malo to France crossing is a worthy nominee for the 2015 World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year.
2015 WOWSA Open Water Swimming
Offering of the Year
- Axis Buoy by FINIS
- Best Places To Swim by Orca
- Chillswim Coniston by Chillswim
- Find A Way by Diana Nyad
- IOLITE by Stephen Holm, Raymond Rogers, and Justin Peck
- Lake Geneva Swimming Association by Ben Barham
- Madswimmers Charity Swims by Jean Craven
- Samsung Boğaziçi Kıtalararası Yüzme Yarışı (Samsung Intercontinental Bosphorus Swimming Competition) by the National Olympic Committee of Turkey
- Sting No More™ by Dr. Angel Yanagihara
- Swim Across America
- SwimCross in Switzerland
- SwimEars® by Hans Henrik Heming
- Swimmit by Ivan Peralta
- SwimTrack by Evan Morrison
- WEST (Water World Swimming Therapy)
- World Ice Swimming Championships in Russia
1. Axis Buoy by FINIS
The Axis Buoy is another outstanding product envisioned and created by FINIS. The multi-function pull buoy can be used as a traditional buoy, isolating the legs while utilizing the core and upper body muscles and serving as an ankle float that encourages better body alignment and a more horizontal body position on the surface of the water, which helps to increase stroke efficiency. The ergonomic design allows the device to be easily moved from the upper legs to the ankles and can also be used as a kickboard and a comfortable pillow to use on the deck of an escort boat, in the bleachers by a swimming pool, on the beach, or on a long flight in an airplane. For its versatility and utility, for its ergonomic design, and for its designers who took a year to develop it, the Axis Buoy by FINIS is a worthy nominee for the 2015 World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year.
2. Best Places To Swim by Orca
Best Places to Swim is Orca's new service that enables the ability for the global community for open water swimmers and triathletes to can upload and describe their favorite open water courses. Athletes can both teach and share their favorite courses as well as learn and download information from other courses that swimmers have recommended. The information includes the difficulty of the course (easy, medium, hard), services available (restrooms, locker rooms, showers, bar, restaurant), safety conditions to be aware of (rocks, marine life, currents), and ample room to describe the courses as much detail as necessary. For its core business of sports apparel to social media offerings, for its global outlook from Down Under to across the world's continents, and for an easy-to-use, convenient service, Best Places to Swim by Orca is a worthy nominee for the 2015 World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year.
3. Chillswim Coniston by Chillswim
Chillswim Coniston is driving more and more people of all ages and abilities to significantly extend themselves in the open water. Held in Coniston in the Lake District of England, the challenging shore-to-shore 5.25-mile maxed out at 750 participants wearing the mandatory Swim Secure tow-float. A great linear layout with mile markers and four feed station boats, swimmers were treated to hydration, energy gels, jelly babies and bananas as sustenance where finish times ranged between 2-7 hours for swimmers with and without wetsuits. For its focus on and attention to swimmers from all walks of life and myriad goals, for its safety-focused, well-oiled production of a point-to-point swim, and for its attention to detail and delivery of another sold-out open water swimming extravaganza, the Chillswim Coniston is a worthy nominee for the 2015 World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year.
4. Find A Way by Diana Nyad
Diana Nyad wrote her memoirs about her tenacious 52 hour 54 minute swim from Havana, Cuba to the shores of Florida across the Gulf Stream and the Straits of Florida. Although her Cuba swim is the focus of the 304-page book, all kinds of lifetime experiences and recollections keep readers engaged throughout. Her eloquence comes through loud and clear as readers can derive a number of inspirational messages on how they can reach their own shores – no matter what the age or goals of the reader. For triumphantly completing her dream to dramatically swim from Cuba to Florida at the age of 64, for sharing her difficult, multi-decade path to realize this dream and infusing her story with all kinds of heart-felt advice, and for always encouraging and showing others how to chase their dreams no matter what their age, Diana Nyad’s Find A Way is a worthy nominee for the 2015 World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year.
5. IOLITE by Stephen Holm, Raymond Rogers, and Justin Peck
Eons ago, the Vikings were extraordinarily skilled navigators in the harsh oceanic conditions who used the mineral iolite that could pinpoint the sun despite heavy cloud cover, allowing them to navigate in otherwise impossible conditions. Their remarkable navigational IQ can now be replicated by an invention developed by Utah triathletes Stephen Holm, Raymond Rogers, and Justin Peck. The trio has integrated modern-day technologies with IOLITE to help solve one of the greatest challenges of swimming in the open water: navigation. A tiny LED array in the IOLITE goggle lens while swimming in the water provides input for the straightest swim possible. For enabling open water swimmers and triathletes to swim along their designated course on a straight line by giving directional instructions inside goggles, for offering a high-precision GPS tracking device that is placed on the back of swim goggles, and for providing real-time navigational feedback and post-swim data analyses to swimmers, the IOLITE goggles is a worthy nominee for the 2015 World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year.
6. Lake Geneva Swimming Association by Ben Barham
Lake Geneva Swimming Association took a beautiful venue in Switzerland that had only been previously crossed twice before and promoted it as the 69 km Ultimate Trophy Swim. Ben Barham not only established a new governing body that welcomes soloists and relays, but also established a visual record of its attempts and successes. For supporting the 28 hour 12 minute efforts of Kate Mason and Julia Aston, for supporting the 32 hour 52 minute crossing by Jaimie Monahan, and for putting another gorgeous venue on the global marathon swimming map, the Lake Geneva Swimming Association completed a 2-person relay across Lake Geneva under the auspices of the Lake Geneva Swimming Association is a worthy nominee for the 2015 World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year.
7. Madswimmers Charity Swims by Jean Craven
Madswimmers has been raising funds for good children causes throughout its existence. This year, their challenge was an unprecedented 35 km Swahili Channel Crossing between Zanzibar Island and the mainland of Tanzania. Founded by Jean Craven in 2009, Madswimmers have also crossed Lake Tanganyika (38 km 12 hours), Sterkfontein Dam crossing (17 km), Knysna Lagoon (14.5 km in winter) and Lewis Tarn, the highest lake in Africa on Mt Kenya (4800m above sea level), raising more than US$300,000 for its causes. Madswimmers Jean Craven, Juandre Human, Hardi Wilkins and Megan Harrington-Johnson crossed the highest water body in Africa, Lewis Tarn at 4700 meters above sea level high up on the slopes in Mount Kenya in 6.5°C water. It was a training swim for their Ojos Swim which is at 6,300 meter with 1-2°C water. For having to carry chain saws up at 6,300 meters to cut open the top ice layer, for raising money and awareness of various children charities, and for helping push forward the frontiers of high-altitude swims, the Madswimmers Charity Swims are a worthy nominee for the 2015 World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year.
8. Samsung Boğaziçi Kıtalararası Yüzme Yarışı (Samsung Intercontinental Bosphorus Swimming Competition) by the National Olympic Committee of Turkey
Point-to-point swims in shifting currents and tides always provide the self-satisfaction and challenge that is easy for open water swimmers to understand and feel. But when a swim ties together two of the Earth's continents in an iconic setting with thousands of other participants, the challenge becomes much more profoundly satisfying. Samsung Boğaziçi Kıtalararası Yüzme Yarışı provides the logistics and safety net for swimmers around the world to swim 6.5 km across the Istanbul Strait between Asia and Europe. Starting on the Asian side of the Bosphorus to Kuruçesme on the European side, the event is so massively popular and well-organized that it is natural the international open water extravaganza has grown from 68 swimmers in 1989 to nearly 5,000 participants. For the professional organization of the event by the National Olympic Committee of Turkey, for the production of a challenging event across a dynamically moving body of water in a such an iconic location, and for the joyful multi-cultural, multi-lingual ambiance of bioprened and neoprened swimmers, Samsung Boğaziçi Kıtalararası Yüzme Yarışı is a worthy nominee for the World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year.
9. Sting No More™ by Dr. Angel Yanagihara
Sting No More™ is an over-the-counter cosmetic-category brand that includes jellyfish relief cream that used to protect against the venom by the box jellyfish. Developed by Dr. Angel Yanagihara who specializes in venom research, the pharmaceutical preparations are specifically designed for ocean swimmers, professional divers, military personnel and clinical applications used by health care professionals. For the state-of-the-art research results in the prevention of specific inhibitors of dangerous venom toxins, for the greatly appreciated treatment for envenomation sequelae, and for its scientifically-sound approach that can withstand any peer review, Sting No More™ is a worthy nominee for the World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year.
10. Swim Across America
Swim Across America continues to power on, making waves in the charity swim community since 1987. The volunteer-supported organization, led by Janel Jorgensen McArdle and engineered by a passionate army of donors, forges on as it continues to improve and expand its events and domestic and international offerings. The non-profit group engaged with 53,437 donors and hosted dozens of events for 7,191 participants that generated US$6.27 million in donations in 2015. These funds support dozens of cancer research institutions and programs from coast to coast. For its continuous growth ever so selflessly and innovatively, for donating millions of dollars for cancer research, prevention and treatment, and for instigating a powerful response from the swimming community to fight cancer in a respectful and joyful manner, Swim Across America is a worthy nominee for the World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year.
11. SwimCross in Switzerland
SwimCross is an innovative and enjoyable open water swimming lake competition with four purposeful obstacles situated along its course in Strandbad in Uster Zurich, Switzerland. The event demands not only strategy and strength, but also testing the athletes' agility and balance. It adds another exciting layer of challenge by also serving as an elimination-style race with an in-the-water start and run-on-land finish. In each heat, 10 athletes race together with the final championship heat pitting the best 8 women and best 8 men together. For its uniqueness as an open water source, for its physical challenges that test myriad physical capabilities, and for its elimination-format preliminary races and final championship competition, the SwimCross is a worthy nominee for the 2015 World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year.
12. SwimEars® by Hans Henrik Heming
Hans Henrik, founder of the Danish Open Water Swimming Association and CPH Swim in Copenhagen, Denmark, took a basic problem of open water swimming and did something about it. Utilizing financing from an innovative Kickstarter campaign, Henrick took a simple product like earplugs and made them better. He envisioned, designed, produced and marketed a means to protect against ear inflammation and dizziness without affecting hearing and balance. For its cool packaging and even cooler design with a leash, for its ability to let sound in but keep water out, and for inspiring 1,680 financial backers to finance his vision for a new kind of ear plugs, Hans Henrick's SwimEars® is a worthy nominee for the 2015 World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year.
13. Swimmit by Ivan Peralta
Swimmit is a new cool convenient app, created by Ivan Peralta, that helps swimmers and triathletes or anyone who enjoy the open water to create and join meetups, create new training courses, discover expedition routes, connect with other swimmers, and offer a training log. With the Swimmit app on their ever-present mobile devices, swimmers can discover the best swimming routes near them, make friends with other swimmers, create personalized tracks with the track editor, and register their training sets and discover their performance trends. For its practicality to share and shed new information about open water swims, for its convenience in helping swimmers meet other like-minded athletes, and for its ease-of-use and design elegance, Swimmit is a worthy nominee for the 2015 World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year.
14. SwimTrack by Evan Morrison
SwimTrack is a powerful, easy-to-use and simple-to-understand app that enables people all over the world to following currently ongoing marathon swims through a web browser in near real-time. SwimTrack brings the global community literally and figuratively closer to marathon and channel swimmers who are plying the waves around the globe. SwimTrack provides significantly better mapping, comprehensive track analytics, and a much more visually dynamic user experience compared to typical GPS trackers. SwimTrack was developed by Evan Morrison and is offered by the Marathon Swimmers Federation. The free app can be embedded for/by swimmers and organizations that wish to use SwimTrack on their own websites. For tying the global open water swimming community closer together, for utilizing various technologies under one interface, and for bringing more excitement and accurate information about swimmers beyond the shoreline without a fee, SwimTrack is a worthy nominee for the World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year.
15. WEST (Water World Swimming Therapy)
Ori Sela and 140 coaches and aqua-therapists at WEST, Water World Swimming Therapy, have created on online and practical training system to help people with shoulder pain but who want to continue swimming in both the pool and open water. With a practical solution and a belief in the strength that water can give, WEST provides relief daily for people of all ages, some of which are recovering from cerebrovascular accidents (strokes) or who suffer from lower back or neck pain. For offering courses that teach swimmers how to train with an injury and work on their legs, dolphin kick, and core muscles, for a swimming technique that helps heals people who suffer from lower back pain, and for expanding an effective hydrotherapy offering around the world, WEST is a worthy nominee for the 2015 World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year.
16. World Ice Swimming Championships in Russia
In the fast-growing niche in the open water swimming world, competition got really kick-started with the inaugural World Ice Swimming Championships where relays and the 1 km swim were the highlights of the competition with athletes like Christof Wandratsch of Germany and Renata Novakova of Czech Republic. Safety, preparation, pomp and circumstance were the themes of the day while the athletic performances were off the charts. With the air temperature around Lake Semenovskoe in Murmansk at -7°C and the water temperature at 0.8°C, the biggest city in the world inside the Arctic Circle, showcased history's greatest ice swimming competition at the World Ice Swimming Championships in Murmansk. For providing a venue and circumstances for mind-boggling performance literally in the ice, for a level of pomp and circumstance worthy of a world championship event in front of a global audience, and for setting the stage for an entire generation of international ice swimming exploits, the World Ice Swimming Championships in Murmansk is a worthy nominee for the 2015 World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year.
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