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Tuesday, October 31, 2017

World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year Nominees

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

The nominees for the 2017 World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year are always an eclectic mix of products, events and services that:

* best support and assist open water swimmers achieve their goals,
* are innovative, unique and beneficial to open water swimmers, race directors, coaches or administrators, and
* have made the most positive impact on the world of open water swimming during the calendar year.

The nominees for the World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year [see below] are unique products, services, events and organizations with an exceptional twist and extraordinary value to open water swimmers around the world.

To vote for the World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year via a global online poll, visit the WOWSA Awards here and register to vote.

The nominees for the 2017 World Open Water Offering of the Year are as follows:

1. 48 Braçades by Miquel Suñer (Spain)
2. Blue Journey Dangerous Waves Project with Bruckner Chase (USA)
3. Global Swim Series by Rob Kent & Dylan Kent (Canada)
4. LongSwimsDB by Evan Morrison (USA)
5. New York Open Water by David Barra, Rondi Davies & Alex Arévalo (USA)
6. Open Water Swim Academy by Dan Simonelli (USA)
7. Outdoor Swimmer by Simon Griffiths (Great Britain)
8. Sea Donkey with Adrian Sarchet (Guernsey)
9. Shark Bait by Dr. Seán O’Connell (Bermuda)
10. Swim Argentina by Matías Ola (Argentina)
11. The Channel of Bones with Toni Enderli (South Africa)
12. Travessia do Leme ao Pontal by Adherbal de Oliveira & Renato Ribeiro Barbosa (Brazil)

The nominees for the 2016 World Open Water Offering of the Year are as follows:

1. 48 Braçades by Miquel Suñer (Spain)

48 Braçades: Solo tú marcas tu horizonte (48 Swimming Strokes: Only You Set Your Horizons) is a 230-page book written in Spanish and Catalan by Miquel Suñer with James Manresa. After becoming the 53rd person in history to complete the Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming, he wrote an extraordinary retelling of his aquatic journey from a backstroker and water polo player to an elite marathon swimmer. The 40-year-old engineer and ambassador of the Costa Brava and Menorca Channel Swimming Association describes his perspectives of swimming in the sea under challenging conditions and his frank intimate connection with Mother Nature. For explaining how swimming is his form of meditation, for a brilliant recount of his daily struggles and how he deals with fear and failure, for sharing how he maintains his deeply felt motivation despite facing obstacles and difficulties both on dryland and in the water, 48 Braçades: Solo tú marcas tu horizonte is a worthy nominee for the 2017 World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year.

2. Blue Journey Dangerous Waves Project with Bruckner Chase (USA)

The Blue Journey Dangerous Waves Project is an educational effort by Bruckner Chase in collaboration with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Weather Service and Ocean Today. It bolsters an impactful, practical film series with a public outreach via clinics and talks that are augmented by partnerships with like-minded corporate partners, community groups, villages, schools and environmental organizations. Surf Zone Safe is the upcoming Ocean Today film series with location and community specific advice for American Samoa, the American East Coast, Pacific Northwest, Southern California and Hawaii. The series will be released as part of an Ocean Today’s Full Moon program available worldwide. For its focus on beach and ocean safety, science and conservation; for its public goal of Situational Awareness when swimmers and non-swimmers alike are in, on or near open bodies of water; for its messaging focused on Respect the Ocean, the Blue Journey Dangerous Waves Project is a worthy nominee for the 2017 World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year.

3. Global Swim Series by Rob Kent & Dylan Kent (Canada)

Father Rob Kent and son Dylan Kent envisioned a global connection between open water events around the world. Their platform became the world’s largest open water swimming network called the Global Swim Series. Through social media marketing and word-of-mouth, over 75,000 swimmers in 115 races across 30 countries have now participated in the rapidly growing phenomenon. When a campaign like the Global Swim Series can so easily and quickly connect swimmers across six continents, the sport and the creative vision of Canadian father and son have arrived. For the professional marketing platform that enables viral expansion around the globe, for the production of a competitive ranking system that equally awards speed and participation, and for its inspirational, joyful message across borders, the Global Swim Series by Rob Kent and Dylan Kent is a worthy nominee for the 2017 World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year.

4. LongSwimsDB by Evan Morrison (USA)

LongSwimsDB is a powerful, informational, searchable, constantly updated database of marathon and channel swims around the world. Developed by Evan Morrison, verified swims from more than 30,000 swims by over 12,200 swimmers from 115 countries and 158 established marathon course are publicly posted on the Marathon Swimmers Federation. Simple to use, easy to search, the database of individual swimmer profiles and event results is rapidly growing with the help of volunteers and automated data import programs. LongSwimsDB is an authoritative service that ties the global open water swimming community closer together, both across continents and generations. For documenting swims in an authoritative, historical manner, for providing interesting lists of swimmers and their achievements through an elegant computer database searchable on smartphones and laptops, and for its thoroughly simple ease of use, LongSwimsDB is a worthy nominee for the 2017 World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year.

5. New York Open Water by David Barra, Rondi Davies & Alex Arévalo (USA)

New York Open Water has rapidly stamped and shared its vision on the marathon swimming world. The event management entity has taken the energy and opportunities of the defunct NYC Swim to a new level. David Barra, Rondi Davies and Alex Arévalo built upon the Manhattan Island Marathon Swim and other established swims around New York City – and extended and strengthened the opportunities to swim around, in and near the Big Apple. From the nearly impossibly long 91.8 km 40 Bridges Double Manhattan Island Swim to the most definitely long 193 km 8 Bridges Hudson River Swim, the passionate trio has built a solid foundation of races for the world’s most extreme marathon swimmers. For reviving and expanding the Manhattan Island Marathon Swim as the 20 Bridges event, for creating and hosting the longest solo marathon swims and stage swims in the world, for attracting swimmers from around the world to New York, New York Open Water is a worthy nominee for the 2017 World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year.

6. Open Water Swim Academy by Dan Simonelli (USA)

The Open Water Swim Academy offers a safe and supportive environment for teaching and training open water swimmers, no matter what their starting point or final goals are. Led by coach, crew chief, lifeguard and escort kayaker Dan Simonelli, recreational, masters and competitive swimmers are taught a comprehensive curriculum of technical, environmental, mental and physical aspects of the sport. For sharing the latest and best techniques and tactics both in the pool and Pacific Ocean, for teaching myriad aspects of open water swimming in beautiful La Jolla, California – and from Hawaii to Dover - from swim techniques and nutrition to marine life and goal setting, for promoting and expanding open water swimming to students and adults from all walks of life, the Open Water Swim Academy is a worthy nominee for the 2017 World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year.

7. Outdoor Swimmer by Simon Griffiths (Great Britain)

Outdoor Swimmer made a major decision to change its original brand from H2Open Magazine in 2017. It was a risky change, but the strategy behind the thought process was brilliant and well thought-out. As the most colorful, informative, comprehensive open water swimming-dedicated publication in the world, the magazine is a must-have for everyone from the hardened marathon and cold water swimmers to casual enthusiasts in the sport. Content includes spotlighting outdoor swimming personalities and events with insightful interviews are augmented by a global calendar of events and a complimentary social media presence. For its belief in its core mission and essential values to make such fundamental change to its brand, for flawlessly pulling off its transition to reach its next stage of development and global expansion, for providing 12 issues of beautiful open water swimming photography and engaging prose by Simon Griffiths, Jonathan Cowie and talented writers and photographers, Outdoor Swimmer is a worthy nominee for the 2017 World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year.

8. Sea Donkey with Adrian Sarchet (Guernsey)

Sea Donkey tells the story of Adrian Sarchet and his adventure across the North Channel. The documentary, directed by James Harrison, celebrates the depth of the human spirit of an ordinary man, an advocate from Guernsey, who took to the open water with a passionate desire after more than a decade of lawyering. As he closing in on becoming one of the few people who have completed the Oceans Seven, Sarchet is now far beyond the poor health he had previously existed with. Sarchet transformed himself from a law-obsessed professional to a broad-minded adventurer. Through riveting interviews with the protagonist, pilot and crew amid beautiful imagery between Northern Ireland and Scotland, Sarchet’s personal journey is an improbable, mind-bending and astonishing path to becoming one of the world's most adventurous extreme athletes. For its inspirational message that the documentary delivers, for showcasing the unlikely transformation of an advocate to a risk-taking channel swimmer, for sharing the challenges and joy so prevalent in the sport of open water swimming, Sea Donkey is a worthy nominee for the 2017 World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year.

9. Shark Bait by Dr. Seán O’Connell (Bermuda)

Shark Bait: How I Battled Tides, Fins and Fatigue to Complete the First Non-stop Swim Around Bermuda is a fascinating, long-overdue autobiography about Dr. Seán O’Connell's pioneering circumnavigation swim around his adopted Bermuda. His voice with a deep passion for adventure mixed in with youthful energy and exuberance comes through loud and clear in 110-page paperback. In 1976, the mathematics lecturer boldly took up a bet in a bar and raised money for charity in a mind-boggling attempt to swim around the island of Bermuda. The details of the concept, the planning and logistics that went into the swim, and how he came back from his first disappointing failure are riveting to read four decades after his 43 hour 27 minute 61 km circumnavigation swim. For documenting about an unprecedented swim long lost in the annals of marathon swimming, for bringing alive one of the longest and most arduous solo circumnavigations in the 20th century, for writing prose that rings true to any contemporary open water swimmer, Shark Bait is a worthy nominee for the 2017 World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year.

10. Swim Argentina by Matías Ola (Argentina)

Swim Argentina is the brainchild and creation of Matías Ola, an accomplished ice swimmer and marathon swimmer, capable in all possible conditions from cold to warm. Almost singlehandedly in the most unlikely of seasons and the most unlikely of locations, he has brought winter swimmers from around the globe to incredibly scenic locations from Ushuaia, Mendoza and the Perito Moreno Glacier in Argentina to Laguna del Inca in Chile. Swim Argentina also organizes relay and solo crossings of the 42 km Río de la Plata and the 12 km Beagle Channel in Argentina and offers extreme swimming camps in Spain, Mount Everest and Antarctica. For establishing brand new extreme swimming camps, competitions and crossings in Argentina, Chile, Tibet, Spain and the South Pole, for organizing extreme swims with safe oversight in ruggedly stark, brutally cold scenic locations, for giving swimmers myriad unique opportunities to realize their swimming dreams in off-the-beaten track venues, Swim Argentina is a worthy nominee for the 2017 World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year.

11. The Channel of Bones with Toni Enderli (South Africa)

The Channel of Bones is a documentary film by Silverline Productions of Toni Enderli’s crossing of the Molokai (Ka’iwi) Channel in Hawaii that took an agonizing 20 hour 35 minute. From his dramatic finishing on Sandy Beach on Oahu to his interactions with escort pilot Ivan Shigaki and crew members Linda Kaiser and Andrew Mitchell, the film is riveting with the suspense that builds as the coastline never seems to get closer. For highlighting the challenges faced when, where and how to start the 42 km inter-island crossing, for showing the beauty of a tropical location known for its big, bad, blue waters, for sharing the difficulties faced by swimmers, pilots and crew in a marine adventure that can go south at any moment, The Channel of Bones documentary is a worthy nominee for the 2017 World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year.

12. Travessia do Leme ao Pontal by Adherbal de Oliveira & Renato Ribeiro Barbosa (Brazil)

The Travessia do Leme ao Pontal is a scenic 35 km coastal swim in Brazil that ends in Pontal and was inspired by a famous song in Brazil called Do Leme ao Pontal. The ocean challenge offers great natural beauty where the swimmer can admire from a privileged perspective the wonders of Rio de Janeiro including Sugar Loaf, Copacabana Beach, Christ the Redeemer, Cagarras Archipelago, Ipanema Beach, São Conrado Beach, Barra da Tijuca Beach and the Pontal Stone. Adherbal de Oliveira and Renato Ribeiro Barbosa created a governing body (Leme to Pontal Swimming Association) that enables solo and relay attempts for neoprene and bioprene swimmers along the gorgeous course. For creating a professional infrastructure complete with escort pilots, crew, guidance and record-keeping to support marathon swims and relays, for encouraging marathon swimming among people who are inspired to repeat the lyrics of a popular song, for offering opportunities throughout the year in temperatures that can range from 15°C to 26°C, the Travessia do Leme ao Pontal is a worthy nominee for the 2017 World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year.

To register and vote on the WOWSA Awards and the 2017 World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year, visit here.

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