WOWSA Awards

david_barradavid_barra NYCharter Member
edited October 2013 in General Discussion
I’m wondering if folks around here plan on voting in the WOWSA awards. Personally, I’m torn.... many of my heroes are among the nominees, but I think the categories are so vague, and past voting campaigns (open to the world population) have skewed the results so much as to make it a running joke in some circles.
I’m going to take a wait and see approach this time around....

Good luck to all

...anything worth doing is worth overdoing.


  • suziedodssuziedods Charter Member
    edited October 2013
    For what it's worth? I am not participating. It's become a popularity contest as opposed to a true "one swimmer one vote".
    Thanks for bringing the question up.

    Looking for the next big thing.. ... @suzieswimcoach

  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
    edited November 2014
    Next week a call for nominations will be announced for the Second Annual MSF Global Marathon Swimming Awards:

    - Solo Swim of the Year (female)
    - Solo Swim of the Year (male)
    - Barra Award (greatest body of work, all considered)

    Last year's awards process can be viewed here:

    The MSF awards are different from the WOWSA awards in a few ways:
    - Nominations are taken from the entire Forum community, not just Steve M.
    - Winners are decided by a vote of the (marathon swimming) community, as opposed to the general public.
    - Each Forum member may vote once (and only once), which prevents voting fraud.

    We believe the MSF awards are better designed to recognize the truly greatest achievements in the sport of marathon swimming.

    Start thinking about whom you want to nominate!
  • david_barradavid_barra NYCharter Member
    Niek said:

    I did vote.
    Even my 1 vote might stop someone like DN from winning.

    Not if DN put out a “vote for me” request on her blog....

    ...anything worth doing is worth overdoing.

  • ssthomasssthomas DenverCharter Member
    I'm nominated- and I'm still torn about it. That's probably a very wrong thing to say in public....

    I waited a few days to post on FB because I wasn't sure how I felt about the whole thing. There's a factual error on my nomination (my Tahoe crossing was 22.5 hours, not over 24). Also, I'm not crazy about being on the same list as DN. Is what we do really the same? And I agree, what's the point in getting as many family and friends to vote for me vs someone else? The general public has no idea what the differences are. I'd be much prouder of something nominated and voted on by peers. I don't want to win because I have more facebook friends than the next person. I'd want to win because I deserved it.

    So, I'd love a vote, but I won't cry if you don't. :-)
  • suziedodssuziedods Charter Member
    I nominate Sarah for our spokesperson. You are always so eloquent.

    Looking for the next big thing.. ... @suzieswimcoach

  • loneswimmerloneswimmer IrelandCharter Member
    A few years ago Anne-Marie Ward was nominated for WOWSA woman of the year. I didn't know Anne-Marie at the time but put something on my blog about it, as I had been hugely impressed by her 4x NC attempts, having heard a bit from behind the scenes, (and of course her being Irish, rally round etc). I unashamedly at the time asked people to "vote early and often", an old Irish joke. I don't think I was responsible for Anne-Marie winning, but I guess I say it to demonstrate my own changing view of this over the years. At that time, my connections were mostly out of the way in Ireland, now I'm connected to people all over the world and embarrassed by that past call to action. (Though I was glad Anne-Marie won). As I became more aware of other's extraordinary achievements, and as we get better at celebrating each other, I've completely changed my view for the last couple of years on the WOWSA awards.

    That was especially difficult last year when Stephen Redmond, and @evmo & I (and the forum) were nominated. Stephen is a friend of mine, and I thought him utterly deserving of a win. But many of the Irish swimmers can tell of an offline voting campaign last year that was run over here amongst many non-swimmers to vote for Steve, in which Steve himself ironically had no part. (Flyers at Christmas swims, that sort of thing).

    It's not spilling any beans either I think to say @evmo & I discussed our conflicted opinions over our own nomination and in the end decided it might be good for the forum, and therefore in the long run better to allow everyone to connect more.

    It's my unproven/unprovable opinion that post l'affaire Nyad, if it is past, that @Munatones now sees the forum, and me and @evmo and others here as some kind of (probably very minor) bêtes noire to his Network of Global Open Water Source Global Daily News of Open Water Swimming Global Network. The fact that pretty much everything @evmo & I say is out in the open (excepting where we promise confidentiality!) is our, your and this forum's real advantage.

    Afterall, the biggest story in open water swimming in the world THIS YEAR, came from here, making a nonsense of an organ calling itself Daily News. I just wanted to say organ. :-)

    I think @Munatones has partially taken past criticism of the WOWSA awards on board, particularly requiring a registration per vote and they are improved. But I still find it difficult when I see friends on the lists, because I think some of the underlying problems remain and I don't want to insult friends.

    BTW, I was very surprised by the complete lack of reaction from seemingly anyone to the fact that the forum was taken down twice by DNS attacks during the height of the Nyad controversy. We've never known the source of those attacks.

    Have you seen the ads for the Diana Nyad movie/book/furry toy on the front page of DNOWS?

    And they wonder why we all ...

  • IronMikeIronMike Arlington, VACharter Member
    @evmo, I hope that voting for MSF awards will be from those of us who were members before 4:24PM today, since you mentioned the awards. I, perhaps not alone, don't want a bunch of Nyadians to join here just to nominate and then vote for her.

    Please join the Lake Issyk Kul Swimming Federation on FB!

  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
    @IronMike: no worries. Non-marathon swims and swimmers aren't eligible for the MSF awards.
  • david_barradavid_barra NYCharter Member
    I didn’t start this thread to dump on DN or DNOWS. I appreciate the latter, and think that most subscribers are probably OW swimmers or OW enthusiasts. I am also happy for the existence of WOWSA. I was honored to have been nominated in 2010 for OW man of year... some friends started campaigning on my behalf. It was moving to receive emails and messages of support, but then came a tsunami of votes for another nominee and the whole thing felt embarassing... it still does.

    ...anything worth doing is worth overdoing.

  • ssthomasssthomas DenverCharter Member
    @david_barra: I agree, too. I'm very honored to be nominated and hugely respect everyone (well, mostly) on the list. Amazing swims happened this year, and I think celebrating those is important. And I did ask my family and friends to vote!
  • SylleSylle SwedenMember
    I too feel really honoured to be on one of the lists. I have also put a couple of Facebook messages out there about the vote, but it feels like it would require too much energy to put up a campaign and all. I've been focusing on the actual swimming all year and as a result my effort to promote my charities and do some proper fundraising has been quite mediocre. I'm definitely not gonna put more energy into this than I did for fundraising, especially now that I'm deep in video-editing!

    At the same time, there were some nominees that I didn't know of before the announcement. I quite like the Origami-kayak!
  • lakespraylakespray Senior Member
    Yes it's a popularity contest but Sarah Thomas, Craig Lenning (Bering Strait Relay) Darren Miller are all popular with me :-) and popular with just about anyone whose met them. So I voted for them, didn't have to think it through. Plus there nominations are truly deserving, friends or not.
  • gregocgregoc Charter Member
    I plan on voting with the understanding that the MSF awards are more meaningful because it is a nomination and vote by our peers. I am sure that many of those nominated for a WOWSA category will end up on the MSF awards.
  • NedNed Charter Member
    edited November 2013
    I think that we need to recognize that there are different interests and different methods. This is the forum for marathon swimmers (or those interested in Marathon swimming? I frankly don't know if you need to prove a marathon to join).

    WOWSA is a more general: Open Water Swimming. This takes us from a 350meter sprint in a wetsuit as part of a triathlon to ice swimming to marathon swimming to beach lifeguarding I suppose.

    In Acting you have Oscars, Emmys, Tonys, etc. They also have a popular vote kind of award. I am sure many "in the guild" would treasure an Oscar - voted by their peers...and at the same time many in the "general entertainment sector" would treasure a peopleschoice - voted by a few million.

    Not better or worse > just different.

    So the WOWSA Awards are more general in nature and a kind of popular vote. On the positive side I have seen it energize Ireland twice in the past few years it brought OW swimming to the attention (if only for 100 seconds) to tens of thousands. On a strictly selfish/personal note...I am never supposed to take a vacation in March, June, September and December (end of the sale quarter). Being nominated a few years ago allowed my boss to "exempt me" from that stuff and I swam Catalina last September and False Bay last December > so thanks WOWSA!

    The WOWSA winners I saw at the last two Global Open Water Conferences have brought honour to open water and as Dave Barra said to start this > some are my heroes.

    So vote I did. It was a tough one: Wendy with her over and back EC or Sylvain with his butterfly (I've hugged them both..several that wasn't the decider) or some old duffer with 9 marathons. My girlfriend is French so she voted for Sylvain...his fiancee was born in Texas and still hasn't decided.

    Bring on the Forum nominations next week. She was nominated for WOWSA in 2011 but I think WOWSA is not set up for achievements over the long haul. Year after year..has any woman swum with as much speed, style, class and humility as Marcy MacDonald..14 EC, 3 doubles and keeps going for that triple.

    And I'll be voting again.

    Greg - did you nominate Miley Cirus for peopleschoice?

  • gregocgregoc Charter Member
    @Ned, you can't ignore the twerk!
  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
    Ned said:

    In Acting you have Oscars, Emmys, Tonys, etc. They also have a popular vote kind of award. I am sure many "in the guild" would treasure an Oscar - voted by their peers...and at the same time many in the "general entertainment sector" would treasure a peopleschoice - voted by a few million.

    Not better or worse > just different.

    Which movies do you like better, Ned? Oscar winners or People's Choice winners?
  • FilFil Derby, VTCharter Member
    For what it’s worth, I’m voting.

    I totally understand the controversy about DN. I value the questions raised by so many on this forum. And, I value and fully support channel crossing rules as a standard in our 10 mile Kingdom Swim (we do have three other divisions, wet suit, assisted and canine!!). And I have fought the “fast suit” battle in 2009 and 2010. Our hand carved walking sticks go only to 10 milers who follow the highest standards.

    But, I value WOWSA and the Daily News of Open Water Swimming. From the git go, Steve Munatones and Daily News have reported on our efforts to bring open water swimming to some incredible fresh water venues in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont. His reporting of our efforts has been totally helpful. And, last year, when USMS threw long course open water swims under the bus (just as we were ready to host a USMS national championship), Steve and WOWSA were there to lend support. Our WOWSA 10 Mile World Championships may not be drawing swimmers from around the world just yet. But, we are busy inviting the world to come join us.

    And, it means a lot to us that two of our Memphre Swimmer Scouts have been nominated for WOWSA Woman of the Year, Charlotte Brynn and Sarah Thomas. And, I’m thrilled that Lynn Kubasek would get a tip of the cap in the nominations. Well deserved. All great good spirits, worthy of such recognition and inclusion in such a strong list of nominees.

    And so, I’m voting. Happy to support some great swimmers, some great accomplishments and some daring efforts.

  • NedNed Charter Member
    Evan asked which movies I like better:

    If it has Bruce Willis in it, lot's of guns and stuff blowing up...I'm there.

    I'll pass on the really classy (boring stuff)

    I think mentioning the Oscars was a bad analogy

    Maybe a better example is English Premiership Football (soccer):'_Player_of_the_Year'_Player_of_the_Year

    They have a different voting group...and are both highly valued

    One not better or worse...just different.
  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
    edited November 2013
    So we're all on the same page...

    WOWSA defines the criteria for 'Man of the Year' and 'Woman of the Year' as:
    ...individuals who (1) best embody the spirit of open water swimming, (2) possess the sense of adventure, tenacity and perseverance that open water swimmers are known for, and (3) have most positively influenced the world of open water swimming during the year.
    The criteria for 'Performance of the Year' are slightly different, citing "...demonstrated the most impressive open water swimming performance of the year" for Item #3 rather than "most positively influenced."

    In practice, Steve's 'Performance of the Year' nominees sometimes don't cite a specific performance, which confuses the voting criteria. In the past, some individuals have been nominated in two categories, leading to them splitting their own vote (e.g., Penny Palfrey in 2011).

    Perhaps I am thinking about this too literally.

    Credit where credit is due: They seem to have implemented procedures this year to prevent certain voting abuses. Cool.

    The 2013 WOWSA nominees, some incredible people, are as follows:

    Man of the Year
    Alexander Brylin, Ice Swimmer from Siberia (Russia)
    Damián Blaum, Around The World Marathoner (Argentina)
    Darren Miller, Achieving the Oceans Seven (U.S.A.)
    Doug Woodring, Energetic Environmentalism (Hong Kong)
    Glen Christiansen, Recovering from Trauma (Sweden)
    Jim McConica, Ageless Wonder (U.S.A.)
    Jose Diaz, Horizontes Sin Fronteras (Spain)
    Mally Richards, 60 Years In The Making (South Africa)
    Oussama Mellouli, Olympic Ambassador (Tunisia)
    Pádraig Mallon, Extraordinaire Event Director & Swimmer (Ireland)
    Rafael Gutiérrez Mesa, Getting Things Strait in Gibraltar (Spain)
    Thomas Lurz, World Champion (Germany)
    Tomi Stefanovski, Mastering the Traversee (Macedonia)
    Vojislav Mijić, Tirelessly Resilient Race Director (Serbia)
    Wayne Riddin, Midmar Mile Miracle (South Africa)

    Woman of the Year
    Anna-Carin Nordin, The Oceans Seven First (Sweden)
    Charlotte Brynn, Channel Swimmer and Aquatic Adventurist (New Zealand)
    Diana Nyad, Xtreme Dreamer (U.S.A.)
    Kimberley Chambers, Ballerina Soars in the Open Water (New Zealand)
    Lorna Cochran, Near-nonagenarian Navigates Nirvana (South Africa)
    Lynn Kubasek, Volunteer Extraordinaire In The Pacific (U.S.A.)
    Martina Grimaldi, World Champion Racer (Italy)
    Michelle Macy, Reaching the Summit of the Oceans Seven (U.S.A.)
    Nadia Ben Bahtane, A Maternal Moroccan Miracle (Morocco)
    Nuala Moore, Going to the Extremes (Ireland)
    Olga Kozydub, Professional Marathon Swimming Champion (Russia)
    Poliana Okimoto, 3-time World Championship Medalist (Brazil)
    Sarah Thomas, Double Crosser (U.S.A.)
    Sally Minty-Gravett, 5 Decades in the Making (Jersey)
    Shelley Taylor-Smith, Serving with Distinction (Australia)

    Performance of the Year
    BCT Gdynia Marathon, Prizing the Pros (Poland)
    Bering Strait Swim, Crossing from Asia to America (International)
    Emily Brunemann, World Cup Winner (U.S.A.)
    Héctor Ramírez Ballesteros, Battling Butterfly From Spain to Gibraltar (Spain)
    Ka’iwi Channel Swim, Making the Most of Molokai (Hawaii)
    Mateusz Sawrymowicz, The Polish Tiburon (Poland)
    Melissa Cunningham, Every Stroke Counts (Australia)
    Mohamed Marouf, Energizing Egypt (Egypt)
    Ned Denison, 9 Swims Around The World (Ireland)
    Night Train Swimmers, California Coastal Cruising (U.S.A.)
    Richard Weinberger, Chasing Gold (Canada)
    Swim4Good, Strait of Gibraltar Charity Crossing (Mexico/U.S.A.)
    Sylvian Estadieu, Flying Frenchman (France)
    Wendy Trehiou, Two-way Toughness (Jersey)
    Women’s 10K World Championship, Pack Finishing (International)
  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
    Bumping this thread for the new year...
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