CALL FOR NOMINATIONS - 2015 Streeter Award for Service to Marathon Swimming

evmoevmo SydneyAdmin
edited November 2015 in Admin Communications

It's that time again! We're pleased to announce the Fourth Annual Global Marathon Swimming Awards, the only peer-nominated, peer-voted awards for the sport of marathon swimming.

Please submit your nominations for the Streeter Award for Service to Marathon Swimming, by commenting on this thread. To submit a private nomination, please contact us.

This award is meant to hono(u)r individuals who have selflessly given their time and energy to advance, enrich, and support the sport of marathon swimming. It is meant to hono(u)r the individuals who demonstrate that no "solo swim" is truly solo - the crew members, kayakers, pilots, observers, race directors, volunteers, and administrators who facilitate the fulfillment of swimmers' dreams. It is meant to hono(u)r the individuals whose passion keeps the spirit of the sport alive and vibrant.

In your nominations, please explain why the individual(s) deserves the nomination.

Finalists will be selected on the basis of community support, as measured by "Likes." So, if you agree with a nomination and want to "second" it, click the "Like" button on that nomination. Nominations will remain open for approximately three weeks.

Previous years' finalists for the Streeter Award (winners indicated in bold):


  • Allison Bayne and Rob Dumouchel
  • Eri Utsunomiya
  • Phil White
  • Dover Beach crew


  • Roger Finch and Tracy Clark
  • Greg O'Connor
  • Neil and Grace van der Byl


  • loneswimmerloneswimmer IrelandCharter Member
    edited December 2015

    I'd like to nominate David & Evelyn Frantzeskou, Varne Ridge Channel Swimming Holiday Park, Dover.

    David & Evelyn have been running Varne and looking after Channel swimmers and aspirants since 1999. Their first Channel swimmer and perpetual friend ever since was David Yudovin, who we lost this year. They have made Varne a must visit location for marathon swimmers, ad make it a home from home for us all.

    Every year swimmers and crew, especially those on their first trip, find they got more than a commercial result, instead finding new friends. They have seen more of the elation and sadness and even tragedy of Channel Swimming than anyone except maybe the older pilots, Freda, Nick Adams or Kevin Murphy.

    David & Eve will this year be inducted into the IMSHOF.

    Disclaimer: I like many others consider Dave & Eve as surrogate parents, and love them greatly.


  • ZoeSadlerZoeSadler Charter Member
    edited December 2015

    I would like to nominate the British Long Distance Swimming Association (BLDSA).

    The BLDSA is entirely run by volunteers, who do it for the love of the sport, and have enabled so many of the UK based swimmers to progress onto greater distances. Many UK marathon swimmers started off with shorter BLDSA events, including myself.

    The BLDSA provide a standard for open water events and solo swims in the UK. If you have completed a swim and it has been ratified by the BLDSA then you know that it has been completed under a certain "gold standard".

    The BLDSA organise a variety of events ranging from 1K up to the mammoth 22.6 mile Loch Lomond. They provide race referee, safety boats, first aiders, recorders etc. If you find that you need a support kayaker for an event, I have found that the organisers will go out of their way to assist, and they have helped me to find a kayaker for a number of swims.

    My personal love of the BLDSA is the small size of the events, the stunning location of many of the swims and the fact that there are so many volunteers at events who enable it to happen. I also like the fact that all swimmers wait until the last swimmer has finished and then everyone attends the presentations and applauds each other while the certificates are presented to every swimmer completing the course. The events are....just lovely! (Well, other than the early season Dover Champion of Champions which is the most torturous swim I've ever done!). The events are also cheap in comparison to commercially organised events and swimmers respect each other in the water (something which cannot be said about many of the commercial events).

    As well as the organised events, the BLDSA observe and ratify the more unusual solo swims such as Isle of Wight, Loch Ness etc.

    I personally feel that "service to the sport" awards should go to volunteers / non-profit making organisations, hence my nomination for the BLDSA.

  • evmoevmo SydneyAdmin
    edited December 2015

    We received a private nomination for Phil White:

    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.

  • lakespraylakespray Senior Member

    I’d like to nominate George Thornton & Joe Bakel Co-Chair’s of the Horsetooth, Colorado Openwater Swims. Started in 1999, the Horsetooth 10K Marathon swim was the first official marathon swim in the Rocky Mountain region and was at the forefront of marathon swimming for the entire country. The swim was started by English Channel swimmer Mr. Oliver Turner but continued by George & Joe when he moved on. In Colorado we joke that the Horsetooth 10K swim is the gateway drug into that subversive swimming world of Marathon Swimming. Future Openwater Hall of Fame swimmers; Craig Lenning & Sarah Thomas, first tasted the sweet addiction of long distance openwater, swimming this event. Co-Chair himself, Joe Bakel went on to swim the English Channel and Manhattan Island Marathon swim, although not successful George Thornton made a courageous attempt at being the oldest English Channel swimmer.

    George & Joe have been very supportive of other Colorado marathon swimmers providing mentoring, guidance, and access to private open water for training etc. The Horsetooth swim is non-profit and supported local charities in Ft. Collins, CO since its inception.

    Other notables who started at Horsetooth; Katie Benoit, Cliff Crozier, Mark Johnson a former Colorado swimmer/resident and coach now promoting openwater swims in Montana’s Flathead Lake and many many more.
    Colorado is famous for endurance athletes; runners, cyclist, triathlon etc., George & Joe have helped put us on the map for marathon swimming as well.

    More history of the Horsetooth Marathon swims.

  • ViveBeneViveBene Member
    edited December 2015

    Would just like to mention that Phil White (nominated above) started an ice swim in 2015 that saw significant international representation.

    The adaptive division of the summer swims perhaps should be highlighted.

    And the same swims can be done as performance swims or community swims.

  • evmoevmo SydneyAdmin

    We received a private, posthumous nomination for Eileen Burke, a longtime swimmer and volunteer in the NYC-area open water swimming community, who passed away earlier this year.

    I would like to posthumously nominate Eileen Burke for the Streeter Award for Service to Marathon Swimming. 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.

    Siegel-Eileen Burke

  • evmoevmo SydneyAdmin
    edited December 2015

    I would like to nominate Suzie Dods ( @suziedods ) for the Streeter Award, 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)
    • 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 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.

    Edit: I neglected to mention in my original post, Suzie also 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.

  • emkhowleyemkhowley Boston, MACharter Member

    I nominate Craig Lenning for the Streeter Service to marathon swimming award.

    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.


    Stop me if you've heard this one...
    A grasshopper walks into a bar...

  • molly1205molly1205 Lincoln, NebraskaSenior Member

    evmo said:
    I would like to nominate Suzie Dods ( @suziedods ) for the Streeter Award, for her ongoing efforts to promote San Francisco and Aquatic Park as a world-class destination for marathon swimmers and aspiring marathon swimmers.

    I would like to add to Evan's nomination for Suzie Dods. She is a friend to any and every marathon swimmer and provides helpful encouragement and advice. When I needed to complete my qualifying swim for the EC, Suzie kindly lined up swimmers to join me in Aquatic Park for practice sessions, introduced me to members of both the SERC and Dolphin Clubs, and, after I failed the qualifying swim, Suzie provided much needed perspective that helped me stay on track and achieve the qualifying swim in my home lake a couple of weeks later.

    Suzie is a fantastic organizer. Putting together an open water swim event is no easy peasy task - imagine the details involved in a 24-hour relay! But Suzie pulls everyone together, makes a plan and communicates well to ensure everyone knows what's going on and pitches in to get it done.

    And that giggle! No matter how cold, wet and miserable you are, Suzie has a way of making every swim fun and bringing out the best in all of the swimmers who dive into her events. Her enthusiasm for marathon swimming and building the marathon swimming community is infectious!

    Aquatic Park in San Francisco will always be my "home" practice field for marathon swims thanks to Suzie's warm hospitality, wonderful advice and encouragement. She is an exceptional ambassador of marathon swimming and very deserving of the Streeter Award!


    Molly Nance, Lincoln, Nebraska

  • AnthonyMcCarleyAnthonyMcCarley Berwyn, PACharter Member
    edited December 2015

    Sorry for being late to the nomination party - took a little time to do my homework.

    I am proud to nominate Dan Simonelli. While I am a personal recipient of Dan's help (including an attempt this year), Dan has also had a giant impact on many swims and swimmers.

    This year he supported 27 Catalina Channel swims in various capacities:
    CCSF Observer,
    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.

  • You know what's so wonderful?
    SOOO many people, helping others. A plethora of fellow swimmers, a broad range of experiences and locales.
    A richness of community.
    We are so lucky.

This discussion has been closed.