WOWSA Awards 2022

Meet the Voting Academy for the 2022 WOWSA Awards

WOWSA Man of the Year

WOWSA Woman of the Year

WOWSA Performance of the Year

WOWSA Para Performance of the Year

WOWSA Event of the Year

WOWSA Product/Service of the Year


The WOWSA Awards is an annual recognition of the world’s open water swimmers, products, services and events in 6 different categories via a global online poll.

The WOWSA Awards was founded in 2008 to celebrate the incredible innovation and accomplishments in our sport.

The Voting Academy

The voting academy can submit nominations through the official form in the 6 main award categories until December 31, 2022. These nominations will be considered “official nominations”.


Round One (Voting Academy Only)

The voting academy will vote on the public nominations and official nominations to determine the final 10 nominees in each category. Official nominations will be voted on separately.

Round Two

The public can vote on the nominees split across 6 main award categories and will be able to vote through dedicated pages on the WOWSA website from January 7, 2023 – January 31, 2023.

The voting academy will vote on the nominees split across 6 main award categories through a special form sent to all members of the academy. The deadline for voting is January 31, 2023.

The calculation of the final results will weigh the voting academy’s vote at 75%, while the public vote will count 25% towards choosing the final winners.

Final Score will be calculated with the following formula = (academy votes / total academy votes) * 0.75 + (public votes / total public votes) * 0.25

The winners for each of the 6 categories will be announced on February 7, 2023 at 1 PM (Pacific)

Nominations Deadline — December 31st 2022
Final nominations Announced & Voting Begins — January 10, 2023

Voting Academy: Are you a past WOWSA Awards nominee or winner? Please join the academy and submit your nominations here.




WOWSA Official voting members. Voting members are former WOWSA Award nominees & winners

Ram Barkai

Extreme Ice Swimmer. Founder of IISA and distance Ice Swimming. Completed 11 ice miles and dozens of Ice KM. Swam in Antarctica x 3 and Svalbard x 2. Open Water swimmer with several Marathons. Loves the cold water, icy. Father of four amazing children.  Cant wait to my next adventure…in raw nature with icy water.

Kathy Batts

My swimming achievements date back to 1975 when I was a member of the youngest mixed relay team to swim the Channel. In 1996 I was a member of the first British Ladies team to complete a two-way English Channel.In 2013 I swam the Channel solo, I hold the Triplecrown and I have swum the length of Lake Tahoe. I am joint Director of the Kings Swimmers, where I coach swimmers of all levels and abilities. I train and Assess Pool and Beach Lifeguards as well as teach First Aid.

Patti Bauernfeind McMurdie

My love for open water swimming is a means for me to combine swimming with other areas of my life that are really important to me. Raising money to educate kids, traveling to cool places, meeting inspiring people and bring together friends and family to help me achieve my goals.

Cameron Bellamy

Cameron started swimming at 29 when he decided to try and attempt the English Channel. He has since completed the Oceans Seven and some longer swims in the Caribbean, where his longest was from Barbados to St Lucia (150km and 56 hours).

Abhejali Bernardová

Abhejali Bernardová is a runner and open water swimmer from the Czech Republic. She is the 10th person in history, 4th woman and first swimmer from Czech Republic to complete the Oceans Seven challenge. In 2021 she has completed English Channel triathlon, an extreme ultra-triathlon from Dover to Prague, during which she covered a total of 1111 km across the 3 disciplines: 34 km swimming, 895 km cycling, 182 km running. She is a member of the Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team.

Bruckner Chase

Bruckner is a professional endurance waterman and ocean advocate whose athletic pursuits are a means to connect others to our shared aquatic world. His Ocean Positive Foundation helps develop healthier & safer communities through its mission to positively impact how we all feel, think and act towards our oceans and communities.

Christie Ciraulo

Competitor in dozens of open water races, but most proud of captaining long distance relays of women 60+ including the triple crown courses.

Ned Denison

Ned Denison completed 55 marathons including the Triple Crown and False Bay. His is an Ice Miler. His is an International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honoree and Chair of the Executive Committee. In Ireland he started/led the marathon craze in County Cork and started the Cork Distance Week with 70+ attendees annually since 2009.

Andrea Fazio

Italian pool & open water swimmer. In 2015, at the age of 15, he set the new record of the crossing of the Strait of Messina by swimming in 30’06” from Sicily to mainland Italy. The previous record was 30’50” set almost 40 years before. Andrea’s swim was voted as WOWSA Performance of the Year.

Nino Fazio

Born in 1961, the 2010 WOWSA Man-of-the-Year nominee promotes and leads swims across the Strait of Messina between Sicily and continental Italy and keeps alive their history through, besides organizing official FIN races in the area. He holds the record of the 2-way crossing.

José Ferreira

José Eduardo Ferreira is a 45-year-old open water swimmer and observer guide numerous swimmers and relays in the completes the 16, 36 and 50 km in Leme to Pontal Swimming Association (LPSA) from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. In 2021 completed the first 72 km double crossing of the Travessia do Leme ao Pontal from Leme to Pontal to Leme on 20 February 2021 in 26 hours 32 minutes.Was nominated for the 2021 World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year Award and becoming the First Runner-up.

Pat Gallant-Charette

Inductee International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame as honor swimmer. Multiple Guinness World Record holder.

Pilar Geijo

She has dominated the FINA Open Water Swimming Grand Prix circuit during her career and won the overall FINA Open Water Swimming Grand Prix professional circuit in 2010, 2011, 2014, 2015 and 2019. 39 podiums World Cup.

Simon Griffiths

Simon Griffiths is the founder and publisher of Outdoor Swimmer magazine and the author of Swim Wild & Free: A Practical Guide to Swimming Outdoors 365 Days a Year.

Trent Grimsey

Former Australian Swim Team Member 2006 to 2012. FINA Grand Prix Overall Champion 2012. English Channel World Record Holder – 6 hours 55 minutes.

Colin Hill

Open Water Swimming Race Director (events have included Chillswim, Swim Serpentine, London Olympic Marathon Swim), Promoter (commentating at own events and hosting talks), Guide & Coach (owner/coach of Ullswater Swim Place). Inducted into IMSHoF & Ice Swimming Hall of Fame.

Catherine Kase

Former USA Swimming National Team coach, 3 time Olympic Coach for open water swimming, and North Carolina native. 15 year collegiate coach at UNC and Southern California, club coach at Boise Swim Club ~ Currently living in Boise, ID. Lover of sunsets, water, travel and my family.

Tom Kean

Lifelong swimmer, coach, official, and co-founder of Henley Swim, Selkie and HOWSC. I still vividly remember taking my first swimming strokes as if it was yesterday…St Andrews tidal Lido.

Josef Köberl

Born in Bad Ischl 1977. Working at the Ministriy of Climate Action, mental trainer. Former 3000m steeple runner. National Team Military Pentathlon.
2014 first ice mile – now 5 ice miles. 2015 English Channel. 2018 WOWSA Award “Best Offer 2018”. Several time Austrian Champion in Ice Swimming.
President of the Ice Swimming Association in Austria, Former world record in “Longest duration full body contact with ice – 2 hours 30 minutes. Glacier Crevasse swim in 3214m altitude water temp -0.23 degrees. Trained more than 5000 ice-swimmers. Trained more than 240 swimmers in a glacier crevasse.

Alex Kostich

Alex Kostich is an American competitive open water swimmer, a 3-time Pan American Games gold medalist, former All-American athlete at Stanford University, and 52-year-old marathon swimmer from California. He is one of the world’s fastest open water swimmers and best masters swimmers as well as a former Vice President at Sony Pictures Studios in Culver City, California.

Merle Liivand

Merle Liivand is a competitive swimmer, aquapreneur, open water swimmer, and mermaid swimmer from Tallinn, Estonia, who was the Baltic States Champion in the 50, 100m and 200m breaststroke and an Estonian National Swim Team member. Liivand splits her time between Estonia and Florida, U.S.A., where she trains and coaches the next generation of swimmers. She is a 4x Guinness World Record holder, Ocean Ambassador, Estonian Sports Hall of Fame, Hollywood movie award winner, Eco Athlete, and Ice swimmer. Her nickname is the Mermaid of Miami after the Mayor of Miami Beach Proclaimed her birthday as Merle Liivand Day. Merle is the Head of Sustainability of natural skincare brand Viking Beauty Secrets and she helps in everyday life to improve swimming tools to FINIS brand. She was featured this year in the Davos World Leaders conference as a WORLD FRONTVOICE and won an Icon Global Influencer award while bringing awareness to Ocean pollution and trash.

Attila Manyoki

I started my open water swimming career 1989. My first international marathon was in Greece on 35km. Between 1993 and 2004 I swam in the Marathon World Cup series. In 2008 I swam across the biggest lake in Hungary. On the full length I swam 80 km in the Lake Balaton with 25h 32min. In 2013 I started the Oceans Seven series with English channel crossing. At the CSA I won the fastest male in the season trophy. In 2015, swam the Molokai channel as the 3rd stage in the Oceans Seven. Did 12h 02min and still this is the fastest time at Molokai. In 2016 I got the honored swimmer title at the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame. In 2019 I finished the Oceans Seven series with the last stage at the North Channel. Finally did the series with the fastest overall time. In 2021, started the Stillwater 8 series with the Lake Zurich event. In 2022, swam in Israel on my second stage of the Stillwater 8 series. I did the 3rd best male all time on the Kineret Lake or Galillee sea.

Joel Matos Ortiz

Joel Matos Ortiz is an Aquatic Therapist and an open water swimmer from San Juan, Puerto Rico. He completed the Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming in 27 days.

Sally Minty-Gravett MBE

I have been ‘ocean’ swimming since 1960 when I learned to swim IN IT aged 3! Since then i have completed 8 English Channel swims over 6 decades – including a 2 way – gaining 3 Guinness World Records on the way – and this is the highlight of my swimming career – I have many other swims i have completed also. I have also been swimming teach and coaching for 50+ years – I would describe myself as the epitome of a ‘Water Baby’!

Jaimie Monahan

Jaimie Monahan is an extreme swimmer who has successfully completed non-stop, solo endurance swims up to 183 km in distance and 45 hours in duration. She has completed ice miles on all 7 continents from Antarctica to the Arctic including some of the coldest ice mile swims ever recorded. Jaimie is an inductee of both the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame and the Ice Swimming Hall of Fame.

Lynton Mortensen

Lynton Mortensen is a 58-year-old open water swimmer from Brisbane, Australia, and is a Marathon Swimming Mentor. He was the first Australian and 12th person in the world to complete the Oceans Seven. He has the quickest completion of the Oceans Seven in just over two years. Lynton achieved the Triple Crown within three months, which was frosted when he completed an Arctic Polar Ice Mile in below zero temperatures in May 2022. He is the first person to have completed the Australian Triple Crown. Lynton was an inaugural inductee into the Australian Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame in 2020, and in 2021 became the first person to swim around Lord Howe Island.

Randy Nutt

Randy, the first “World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year” in 2008 is a USMS Certified Level 4 Coach. He was the first male to swim 21 miles around Miami Beach and creator of multiple OW swimming events that have become world classics.

Mayra Santos

My name is Mayra Santos, I am Portuguese-Brazilian, 43 years old, and despite being born in a country town 180km away from the sea, I am recognized worldwide as the “Queen of Open Waters”. And do you know why I deserved this distinction? In 2015 at the age of 36, I started swimming and due to my discipline, determination and constant training routine I have achieved excellent results contradicting all paradigms in relation to age and gender conquering seas, breaking records inspiring people all over the world and of all ages to believe that there is no limit to our dreams. In August 2022 I became the first Luso-Brazilian to complete the 40 bridges swim 57 miles in 20:11:31 which is the two times Manhattan Island. This year 2022 between training and open water challenges I have completed a total of 906km so far recorded by my watch.

Susan Simmons

Susan is an open water swimming with Multiple Sclerosis living on Vancouver Island in British Columbia Canada. She spends much of her time swimming in and across the local water ways of the Salish Sea, which included the Strait of Georgia, Haro and Juan de Fuca as well as through the Inside Passage in the traditional territory of the Heiltsuk Nation in Canada’s Great Bear Rainforest.

Petar Stoychev

Petar is an Honor Swimmer in the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame and an Honor Open Water Swimmer in the International Swimming Hall of Fame. He was named one of the World’s 50 Most Adventurous Open Water Men in 2019 by the World Open Water Swimming Association.
He is the 2020 recipient of the Poseidon Award awarded by the International Swimming Hall of Fame. He is an Honor Swimmer in the Class of 2020 of the Ice Swimming Hall of Fame. He is King of the Ice as determined by the International Ice Swimming Association.

Ryan Stramrood

Extreme adventure, endurance and ice swimmer with many accomplishments in hand. Includes English Channel, Siberia, Antarctica, False Bay and many more.

Adherbal Treidler de Oliveira

Adherbal, the 2019 World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year who had previously completed crossings of the English Channel, the Catalina Channel, and the Strait of Gibraltar. Adherbal de Oliveira is one of the few open water swimmers who suffered a shark attack during a channel swimmer this century. As he was rehabilitating, he continued to run and promote the Leme to Pontal Swimming Association and guide numerous swimmers and relays in the completes the 36 km Travessia do Leme ao Pontal in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. His wound did not dampen his deep passion for the sport of open water swimming and all kinds of ocean challenges.

Rostislav Vitek

Rostislav Vítek is a professional open water swimmer, channel swimmer, and ice swimmer from the Czech Republic. A multi-versatile athlete, he competes in the ice mile, 5 km, 10 km and 25 km events and ice swimming events. He participated in the 2011 FINA World Championships in Shanghai, China and competed in the 2012 FINA Open Water Swimming Grand Prix circuit.

Joseph Zemaitis

Joe is one of the world’s most prolific open water swimmers and enjoys swimming around the world with his brother, John. He has swum over 110 documented marathon swims including 5 of the Oceans 7 Channels, the Triple Crown, Triple Crown of Stage Swims, and the Ultimate Swim A Thon which included a 10K in all 50 states in 25 days.

Benjamin Schulte

I competed in the Men’s 10km Open Water Marathon at the 2012 London Olympics, resulting in my nomination for 2012 WOWSA Man of the Year. I was amongst a cohort of enormous feats, and 10 years on, I am still so humbled by my nomination. It is my privilege to be part of the 2022 WOWSA Awards.

Victoria Mori

Swimming coach Ice swimmer world champion, Ultra marathon Swimmer Ranking 8th FINA Grand prix 2015, 5th FINA grand prix first 2016. 1st Argentinian (women) racing in Antarctica, 1km IISA.

Stève Stievenart

First English Channel crossing ( and first crossing ) in September 2018. 5 English Channel crossing ( 3 One way – 1 Two Way ), include the latest crossing ever the 11th November 2021. 20 and 40 Bridges New York (2019-2021). Catalina One way and Two way (2022). First male to complete the double triple crown. North channel (2021). Lake Monster triple crown: Loch Ness ( 2021), Lake Tahoe and Lake Magog ( 2022) and Round Jersey ( 2019).

Patrick Winkler

Patrick Winkler is an authentic waterman. As a market professional, he is the Editor in Chief of the Swim Channel, the largest swimming media in Latin America and Portugal. And he has already served as Marketing manager for the Speedo brand and commercial manager for the Arena brand. As an athlete, he is a paddleboard practitioner, being the most famous rower in Latin America on the international scene. And as a master swimmer he is the leader of the 40+ world ranking in the 800 Freestyle.

Paul Georgescu

Paul Georgescu is a multi-talented triathlete, physical therapist, coach, referee, water polo player, and professor at the International British School of Bucharest has speed to burn in both ice swimming and warm channel swim. He completed the first Ice Mile by a Romanian in 3.02°C water and became the first Romanian to complete a 42 km crossing of the Molokai Channel in 13 hours 6 minutes. He also won the 500m International Ice Swimming Association World Championship title and finished 5th in the Ice Kilometer in Murmansk, Russia, and finished 7th in the International Ice Swimming Association World Cup Series.

Aby Ortega

First and most important, I love to swim. Triple Crown 77 days in 2021. Just swam in Rio-Travessia Leme ao Pontal. Other swims: La Paz 35 km, Golfo de Agua Dulce 21 km, Reto Acapulco 22 km.

Bárbara Hernández Huerta

Bárbara Hernández Huerta is known as the Sirena de Hielo (Ice Mermaid) in her native Chile where she specializes in glacier swimming, winter swimming and high-altitude swimming. She completed the Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming and was inducted in the Ice Swimming Hall of Fame in its Class 2023.

John Zemaitis

John is one of the world’s most prolific open water swimmers and enjoys swimming around the world with his brother, Joe. He has swum over 85 documented marathon swims including 5 of the Oceans 7 Channels, the Triple Crown, Triple Crown of State Swims, and the Ultimate Swim A Thon which included a 10K in all 50 states in 25 days.

Qing Li

Open water Swimming Triple Crown 👑👑👑
Iron Icewoman (shortest turn around)🏅❄
Chicago-area open water swimming and ice swimming
USA Master’s Swimming coach

Margarita Tita Llorens

Soy Tita Llorens , soy de Menorca,Islas Baleares España. Trabajo de administrativa en una empresa de construcción de piscinas y mi tiempo libre lo dedico a entrenar duro para nadar Grandes travesías en aguas abiertas. Tengo 54 años, empece a nadar a los 30 años y hace 11 años que nade mi primer travesía en aguas abiertas. He nadado varias travesias de 25 ,30 y 40km y he unido todas las islas Baleares a nado. La travesia mas larga que he nadado hasta ahora es la de Denia – Ibiza de 101km. Y mi ultimo reto ha sido, EL doble Rande 50km. Soy Presidenta de la Menorca Chnnel Swimming Association , organizamos cruces y travesias de aguas abiertas.

Elaine Burrows Dillane

Elaine Burrows Dillane is an Irish Open Water Swimmer. She is an Honour Swimmer in the Hall of Fame – Marathon Swimming Ireland Class of 2022 and was awarded the 2022 Female Senior Swimmer of the Year by the Irish Long Distance Swimming Association. She received the ILDSA John Earls Award for the Most Arduous Swim as a member of the Funky Fenit Femmes. She achieved the Original Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming  In 2021, she became the 2nd person and 1st woman to complete the Irish Triple Crown.

Mariel Hawley Dávila

Oceans Seven Swimmer
First Mexican women to complete the Triple Crown
First registered swim across the Oresund Sound between Denmark and Sweden.
Love Ocean Swimming
2019 WOWSA Woman of the Year

Philip Yorke

Breaststroke Swimmer
2015, 12th to swim the English Channel
2016, 2nd to swim the 21.6 mile Loch Lomond
2017, 2nd to swim Catalina Channel
Past President and Hon Gen Secretary of the B.L.D.S.A.
Current B.L.D.S.A. Recorder and Swim Secretary of the Bala swim weekend.

Phil White

Founder and Director of Kingdom Games and the Northeast Kingdom Open Water Swimming Association which now organizes and hosts over 50 days of open water swimming in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont, including Kingdom Swim, NEK Swim Week, the Saturday Clubhous Swim Series, In Search of Memphre, and the Memphremagog Winter Swimming Festival.

Fergil Hesterman

Fergil Hesterman is Dutch open water and ice swimmer whose nickname is the Frozen Flying Dutchman from Diemen, Netherlands. He is one of the founders and current president of IISA Netherlands. Fergil was nominated for the 2019 World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year award.

José Luis Larrosa

José Luis Larrosa Chorro is a Spanish open water swimmer, aquapreneur, and a former water polo player (2000-2006) with the Elche Swimming Club. I He is the owner of Lovexswim, an athletic good store that sells to pool and open water swimmers, water polo players, triathletes, synchronized swimmers. He is a pool and open water swimming coach, lifeguard, and Personal Trainer. He is the Global Manager of Oceanman Open Water Swimming brand since 2017. Actually lives in Malaysia where he is the Head of Aquatics at Garden International School.

Nadia Ben Bahtane

Nadia Ben Bahtane is 43 years old senior executive and mother of two children, passionate about endurance sports, in particular open water swimming. Nadia is passionate about sports and challenges. She has participated to several half and full marathons and long-distance open water events.  Ocean passionate, she is the first Moroccan woman to solo cross the Strait of Gibraltar, or the first moroccan Mom as her daughters liked to say In 2017, she’s is the first moroccan to swim the Bonifacio Strait. On the 21st of August 2015, Nadia was awarded a Royal decoration, the Wissam of Al Mukafaa Al Watania(officer) by His Majesty The King Mohammed VI. In 2022, she launched an initiative called Pink Wave to support women facing cancer. Nadia is also involved in different mentoring programs for women and youth empowerment and is the Godmother of the first open water event in Morocco.

Nora Toledano Cadena

Nora Toledano Cadena.
Professional Biologist.
Open Water Swimmer and Coach.
Swam the English Channel 12 times (6 individually, 6 in relay), including a Double Crossing in 1994 (only Mexican woman to ever achieve it).
14th person in the world and first Mexican woman to complete the ‘Ocean’s Seven.
Completed an Ironman in Florianopolis, Brazil (2008).
Member of the International Marathon Swimming Hall Of Fame in Fort Laudardale, Florida (Honory swimmer)
Swims for social impact projects and charity swims.
More than the circumference of 1 Planet Earth (40,075 Km) swam cumulatively throughout her life, and continues to accumulate distance in the trainings and events she partakes in.

María Fernanda Cotignolo

Apasionada nadadora de aguas abiertas y frías. Fundadora de varias comunidades acuáticas en Uruguay 50+. Entrenadora de Natación en Aguas Abiertas WOWSA. Fundadora y Directora de “Clínica de Natación. Lider de ICEWOMEN COMMUNITY URUGUAY. Nominada mujer del año 2022 y “top diez”. Organizadora de nados silvestres recreativos en aguas frías en Uruguay.

Mohamed Marouf

Mohamed Marouf (born 18 May) is a former competitive swimmer (a butterflyer and a professional marathon swimmer from Egypt who currently coaches the Canadian Open Water National Team and the CALAC LaSalle Swim Club in Quebec, Canada. Ph.D at Sports Physiology. He was inducted as an Honour Swimmer in the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame, Class of 2018. He is a member of the ISHOF Open Water Nomination Screening Committee.

Jaime Lomelin

Between 1987-1992 swam in the world professional swimming marathon circuit (in the top 8). Triple crown under 10 hours each (only Mexican). Best time of the year in Gibraltar Strait 2019 without neoprene and in 2022 in Molokai. Best time of any person 50 or above in Molokai. Course record in Swim across the sound CT to NY (2018) and Aquarium race in Los Cabos, Mexico 2021. Six Mexican records in Open Water. Inducted to the IMSHOF in 2023

Rohan More

The first Asian and first Indian and 9th person in history to achieve the Oceans Seven. Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming. Tenzing Norgay Award by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, India. Nominee of 2015 and 2018 World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year by the World Open Water Swimming Association. Inducted in the Class of 2018 as an Honor Swimmer in the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame.

Nuala Moore

Raised on the sea, South West of Ireland, for me the sea and extremes are a way of life. Spent two decades promoting and developing open water swimming in Ireland. A member of the 6 person,1330km staged relay around Ireland over 56 days and the world’s most dangerous Bering Strait Relay, pioneered Ice Swimming in Ireland, 3rd woman in the world to complete 1000m @0 deg, 1st swimmer in the world to complete ‘Meeting of the Ocean’s’ south of Cape Horn, Drake Passage. Life is all about adventure. I developed the North Channel Swim over four years as North Channel Sec, creating safety procedures both for open water and Ice swimming. Change the perception of achievement and failure, redefining winning beyond podium and medals.

Angela Maurer

Angela Maurer is a professional marathon swimmer from Wiesbaden, Germany. She swims for the SSV Undine 08 e.V. Mainz swimming club. At the 2008 Beijing Olympics she finished a close fourth place in the Olympic 10K Marathon Swim.

Kate Steels

WOWSA Woman of the year 2021
ICE 7 Swimmer
International Ice Swimming Hall of Fame
Triple Crown Open Water Swimming
Ice swimmer in winter – marathon swimmer in summer.

Courtney Paulk

Achieved first Double Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming. Four swims around Manhattan (one 2-way), four swims across Catalina Channel (one 2-way) and six English Channel swims (one 2-way). 7th person to swim Cape Cod Bay and 9th to swim length off Lake Geveva.

Hanna Bakuniak

During my many years of adventure with sport, I have achieved, among others: Guinness Records, World Records, Medals of the World Championships in winter swimming, the title of Iron IceWoman, swam the Catalina Channel, won many medals of the Polish Championships in swimming pool and open water. I am a sports manager by education. In addition, I have the qualifications of a swimming instructor, class I swimming referee and class C water rescue sports referee. Founder of Champions Swim swimming school. Organizer of Ice swimming Bydgoszcz Festival and 24h Bydgoszcz Open Water Swimming.

Elaine Howley

Marathon and ice swimmer, sports and health journalist, swimming historian. RD for Boston Light Swim and President of Massachusetts Open Water Swimming Association. 32nd swimmer to complete the Triple Crown and 3rd swimmer to complete the Monster Triple Crown (Lake Memphremagog, Loch Ness, Lake Tahoe). 1st across Lake Pend Orielle.

Swann Oberson

Former international open water swimmer
Represented Switzerland at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics (10km).
World Champion 2011 (5km).
Swiss Record holder 1500m and 5km (pool).
38 times National Champion over 200m,400m,800m,1500m, 5km and 10km.
Mum of Océane

Rene Martinez Saenz

Rene raises funds throughout his open ocean swims to support and promote different causes. He centers most of his efforts in marine conservation. Some of Rene’s swimming achievements include the Triple Crown of open water swimming, the Kaiwi Channel and became the first person to complete the 40 km crossing between Cancun and Isla Contoy in Mexico.

James Harrison

James Harrison is a freelance filmmaker, long distance runner, and open water swimmer based in Guernsey in the Channel Islands.

Avram Iancu

The pioneer of unique swimming in big rivers. The first and only man in the world who swam a river (Danube) without a neoprene suit, in 89 days. Also, the first and only man in the world who swam 26 km against the current in the Danube in 18 h 30 min. Member of the 24 hour club. English Channel, Bristol Channel.

Tracy Grilli

Member of the Mighty Mermaids open water relay team. Our team of 6 women over the age of 50 was formed in 2007 with our first swim (Trans Tahoe) in 2008. We are still going strong (5 of us now over 65) scheduling a big swim each year since (except 2020 due to Covid) including: circumnavigation of Manhattan Island, Catalina Channel crossing, length of Tahoe, length of Lake Pend Oreille, across Tampa Bay, End Wet race down the Red River in ND, English Channel, swim around Long Boat Key (FL) to name a few. A member of USMS since 1981.

Colleen Blair MBE

Colleen has been completing marathon swims over the last 30 years including Triple Crown and the North Channel. Colleen was the first swimmer to swim the Pentland Firth and more recently the North Minch (24 nautical miles, water temperature 9-13c). The Colleen is an inductee of the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame.

Elizabeth Fry

Liz Fry is an American open water swimmer and volunteer Marathon Director for the SWIM Across the Sound. Inducted into the IMSHOF as an honour swimmer in 2014, Liz was awarded the Irving Davids-Captain Roger W. Wheeler Memorial Award, Class of 2022, by the International Swimming Hall of Fame. Liz’s swimming highlights include the Oceans Seven, five Great Lakes, Reverse Triple Crown, six English Channel crossing including a 2-way, Double SCAR, Double Ederle, Round Jersey, Anacapa Island circumnavigation, and Lake Tahoe.

Ray Gandy

English Channel 2009 1st and only Rhode Islander
Around Jamestown Ri twice 40 miles
Narragansett Bay 46.5 miles
Lake Memphremagog 46.5 miles
Other open water events
Ran multiple annual 10k events

Edoardo Stochino

I have been a professional swimmer since 2009 and have competed in several important Ultramarathons. I won the Granprix Ultramathon FINA in 2016 and 2018. I also participated in the 25 km World Championships in 2010 and 2011, and the European Championships 25km in 2010, 2011, 2014, and 2016, winning two bronzes.

Seti Afoa

Director at Samoa Swim and ultra swims – Apolima Strait, Tahiti to Mo’orea, Around Bora Bora, Firth of Thames (NZ). Co-founder of the NZ Ultra-marathon Swim Awards.

Petar Stoychev

Petar Stoychev is a renowned competitive swimmer from Sofia, Bulgaria. He has achieved great success in various forms of open water swimming, including marathon swimming and ice swimming. He has earned the nickname “King of the Ice” due to his impressive accomplishments in this field.

Shelley Taylor-Smith

1991 World No.1 Ranked Marathon Swimming Champion OVERALL (both men & women)
7-time World No.1 Ranked Women’s Marathon Swimming Champion 1988-1995
5-time Manhattan Island Marathon Swim Champion Overall
2-time Manhattan Island Marathon Swim fastest time Overall
FINA TOWSC Honorary Secretary 2000-2009
FINA Athletes Commission Chairperson 1999-2000
FINA & IMSA (International Marathon Swimming Association) Athletes Representative 1991-2000
First Female Referee FINA OWS Olympic Games 2012 – 10km Marathon Swim event Men
First Female Chief Referee FINA World Open Water Swimming Championships Roberval 2010 – Women’s 5km
First Female Chief Referee FINA World Swimming Championships Shanghai 2011 – Men’s 25km

Adam Walker

First British Person to swim Oceans Seven.
Founder of Ocean Walker Technique. Owner and Director of Ocean Walker Academy & Well-being centre.

Julia Wittig

Julia Wittig is a German ice swimmer. At the Ice Swimming World Championships 2017 she became world champion over 1 km. She set several world records and holds the world record over the ice mile with 21:33 minutes. She is the author of the book “Eisschwimmen” (published in 2021).

Elina Mäkinen

Elina Mäkinen is an ice swimmer, tiktokker and Finnish open water swimming promoter living winters above the Arctic Cirle in Finnish Laponia.

Jackie Cobell

Jackie Cobell, born in London in 1954, realized her dream of swimming the English Channel at the age of 50 and succeeded in 2010 at the age of 56, becoming a world record holder for the longest solo swim to date of 28 hours and 44 minutes, beating Henry Sullivan’s 90-year record. She went on to become the first UK ice swimmer and an IISA ambassador, and was a team member of the Bering Strait Relay 2013. Jackie also swam across the St Carlos Strait in the Falkland Islands with Argentinian Matias Ola in a swim of peace and harmony, and across the Dead Sea with swimmers from around the world to raise awareness for the plight of the Dead Sea. She is an Honorary Member of the Class of 2020 Ice Swimming Hall of Fame.

Catherine Breed

Open water marathon swimmer seeking to push the limit and inspire others.
2/7 Oceans Seven. Tahoe, Lake Apache, Round Trip Angel Island and Monterey Bay record.  She is a five-time world open water swimming record holder and two-time USMS record holder.

Edith van Dijk

Edith van Dijk, Ph.D. is an Olympic swimmer and former multi-time professional world marathon swimming champion. She was inducted as an Honour Swimmer in the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame in 2006.

James Pittar

Blind Marathon Swimmer. First Australian to complete the Triple Crown of Open water swimming, first blind person to swim the English Channel in 1998 and a member of the first staged relay to swim across the entire length of the Bering Straits. Inducted into the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame in May 2010.

Boguslaw Ogrodnik

He completed Triple Crown, California Triple Crown, Frosted Triple Crown, Open Water Swimming. He swam four out of seven Oceans Seven’s channels.
He is a member of the exclusive Peak and Pond Club, Ironman and Iceman. He is the world record holder for denivelation with a result of 9011 meters.

Henri Kaarma

Henri Kaarma (born 1974) is a renowned ice swimmer and an Ice Zero Swimmer from Estonia who was voted as the 2014 World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year.

Glen Christiansen

Born February 10th 1957 in Göteborg Sweden. Started swimming at the age of 14.
Won my first Nationals at 17.
Olympic swimmer 1980 Olympic coach 1996.
Ranked #1 in the world 100m breaststroke at the age of 24
15 x World Master champion 16 European Masters champion. Winner of several open water races in Sweden, Germany, Japan, USA.
Founder of Swimming without borders. Coaching worldwide

Robert Placak

Robert, age 64 , is a past USA National team member, national butterfly champion and American record holder. He holds the world record for San Francisco bay’s Alcatraz and is founder of the RCP Tiburon Mile open water swim , the world’s most competitive 1 mile open water race.

Tomi Stefanovski

Born on 14 February 1971 in Skopje, Macedonia
14 August 2009 crossed the English Channel – 12th fastest time in English Channel history
Won the 2016 FINA Open Water Swimming Grand Prix circuit
4 November 2016 – the first and only Macedonian athlete admitted to the IMSHOF Hall of Fame

Shannon Keegan

After fits of anxiety during age group swimming resurrected during mass starts of triathlon in my 20’s, I finally discovered the wide open waters of solo marathon swimming in my 30’s. I realized that I could start swimming places. Just me and my team against mother nature. Tackling the water. The weather. The mental twists and turns of swimming continuously for hour upon hour. Summoning the courage to take one stroke and then another, then just one more. Eventually finding an opposite shore. As a coach, I want to empower people to start. Start swimming. Swim longer. Swim colder. I want to inspire curious swimmers to find out what they’re capable of, through knowledge, connection, and community.

Dan Simonelli

Dan was awarded the Streeter Award (2015) for Service to Marathon Swimming and the 2016 Barra Award for Best Overall Year (2016) by the International Marathon Swimmers Federation. He has also been recognized on the World Open Water Swimming Association’s list of the World’s 50 Most Adventurous Open Water Men. He is founder and director of Open Water Swim Academy, (OWSA) and a patron of the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame.

Paul Asmuth

Paul Asmuth is an American professional marathon swimmer from California. He won seven World Professional Marathon Swimming Federation titles. Most wins La Traversee du Lac Memphremagog. First around Manhattan Island under seven hours. Competed in 59 international marathon swimming races. He was inducted in both the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame in 1982 and the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 2010. He is author of the book, Marathon Swimming The Sport of the Soul.

Mark Johnston

Mark Johnston is an American cold water swimmer, administrator, and swimming coach from Polson, Montana. He is also the creator of the Open Water Virtual Grand Slam and the Flathead Lake Open Water Swimmers.

Sue Oldham

Australian open water swimmer. English Channel solo 2006 & 2010 (oldest woman) member 2x relay crossings 2006 & 2012. Member of 2006 Australian Sports Awards Masters Team of the year. Ten Rottnest solo crossings, 2x duo & 7 x relay teams. Now retired. Enthusiastic supporter/mentor of OWS.

Jacques Tuset

I am a 59-year-old French marathon swimmer and open water swimming coach, instructor, referee, and author from Montpellier, France. I was inducted as an Honor Swimmer in the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Class of 2018. I have completed 49 prison island swims to date, the most number of prison island swims in history. I am the French representative of the Channel Swimming Association.

Stuart Hamilton

Stuart Hamilton is a British open water swimmer that organizes Slow Swimming events and promotes slow swimming purely for the pleasure of experiencing nature and swimming casually in open bodies of water.

Lucas Rivet

Lucas Rivet is an open water swimmer from Argentina. He manages the Asociación Cruce a Nado Río de la Plata (ACNRP), the governing body to organize and ratify solo swims across the Río de la Plata. He completed a 39.7 km crossing of the Río de la Plata between Argentina and Uruguay and produced an inspirational documentary RIO.

José Díaz

José Díaz es el creador del método Flow.Fundador de Nadando Libre y entrenador con un récord mundial de natación en aguas abiertas y varios récords nacionales que aun están vigentes. José Díaz ha sido nominado 2 años consecutivos por su contribución al mundo de la natación, al prestigioso premio internacional WOWSA (Asociación Mundial de Natación de Aguas Abiertas en U.S.A), en la candidatura de mejor rendimiento y hombre del año. Es escritor y también ha sido el primer productor de música dedicada a la natación. Por otro lado, y como parte de su compromiso con el medio ambiente, publicó el libro Las Máscaras Sagradas En La Isla De Wakahay, un proyecto dedicado a la protección de los ecosistemas acuáticos.

Guy Cohen

Guy Cohen, born in 1965, is an Israeli open water swimmer from Shefayim. A former fighter pilot in the Israeli Air Force is now an industrial company CEO who helps raise funds for Sudden Cardiac Death research as an ambassador for the Rambam Medical Center in Haifa. Guy has swam many Open Water Marathon swims and has completed the triple crown of open water swimming. He is a member of the “24 hour swim club” for successfully finishing a 24 hour 13 minutes solo charity swim (70 k’) along the Mediterranean coast-line in Israel in 2016. The swim was a memorial to his daughter Neta, who had passed away at the age of 6 years due to SCD (Sudden Cardiac Death) on her first day at school. Guy is the Co-Founder of the Galilee Marathon Swimming Association. The assoc. was established to organize, escort, ratify and govern marathon swims in the Sea of Galilee, and anywhere else in Israel.

Robert Kent

Rob qualified for Olympic Trials and held several Canadian records in sprint breaststroke, then became a marathon swimmer, triathlete and ultra runner. Rob also founded the 250 member, open water swim club, the Lake Ontario Swim Team, or L.O.S.T. Swimming, as well as the Global Swim Series and was selected to be the GM of the professional swim team, the Toronto Titans of the ISL (Int’l Swimming League).


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