2015 Global Marathon Swimming Awards

Solo Swim of the Year

Chloё McCardel (Australia)

chloe

Three-way English Channel swim. 63 miles (101.4 km) in 36 hours, 12 minutes.

Jason Betley (United Kingdom)

jason

Two-way Catalina Channel swim. 40 miles (64.6 km) in 28 hours, 10 minutes.

Barra Award for Best Overall Year

Bridgette Hobart (United States)

bridgette

  • Rottnest Channel Swim (19.7 km)
  • 156-mile (251 km) stage swim of the 9 Finger Lakes of New York
  • 8 Bridges Hudson River Swim

Craig Lenning (United States) -- tie

craig

  • Length of Loch Ness, Scotland (22 miles / 35 km)
  • First man to swim length of Flathead Lake, Montana (28 miles / 45 km)
  • Lake of Lake Memphremagog, Vermont (25 miles / 40 km)
  • 24 Hour Relay, San Francisco
  • International Ice Swimming Championship - competed in 1000m swim
  • Crew and mentor to numerous marathon swimmers

Mark Sheridan (United Kingdom) -- tie

mark

  • English Channel
  • Catalina Channel
  • S.C.A.R. Swim, Arizona:
    • Saguaro - 9.5 miles (15.3 km)
    • Canyon - 9 miles (14.5 km)
    • Apache - 17 miles (27.3 km)
    • Roosevelt - 10 km (6.2 miles)
  • Committee Member and Race Director, British Long Distance Swimming Association
  • Competed in BLDSA Swims: 8-mile Torquay, 3 and 6-mile Lake Bala.

Streeter Award for Service to Marathon Swimming Award

Dan Simonelli (United States)

dan

  • Observer, kayaker, and crew: 27 Catalina Channel swims in 2015. Crew for one of Chloё McCardel's English Channel swims.
  • Coach and coordinator of youth relay swims of Catalina Channel, English Channel, and Santa Barbara Channel. Coach of two solo Catalina swimmers.
  • Team Captain, David Yudovin Memorial Catalina Channel Relays.
  • President, La Jolla Cove Swim Club.
  • Lifetime member & voting member, Catalina Channel Swimming Federation.
  • Voting member, International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame.
  • Founder, Open Water Swim Academy.

Yudovin Award for Most Adventurous Swim

Wendy Trehiou (Jersey, United Kingdom)

wendy

St. Malo, France to Jersey, United Kingdom. 35 miles (56.3 km) in 24 hours, 25 minutes.

Relay of the Year

The Old Men and the Sea (United States). Bill Spore, Dave Radcliff, Graham Johnston, Robert Beach, Bob Best, Don Baker, Norm Stupfel.

old men

Oldest relay team by combined age to swim the Catalina Channel.


Finalists

Solo Swim of the Year (Female)

Chloё McCardel

Three-way crossing of the English Channel. 63 miles (101.4 km) in 36 hours, 12 minutes. First Austalian, second woman, fourth overall, and first in 25 years to complete this swim. Sanctioned and observed by the Channel Swimming Association.

Jaimie Monahan

Lengthwise crossing of Lake Geneva, Switzerland. 69 km (42.8 miles) in 32 hours, 52 minutes. Second woman, second overall, and first in 16 years to complete this swim. Sanctioned and observed by the Lake Geneva Swimming Association.

Kimberley Chambers

Farallon Islands to Golden Gate Bridge, California. 29.7 miles (47.8 km) in 17 hours, 12 minutes. First woman, third overall to complete this swim. Sanctioned and observed by the Farallon Islands Swimming Federation.

Marcy MacDonald

Lengthwise crossing of Loch Ness, Scotland. 22.2 miles (36 km) in 11 hours, 59 minutes. First American to complete this swim. Sanctioned and observed by the British Long Distance Swimming Association.

Margarita "Tita" Llorens

Crossing of Mallorca Channel betwen Mallorca and Ibiza, Spain. 81 km (51 miles) in 28 hours, 11 minutes. First person to complete this crossing (third attempt). Sanctioned and observed by the Menorca Channel Swimming Association.

Solo Swim of the Year (Male)

Andrew Malinak

Crossing of Strait of Juan de Fuca: British Columbia, Canada to Washington, USA. 10.4 miles (16.8 km) in 6 hours, 59 minutes. Fastest crossing, first successful since 1989, and seventh overall. Sanctioned and observed by Northwest Open Water Swimming Association.

Bill Shipp

Catalina Channel crossing. 20 miles (32.3 km) in 11 hours, 47 minutes. Sanctioned and observed by Catalina Channel Swimming Federation.

David Barra

Lengthwise crossing of Cayuga Lake, New York. 38 miles (61.1 km) in 23 hours, 26 minutes.

Jason Betley

Two-way Catalina Channel crossing. 40 miles (64.6 km) in 28 hours, 10 minutes. Oldest to complete a two-way, and first since 2010. Sanctioned and observed by Catalina Channel Swimming Federation.

Barra Award for Best Overall Year (Female)

Bridgette Hobart

  • Rottnest Channel Swim, Australia - 19.7 km in 8 hours, 49 minutes
  • 156-mile stage swim of the 9 Finger Lakes of New York. July 11 - September 26.
    • Stage 1 - Canandaigua 15.5 miles in 7:38
    • Stage 2 - Keuka 19.9 miles in 9:07
    • Stage 3 - Skaneateles 16 miles in 7:27
    • Stage 4 - Cayuga 37.9 miles in 20:33
    • Stage 5 - Seneca 37.9 miles in 24:31
    • Stage 6 - Honeoye 4.5 miles in 2:02
    • Stage 7 - Conesus at 8.1 miles in 3:47
    • Stage 8 - Otisco at 6.2 miles in 2:02
    • Stage 9 - Owasco at 11.1 miles in 5:57
  • 8 Bridges Hudson River Swim
    • Stage 1 - 18.3 miles in 5:38
    • Stage 2 - 7:00 (DNF)
    • Stage 3 - 13.2 miles in 4:42
    • Stage 4 - 15.2 miles in 4:49
    • Stage 5 - 19.8 miles in 8:01
    • Stage 6 - 15.7 miles in 3:33
    • Stage 7 - 18.1 miles in 5:26

Jaimie Monahan

  • Length of Lake Geneva. 69 km (42.8 miles) in 32 hours, 52 minutes. Second woman, second overall, and first in 16 years to complete this swim.
  • END-WET Swim, Red River, North Dakota. 36 miles (58 km) in 11 hours, 56 minutes.
  • Rose Pitonof Swim, New York City. 17 miles (27.3 km) in 5 hours, 36 minutes.
  • Swam at zero degrees in Antarctica and the Arctic Circle in the same week
  • Won her age group at the inaugural 1k Ice Swimming World Championships in Murmansk, Russia
  • Represented the US at swim events in China, Bermuda, Argentina, Russia, Switzerland, Latvia, and Morocco in 2015

Sarah Thomas

  • Length of Loch Ness, Scotland. 22.2 miles (35.7 km) in 10 hours, 52 minutes.
  • First to swim length of Flathead Lake, Montana. 28 miles (45 km) in 13 hours, 45 minutes.
  • 3 Rivers Marathon Swim, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 30 km (18.6 miles) in 7 hours, 48 minutes.
  • END-WET, Red River, North Dakota. 36 miles (58 km) in 9 hours, 43 minutes. First finisher.
  • 24 Hour Relay, San Francisco
  • Ice Mile

Barra Award for Best Overall Year (Male)

Andrew Malinak

  • Summer of Bert Thomas swims
    • Tacoma to Seattle - 18.8 miles (30.2 km) in 8:49
    • Bainbridge Island circumnavigation - 25.5 miles (41 km) in 12:23
    • Strait of Juan de Fuca - 10.4 miles (16.7 km) in 6:59
  • 24 Hour Relay, San Francisco
  • Co-founded Northwest Open Water Swimming Association, currently serving as President.
  • Volunteer observer and crew for numerous solo swims including Loch Ness and 8 Bridges Hudson River Swim.

Craig Lenning

  • Length of Loch Ness, Scotland. 22.2 miles (35.7 km) in 13 hours, 47 minutes.
  • First man to swim length of Flathead Lake, Montana. 28 miles (45 km) in 15 hours, 20 minutes.
  • Length of Lake Memphremagog, Vermont. 25 miles (40.2 km) in 15:05.
  • 24 Hour Relay, San Francisco.
  • Competed in 1000m at Int'l Ice Swimming Championship in Murmansk, Russia.
  • Crew and mentor to numerous marathon swimmers.

Mark Sheridan

  • English Channel (13:32)
  • Catalina Channel (12:22)
  • S.C.A.R. Swim
    • Saguaro - 9.5 miles (15.3 km) in 4:14
    • Canyon - 9 miles (14.5 km) in 4:22
    • Apache - 17 miles (27.3 km) in 9:30
    • Roosevelt - 10 km (6.2 miles) in 3:52
  • Committee Member, British Long Distance Swimming Association
  • Race Director, BLDSA Champion of Champions
  • Race Director, BLDSA 21-mile 2-way Lake Windermere swim
  • Competed in BLDSA Swims: 8-mile Torquay, 3 and 6-mile Lake Bala.

Streeter Award for Service to Marathon Swimming

Craig Lenning

Nomination by Elaine Howley:

Craig has quietly been kicking ass as a swimmer for many years, but what you might not have heard as much about is how big his heart is when it comes to sharing his hard-earned knowledge and helping other swimmers achieve their goals. Indeed, Denver, CO has become something of a hot spot for marathon swimming-- surprisingly enough since they're so far from the ocean--in large part because of Craig's willingness to help other swimmers learn the ropes and get going in open water.

Over the years, I know he's given advice to countless aspiring swimmers from all over. In 2015, he worked with Jim Jamik to make his first marathon swim, a successful solo crossing of the Catalina Channel. He's also helped and supported Sarah Thomas and Karl Kingery on several swims this year, including their recent ice mile swims in which he observed their qualifying swims and paddled for each of them several times in training. In 2014, he also supported Sarah on a training swim with a 6-hour kayak stint as she says, "not because I asked, but because he knew I needed it. And he'd do that for anyone." This is in addition to the training and nutrition advice he gives freely to anyone who asks--he gets lots of emails seeking advice, and I think this is really the "old skool" version of service to marathon swimming: passing on your own knowledge and experience one swimmer at a time.

Personally, I've benefited from Craig's efforts recently--when we hit some snags in organizing our Loch Ness swims, Craig was on the phone frequently with the pilot in the UK to make sure everything was set up and ready to go for us. Besides that very practical support, once we were all together in the house in Scotland the night before the swim, he couldn't have been kinder or more supportive of me as I about lost my nerve to even attempt such a big swim. I do believe he was prouder or me and Sarah finishing than he was of his own successful swim. Craig truly embodies the spirit of marathon swimming--he's a great swimmer and dreams up his own swims, but still makes time to help others.

Lastly, I think Sarah says it best when she sums up Craig thusly: "He gives the best hugs and is always positive. He's inspiring." He really is inspiring, generous with his time, energy, and hugs, and it's an honor to call him a friend. I think he should be recognized for being a stand-up guy who wants to help others succeed.

Dan Simonelli

Nomination by Anthony McCarley:

This year he supported 27 Catalina Channel swims in various capacities: CCSF Observer, Kayaker, Support crew, Crew Chief.

  • Advised and helped several other swimmers with logistics and planning, securing/coordinating support crew, kayakers, etc. And is always available to advise and to answer questions from swimmers and/or support crews about how to best plan for and execute a successful channel crossing.
  • Coached and Coordinated: 2 kids relays swimming a SBCSA "First" swim from Santa Barbara Island to Anacapa island, 41 miles, 2 kids English Channel relays, 4 kids Catalina Channel relays, 2 solo Catalina Channel swimmers.
  • Team Captain, coordinated David Yudovin Memorial Catalina Channel Relays for IMSHOF and Swim Across America.
  • Support crew for one of Chloe McCardel's English Channel swims (the first swim of her record setting 3 crossings in 6 days).
  • President of the La Jolla Cove Swim Club, creating awareness and interest in marathon swimming among members and the public.
  • CCSF lifetime member and Voting Board member.
  • Voting Board member for IMSHOF.
  • Founder of Open Water Swim Academy: coaching, supporting and encouraging swimmers of all levels to include aspiring marathon swimmers.

Finally, Dan leads by example with his own marathon swims and training.

Eileen Burke

Anonymous nomination:

Eileen truly embodied the heart and soul of what makes marathon swimming great. She was the first documented woman to swim across Cape Cod Bay (with an impressive 72 strokes per minute), was a staple at the Boston Light Swim and MIMS, and was a true friend to anyone who came to Brighton Beach to swim. She deeply cared about the sport, and helping others achieve their swimming goals, all while remaining incredibly humble about her dazzling achievements. Eileen passed away in October after a brave battle against pancreatic cancer, and were all fortunate to have known her. She truly deserves this honor.

Phil White

Anonymous nomination:

Phil originated the Kingdom Swim series of open water swims in the glorious Northeast Kingdom of Vermont in 2009. Since then, he has made Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom one of the top open water swimming venues in the U.S.. The beauty of Lake Memphremagog, and the surrounding lakes in which Phil’s swims are held is staggering.

More on Phil’s service to marathon swimming:

Every year, Phil opens the doors of his house to swimmers from all over the world. Every one of Phil’s swimmers is made to feel like a part of his swimming family.

Phil has a way of imparting his love for his lakes to his swimmers. Each year, his Swimmer ‘Scouts’ swim 25 miles from the U.S. to Canada in search of Lake Memphremagog’s elusive monster, Memphre. Not content with searching for Memphre, in August 2015, Phil introduced the idea of the "Triple Crown of Lake Monster swims" (Tahoe, Memphremagog and Ness).

Phil is probably guilty of creating at least several of the marathon swimmers on this forum. He gets people hooked by offering shorter swims, and, once they’ve had a taste of the Northeast Kingdom waters, there is no hope for them. He welcomes young swimmers, and offers options for swimmers with physical differences – his adaptive > division. He has a talent for kind-heartedly encouraging swimmers to ditch the neoprene (this alone should win him the award). Phil is inclusive and welcoming.

I doubt very much that anyone has come away from one of his swims feeling discouraged. His enthusiasm and love of the water is contagious, and every event he puts on really is a service to marathon swimming.

Suzie Dods

Nomination by Evan Morrison:

...for her ongoing efforts to promote San Francisco and Aquatic Park as a world-class destination for marathon swimmers and aspiring marathon swimmers.

For years, Suzie has been the de facto host for marathon swimmers visiting SF, generously giving her time to welcome and swim with everyone & anyone, and arrange/observe qualifying swims. This year she stepped up her game and organized two fantastic events, which attracted dozens of swimmers from all over.

In February, the second annual 24 Hour Relay (modeled after La Tuque); and in October, the first SF Champion of Champions (modeled after the popular events in Dover and Copper Coast, Ireland). Both events were not-for-profit: proceeds from the 24 Hour Relay went directly to the host Dolphin Club's building fund, and the Champion of Champions was literally free of charge.

Suzie organized and led (with @Sharko) an in-person, educational discussion session for aspiring marathon swimmers. It was well-attended, well-received, and covered a bunch of useful stuff on training, nutrition, and mental preparation.

Additionally, Suzie leads a regular "Introduction to Bay Swimming" class out of the Dolphin Club, which is how many local OW swimmers have gotten their start.

Suzie is a great ambassador for the sport, and for the SF OWS community. She's also a gifted teacher and coach, encouraging the next generation of open water swimmers to take the plunge.

Yudovin Award for Most Adventurous Swim

Dave Van Mouwerik

First to swim across Estero Bay, San Luis Obispo County, California. 14.4 miles (23.2 km) in 8 hours, 18 minutes. Sanctioned and observed by Marathon Swimmers Federation.

Jen Dutton

Unprecedented "A-B-C" swim of the full shape of Keuka Lake, New York. Pen Yan to Hammodsport to Branchport. 34 miles (54.7 km) in 22 hours.

Peter Hayden

Circumnavigation of Santa Barbara Island (5 miles) and then (without stopping) to Catalina Island (24 miles). 29 total miles (46.7 km) in 16 hours, 48 minutes. Second (and first male) to circumnavigate Santa Barbara Island; first to swim between Santa Barbara Island and Catalina Island. Sanctioned and observed by Santa Barbara Channel Swimming Association.

Wendy Trehiou

St. Malo, France to Jersey, United Kingdom. 35 miles (56.3 km) in 24 hours, 25 minutes. Sanctioned and observed by Jersey Long Distance Swimming Association.

Relay of the Year

Arch Academy Zombie Patrol

Unprecedented swim from Santa Barbara Island to Anacapa Island, California. 40.9 miles (65.8 km) in 27 hours, 10 minutes. Sanctioned and observed by Santa Barbara Channel Swimming Association.

  • Members (Team A): Cheryl Zak, Wesley Metcalfe, Matthew Gregory, Kaylee Kussman, John Allcock, Lauren Weinreb.
  • Members (Team B): Diana Linney, Paul Lindberg, Zach Irvine, Faith Irvine, CJ Fotinos, Noah Rowan.
  • SBCSA announcement

Deep Enders

Unprecedented swim from San Nicolas Island to Point Vicente, California. 70 miles (112.6 km) in 33 hours, 37 minutes. Sanctioned and observed by Santa Barbara Channel Swimming Association.

Old Men and the Sea

20.1 miles (32.3 km) in 12 hours, 15 minutes. Oldest relay (by combined age) to swim the channel. Sanctioned and observed by Catalina Channel Swimming Federation.

  • Members: Bill Spore (80 years old), Dave Radcliff (81), Graham Johnston (84), Robert Beach (84), Bob Best (80), Don Baker (84), Norm Stupfel (82).
  • CCSF announcement and photos
  • Website