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Tuesday, January 1, 2013

2012 WOWSA Man Of The Year - Stephen Redmond

Few individuals in the history of open water swimming have carried the heavy physical, mental, emotional and financial burdens that Stephen Redmond heaped upon his broad shoulders in 2012.

And, in return, few swimmers have enjoyed such a masterful year as did the Irish icon who was voted as the 2012 World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year.

Redmond was a man so driven, so committed, so haunted in his quest to achieve the Oceans Seven that he traversed the world, crossing continents as he pushed his body, stretched his soul, worried his family, inspired his community, and moved a nation. He publicly laid everything he had on the line – money, reputation, family and friends - in a relentlessly tenacious assault on the world’s most difficult channels.

Throughout the year with Mother Nature anything but maternalistic, he battled every obstacle known to open water swimmers: unpredictable weather, stinging creatures, oncoming currents, ocean swells, financial burdens, global logistics, night blindness and fierce winds. Failure unmercifully greeted him nearly 50% of the time during 2012, but he eventually wrestled success from the angry seas. His triumphant swims across the Cook Strait in New Zealand, the Molokai Channel in Hawaii, the Tsugaru Channel in Japan, and around Fastnet Rock in Ireland have endeared Redmond to his Irish countrymen and the entire open water swimming community.

For his risk-taking spirit, for his passion for adventure, for his tireless soul that enabled him to achieve the Oceans Seven, for his humble acceptance of the unexpected and of his ultimate success, Stephen Redmond was selected by popular vote as the 2012 World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year.

The award honors the man who (1) best embodies the spirit of open water swimming, (2) possesses the sense of adventure, tenacity and perseverance that open water swimmers are known for, and (3) most positively influenced the world of open water swimming.



It was an incredible year of firsts, mosts, fastests and courage by thousands of individuals in the open water swimming world. While Redmond was voted as Man of the Year, the other 2012 nominees were also outstanding representatives and ambassadors of the sport:

1. Benjamin Schulte (Guam) – Fearless Olympic Marathoner
2. Craig Dietz (USA) – The Limbless Waterman
3. Colin Hill (Great Britain) – Olympic Showman
4. Doug Woodring (Hong Kong) – Ocean Environmentalist
5. Milko van Gool (Netherlands) – Humanitarian Swimmer
6. Oussama Mellouli (Tunisia) – Olympic Champion
7. Pierre Lafontaine (Canada) – Able & Ambitious Administrator
8. Ram Barkai (South Africa) – Mindful Ice Man
9. Salvatore Cimmino (Italy) – Swimming in the Seas of the Globe
10. Stephen Redmond (Ireland) - Oceans Seven Pioneer
11. Thomas Lurz (Germany) - Ambassador and Gentleman
12. Trent Grimsey (Australia) - English Channel Record Breaker
13. Wayne Riddin (South Africa) – Midmar Mile Director
14. Wayne Soutter (South Africa) – The Unthinkable
15. Morrie Chiang (Taiwan) – Sun Lake Moon Director

Redmond joins the previous World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year recipients: race director Randy Nutt (USA) in 2008; professional marathon swimmer Petar Stoychev (Bulgaria) in 2009; United Nations Millennium Development ambassador Marcos Diaz (Dominican Republic) in 2010; and swimmer/organizer/administrator Jamie Patrick (USA) in 2011.

Redmond from County Cork, Ireland is a former rugby player and triathlete who has become one of the world's hardiest marathon swimmers and a famed endurance athlete when he became the first person in history to achieve the Oceans Seven. Redmond has completed the following 7 channels of the Oceans Seven:

August 2009: English Channel in 20 hours 1 minute (England to France)
August 2010: North Channel in 17 hours 17 minutes (Scotland to Ireland)
May 2011: Strait of Gibraltar in 5 hours (Spain to Morocco)
October 2011: Catalina Channel in 12 hours 39 minutes (Catalina Island to California)
February 2012: Cook Strait in 12 hours 30 minutes (South to North Island, New Zealand)
February 2012: Molokai Channel in 22 hours 29 minutes (Molokai to Oahu, Hawaii)
July 2012: Tsugaru Channel in 12 hours 45 minutes (Honshu to Hokkaido, Japan)

Redmond attempted the Molokai Channel once before succeeding on his second attempt. He attempted the Tsugaru Channel in Japan three times before he succeeded on his fourth attempt in July 2012. He was also the first person to swim around treacherous Fastnet Rock, a small island in the Atlantic Ocean and the most southerly point of Ireland.

In the public online vote, young Benjamin Schulte of Guam was second. While Redmond often struggled in front of only a handful of observers and crew in rough oceans far away from the prying eyes of the general public, Schulte faced the absolute polar opposite at the London Olympics. The 16-year-old swimmer raced opponents who were men double his age, significantly stronger and much more experienced in front of 30,000 spectators and a worldwide television audience.

Schulte was a boy among men, a neophyte against veterans; he could have wilted in the Serpentine. But the teenager swam his heart out and showed extreme grace under tremendous pressure. Like Redmond, he proudly represented not only his small nation, but also every open water swimmer who has persevered under the less-than-favorable conditions. While he quickly fell off the pace and swam alone as people around the world watched, he gave it his all like Stephen Redmond, swimming faster than expected and demonstrating a passion for never giving anything less than 100%.

In one of the most awe-inspiring years of open water swimming on record, the community salutes all the WOWSA nominees and Stephen Redmond in particular for his selection as the 2012 World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year and the millions of other open water swimmers who he so ably represents.

Photo of Stephen Redmond by Mike Lewis; video of the Oceans Seven Project is courtesy of Red Bull.

Copyright © 2013 by World Open Water Swimming Association

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The Staff of the World Open Water Swimming Association

2014 Global Open Water Swimming Conference

Learn more...
Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER FOR THE CONFERENCE

The Global Open Water Swimming Conference is a conference on the sport of open water swimming, marathon swimming and swimming during triathlons and multi-sport endurance events.

The conference which has been attended by enthusiasts and luminaries from 6 continents, is devoted to providing information about the latest trends, race tactics, training techniques, equipment, psychological preparation, race organization and safety practices used in the sports of open water swimming, marathon swimming and triathlons.

The conference's mission is to provide opportunities to listen and meet many of the world's most foremost experts in open water swimming, and to meet and discuss the sport among swimmers, coaches, administrators, event organizers, sponsors, vendors, officials, escort pilots, and volunteers from kayakers to safety personnel.

Dozens of presentations at the 2014 Conference at the Mount Stuart House cover numerous aspects of the vast and growing world of open water swimming where attendees can learn and share the latest trends, race tactics, training modalities, swimming techniques, equipment, race organization, logistics, operations, and safety practices for open water swimming as a solo swimmer, competitive athlete, fitness swimmer, masters swimmer, triathlete, multi-sport athlete, administrator, race promoter, sponsor or referee.

The conference was first held in Long Beach, California as part of the 2010 USA Swimming National Open Water Swimming Championships. It has since been held on the Queen Mary in California, at Columbia University and the United Nations in New York City, and in Cork, Ireland. This year in September, it comes to another iconic location, the Mount Stuart House on the Isle of Bute in Scotland.

"The Global Open Water Swimming Conference was started due to the desire and need for athletes, coaches, referees, administrators, race directors, promoters and sponsors from around the world to share, collect and learn information about the growing sports of open water swimming, marathon swimming and triathlons," said founder Steven Munatones. "Other swimming conferences usually offering nothing on open water swimming or perhaps a speech or two, but we thought open water swimming deserves its own global conference. It is great that the community shares its information via the online social network, but there is nothing like meeting other open water swimming enthusiasts face-to-face and talking about the sport from morning to night."

Speakers at the conference include English Channel swimmers, ice swimmers, record holders, renowned coaches, world champions, professional marathon swimmers, renowned race directors, officials and administrators from the Africa, Americas, Asia, Europe and Oceania.

"Because the audience is passionate and educated about the sport and its finest practitioners, the Global Open Water Swimming Conference is also the location of the induction ceremonies for the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame and the annual WOWSA Awards that recognize the World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year, the World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year, the World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year, and the World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year. Special Lifetime Achievement Awards are also occasionally presented to individuals who have made significant contributions to the sport over their career."

The 2014 Global Open Water Swimming Conference Programme

Wednesday, September 17th
Leave Glasgow to commence 2-day tour of Scotland [closest international airport is Glasgow]

Thursday, September 18th
Stay Mainland, North of Scotland

Friday, September 19th
14:00 - Swim Loch Lomond
17:00 - Head to Isle of Bute
19:30 - Scottish Banquet
21:30 - Dinner Dance

Saturday, September 20th
09:00 - Registration & Coffee
10:00 - Speeches
12:20 - Lunch and WOWSA Awards
13:40 – Speeches
15:40 - Round Table
19:00 - International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Dinner & Induction Ceremony

Sunday, September 21st
09:00 - Registration & Coffee
10:00 - Speeches
14:30 - Swim in St Ninian's Bay on the Isle of Bute

The luminaries of the open water swimming world who will be honored in Scotland will include:

* Sandra Bucha (U.S.A.), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer and International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Swimmer
* Jon Erikson (U.S.A.), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer
* Claudio Plit (Argentina), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer
* Judith van Berkel-de Njis (Netherlands), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer
* David Yudovin (U.S.A.), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer
* Mercedes Gleitze (Great Britain), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer
* George Young (Canada), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer
* Dale Petranech (U.S.A.), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Contributor
* Melissa Cunningham (Australia), 2013 Irving Davids-Captain Roger Wheeler Memorial Award winner
* Vojislav Mijić (Serbia), International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Swimmer
* James Anderson (U.S.A.), International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Administrator
* Dr. Jane Katz (U.S.A.), International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Administrator
* Indonesian Swimming Federation, , International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Organisation
* Elizabeth Fry (U.S.A.), International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Swimmer
* Pádraig Mallon (Ireland), the 2013 World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year
* Olga Kozydub (Russia), the 2013 World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year
* Bering Strait Swim (international team), the 2013 World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year
* International Ice Swimming Association (Ram Barkai, founder, South Africa), the 2013 World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year

For additional articles on the 2014 Global Open Water Swimming Conference, visit:

* Olga Kozydub To Be Honored In Scotland
* Pádraig Mallon To Be Honored In Mount Stuart Castle
* Mount Stuart House, Splendid Setting For Swimming
* Colleen Blair To Kick-off Global Open Water Swimming Conference
* The Man Who Swims Better Than He Walks
* Joining In The Sea Goddess At The Hall Of Fame
* Mercedes Gleitze To Be Honored In Scotland
* The Incredible Career Of Merceded Gleitze
* Jon Erikson To Be Honoured In Florida
* The Incredible Career Of Mercedes Gleitze
* St Ninian's Bay To Host International Swim Conference

Copyright © 2014 by World Open Water Swimming Association

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Open Water Swimming Magazine


Open Water Swimming Magazine

The Open Water Swimming Magazine is the monthly magazine entirely focused on open water swimming heroes and heroines of every age, ability, and background. Published by the World Open Water Swimming Association, the Open Water Swimming Magazine is a free benefit to WOWSA members.

WOWSA Member Benefits include 12 issues of the Open Water Swimming Magazine, the annual 276-page Open Water Swimming Almanac, a free listing in Sponsor My Swim, outstanding product discounts from FINIS, an entry in Openwaterpedia and more...
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The Other Shore follows world record holder and legendary swimmer Diana Nyad as she comes out of a thirty-year retirement to re-attempt an elusive dream: swimming 103 miles non-stop from Cuba to Florida without the use of a shark cage. Her past and present collide in her obsession with a feat that nobody has ever accomplished. At the edge of The Devil’s Triangle, tropical storms, sharks, venomous jellyfish, and one of the strongest ocean currents in the world, all prove to be life-threatening realities. Timothy Wheeler’s documentary brings Diana Nyad’s extraordinary adventure to life as Diana sets out to prove that will and determination are all you need to make the unimaginable possible.
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2014 Open Water Swimming Almanac



An Almanac for Open Water Swimming

An almanac is essentially a body of knowledge which is so complete that it enables people in different fields to make predictions about the future of their respective industries.

This, for example, was the purpose of the traditional farmers almanacs. It enabled farmers to determine as accurately as possible which crops to plant for the greatest harvests in a given year.

But the farmers almanac was just one example among many.
There are, of course, many different kinds of almanacs.

In fact, there is even one for open water swimming...

Preview the Open Water Swimming Almanac:
https://www.worldopenwaterswimmingassociation.com/preview-open-water-swimming-almanac


The trends are very clear.
The tide is rising for open water swimming.

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