WOWSA ... Will It Be Jamie Patrick Or Petar Stoychev?

WOWSA … Will It Be Jamie Patrick Or Petar Stoychev?

HUNTINGTON BEACH. Throughout the final few weeks of voting for the 2011 World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year, the two leaders have flip-flopped at least twice per day.

During the daytime hours in Bulgaria, professional marathon swimmer Petar Stoychev takes the lead. Then, 10 hours later, almost like clockwork, during the daytime hours in California, adventure swimmer Jamie Patrick picks up steam and regains the voting lead.

Back and forth, to and fro, the two watermen alternate in the lead, taking the lead for half a day, then drafting closely behind for the rest of the day.

Both men have lived much of their lives in the water and represent different niches of the global open water swimming community. Petar, who has established himself in over 100 races on five continents is a racer, a competitor against all comers. Year and year, he has trained and traveled around the world, battling both the elements and the fastest swimmers on the planet. But 2011 was truly a year that showed his impressive range of talent – from an 11°C professional race in South Africa to a 32°C world championship victory in Shanghai, Petar came out on top.

Jamie has inspired others, not those in the traditional marathon swimming world, but those individuals who simply want to get out and try open water swimming for themselves. Not against the clock, not according to FINA rules, not to satisfy the expectations of others, but just for themselves. Good health, good fun, great memories, and an enjoyable lifestyle are their goals. Wetsuits or not, Jamie has helped bring the magic, beauty and allure of open water swimming to the media and the larger community.

Both men embody the spirit of open water swimming, possess the sense of adventure, tenacity and perseverance that open water swimmers are known for, and have positively influenced the world of open water swimming in 2011.

Diverse goals, distinct methods, different men.

Voting continues until midnight Los Angeles time on December 31st. On the last day of voting, they are going stroke-for-stroke, shoulder-to-shoulder.

Copyright © 2011 by Open Water Source
Steven Munatones