Where Women Dominate

Where Women Dominate

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

From the early 1980s on to the early 21st century, the percentage of male and female swimmers in many open water swims around the United States has remained approximately 70%-30% (i.e., 7 men for every 3 women).

But in the 21st century, especially over the last 5 years, the percentage of women participating in open water swimming has accelerated. Not only is the overall number of athletes increasing, but the percentage of athletes who are female are increasing relative to men. The Great Swims in England were one of the first major mass participation swimming events where the number of female entrants outnumbered the number of male swimmers and the 2013 Manhattan Island Marathon Swim had more female solo participants (15) than male participants (13).

The S.C.A.R Swim Challenge 4-day stage swim in Arizona has come to epitomize this undeniable trend towards greater participation of the fairer gender. Founder Kent Nicholas describes his SCAR 2014 event. “Excited about the diverse and qualified lineup of 40 swimmers.” The field that comes from 16 American states and 4 countries with an average age of 47.1 is 60% female and 40% male.

The field includes some very fast female swimmers (like Kristin Jones), several famous luminaries of the sport (like Elizabeth Fry and Sally Minty-Gravett), and a more than a few tough male swimmers (like butterflying Daniel Projansky). All in all, it is a Who’s Who of the marathon swimming world:

1. Ann Marie Mullally, Ireland
2. Anna Delozier, Arizona
3. Brad Lundblad, Arizona
4. Bryan Mineo, Texas
5. Bridgette Hobart, New Jersey
6. Cliff Crozier, Colorado
7. Courtney Paulk, Virginia
8. Cynthia Hertzer, California
9. Dan Simonelli, California
10. Daniel Projansky, Illinois
11. David Barra, New York
12. David Smith, California
13. Elizabeth Fry, Connecticut
14. Emily Evans, Arizona
15. Eric Anderson, Wisconsin
16. Erica Sheckler, Pennsylvania
17. Hendrik Meerman, Colorado
18. Isabell Whited, Arizona
19. Janet Manning, Maryland
20. Jim Fitzpatrick, California
21. Joanne Menard, Arizona
22. Kathryn Mason, U.K.
23. Kristin Jones, Alaska
24. Lisa DeLaurentis, Australia
25. Melodee Nugent, Wisconsin
26. Mo Siegel, New York
27. Patty Gray, Arizona
28. Patty Hermann, Texas
29. Paula Yankauskas, Vermont
30. Peter Lofquist, Arizona
31. Ranie Crowley Pearce, California
32. Sally Minty-Gravett U.K. (shown above)
33. Scott Lautman, Washington
34. Shannon Keegan, Oregon
35. Susie Paul, Arizona
36. Thomas W. Kofler, Italy
37. Vito Rubino, California
38. Laurie Bauber, Washington
39. Gary Emich, California
40. Kristine Buckley, California

SCAR SWIM 2013 from Knicholas on Vimeo. Copyright © 2014 by World Open Water Swimming Association
Steven Munatones