Ventura Deep Six Is Open Water's Performance Of The Year

Ventura Deep Six Is Open Water’s Performance Of The Year

The Ventura Deep Six won the 2010 World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year for its outstanding world record relay swim of 202 miles (325K) along the rugged California coast during the coldest winter on record.

Scott Stankey memorialized the exploits of the Ventura Deep Six in a visually outstanding documentary.

The dual nominees for the 2010 World Open Water Swimming Men of the Year and the 2010 World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year were deserving winners for spending 101 hours and 39 minutes (or 4 days, 5 hours and 39 minutes) on the high seas constantly rotating in one-hour segments in a traditional English Channel relay format.

Congratulations to Tom Ball, Kurtis Baron, John Chung, Jim McConica, Jim Neitz and Mike Shaffer who overcame intense fog, cold water that got as low as 13°C (56°F), large ocean swells, tremendous chop for four straight days on end swimming among gigantic pods of playful dolphin and flesh-eating fish.

For their physical effort and logistical planning in organizing an escort flotilla, including the 135-foot mother ship, that safely guided them in the open ocean, the six men were recognized by their peers in the open water swimming community.

With the growing popularity of open water swimming, there were hundreds of outstanding performances by open water swimmers around the world during 2010 – the 21 nominees for the 2010 World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year are merely a small representatives of all the heroes and heroines out in the open water water. But the efforts of the 21 nominees stood out for their uniqueness, heroism and sustained difficulty or commitment.

The nominees are all very special individuals who were honored because they (1) embody the spirit of open water swimming, (2) possess the sense of adventure, tenacity and perseverance that open water swimmers are known for, and (3) demonstrated some of the most impressive open water swimming performances of the year.

The final vote tally was as follows:

1. Ventura Deep Six, Relay Swimmers (USA) 19.91% (2,183 votes)
2. Swim 22, Relay Swimmers (USA) 14.91% (1,635 votes)
3. Marcellus Wiley, Advocate (USA) 13.64% (1,496 votes)
4. Vojislav Mijic, Promoter/Organizer (Serbia) 7.29% (799 votes)
5. Jamie Patrick, Swimmer (USA) 6.99% (767 votes)
6. Marcelo Collet, Swimmer (Brazil) 5.57% (611 votes)
7. Spyridon Gianniotis, Antonios Fokaidis and Kalliope Araouzou, Swimmers (Greece) 5.33% (584 votes)
8. Miguel Vadillo, Swimmer (Mexico) 5.24% (575 votes)
9. Mexican American Unity Swim, Relay Swimmers (Mexico/USA) 3.77% (413 votes)
10. Alex Meyer, Swimmer (USA) 3.64% (399 votes)
11. John Van Wisse, Swimmer (Australia) 3.03% (332 votes)
12. Finy Fichera, Swimmer (Italy) 1.97% (216 votes)
13. Ian van der Hulst, Swimmer (Netherlands) 1.94% (213 votes)
14. Stephen Redmond, Swimmer (Ireland) 1.78% (195 votes)
15. Chloe McCardel, Swimmer (Australia) 1.7% (186 votes)
16. Philippe Croizon, Swimmer (France) 1.15% (126 votes)
17. Rachel Golub, Patricai Sener, Cristian Vergara, Swimmers (USA/Chile) 0.83% (91 votes)
18. Rob Dumouchel, Swimmer / Documentarist (USA) 0.46% (50 votes)
19. Lewis Pugh, Swimmer (Great Britain) 0.42% (46 votes)
20. Penny Palfrey, Swimmer (Australia) 0.39% (43 votes)
21. Damme-Brugge Race, Organizers (Belgium) 0.05% (5 votes)

The official announcement by Open Water Source is here:

Photo of Ventura Deep Six courtesy of

Copyright © 2011 by World Open Water Swimming Association
Steven Munatones