End-of-year list-making: It’s not just for music aficionados, film buffs, and the New York Times Book Review. Why not open water swimmers, too?
So, here are my 11 favorite open-water “happenings” of 2011 (“happenings” because they’re not all swims).
The list is, admittedly, U.S.-centric – America is where I live and what I pay the closest attention to. While I greatly admire (for example) Nejib Belhedi’s 1400K Swim Across Tunisia, I have no unique insights to add to what others have already said. Perhaps Donal or somebody can make an international list.
The list also reflects my own personal biases. I readily admit, I couldn’t care less about “stunts” in which the promotional efforts are more impressive than the swim itself. Sorry, but I find such things distasteful and think they degrade our sport.
With that in mind, here are the winners of the inaugural “freshies” (in no particular order):
Rob Dumouchel: New Year’s Day Polar Bear 10K.
6 miles through shark-infested, 53F (11.6C) ocean, from Avila Beach to Pismo Beach, CA. Quite possibly, the northern hemisphere’s first marathon swim of 2011.…