CALL FOR NOMINATIONS - 2017 Yudovin Award for Most Adventurous Swim

evmoevmo SydneyAdmin
edited November 2017 in Admin Communications

Please submit your nominations for the Yudovin Award for Most Adventurous Swim, by commenting on this thread. Anonymous/private nominations are accepted via the contact form, but this is generally discouraged in favor of public nominations.

The Yudovin Award was conceived in 2014 and named after renowned marathon swimmer David Yudovin, with his personal blessing. Tragically, David passed away in 2015.

The Yudovin Award recognizes the single most adventurous solo swim of the year. New criterion this year: Like David's many "firsts," swims nominated in this category should be unprecedented routes.

A single swim may be nominated for both the Yudovin Award and Solo Swim of the Year - however, this swim may be a finalist in only one of the two categories.

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 Yudovin Award (winners indicated in bold):


  • Patti Bauernfeind - Monterey Bay
  • Katie Benoit - triple Bodensee
  • Peter Hayden - Anacapa circumnavigation, return to mainland


  • Dave Van Mouwerik - Estero Bay
  • Jen Dutton - Keuka Lake A-B-C swim
  • Wendy Trehiou - St Malo to Jersey
  • Peter Hayden - Santa Barbara Island circumnavigation, return to Catalina


  • Lori King (New York, USA) - Bermuda circumnavigation
  • Jeff Miller (Virgin Islands, USA) - St John circumnavigation
  • Greg O’Connor (Massachusetts, USA) - Massachusetts Bay

The MSF Global Marathon Swimming Awards, now in their sixth year, are the only peer-nominated, peer-voted awards for the sport of marathon swimming.



  • LynnkubLynnkub Charter Mem​ber

    I nominate Dan Simonelli for his California "Island Hopper" series!

  • JaimieJaimie NYCMem​ber

    @SydneD for her unprecedented swim around Culebra Island in Puerto Rico. 20.4 miles in ~12 hours - congratulations Sydne for this special swim in a special place.

  • JaimieJaimie NYCMem​ber

    Not sure if he's on here but Brian Lanahan on the first known circumnavigation of James Island, South Carolina! 33 miles / 53 km in 13 hours, 17 minutes. Another very cool unprecedented swim, @j9swim was observer and can add more details.

  • j9swimj9swim CharlestonSenior Member

    @Jaimie - The planning of this swim may have been more difficult than the swim itself. The waters surrounding James Island are very tidal, marshy, shallow, and with hurricanes coming through on a regular basis navigating these waters that are constantly changing requires an extraordinary amount of testing and planning. He swam almost every section of the swim to make sure he had it right.
    This swim was over 3 years in the making , multiple hurricanes along with ear infections, and general life interruptions caused multiple delays. Brian and team finally had a clear window on 10/10 to finally attempt this swim which he completed successfully on his first try. I've been lucky enough to observe a few epic swims over the last couple of years, this one was very special.
    Brian Lanahan has been quietly swimming around many of the barrier islands in SC over the last couple of years. Additionally he has paddled for many of us, been a key player in creating and supporting an OW pod here in Charleston, and overall is a humble swimmer with an amazing work ethic. So I am joining @Jaimie in nominating Brian Lanahan's first known circumnavigation around James Island SC for the Yudovin Award for Most Adventurous Swim.

  • SydneDSydneD Senior Member

    @Jaimie I am so honored. Thank you so much. To have someone I hold in such high regard and respect in so many ways, swimming and otherwise, choose to nominate me feels surreal. (Not sure if it's allowed for me to comment here so admins, if not, please delete.)

    The day I had the privilege of swimming around Culebra feels like it was a dream. After planning and plotting and hoping for years, it finally happened. And as everything came together, as if it was meant to be, it was as extraordinary as I had always imagined.

    Since that day, my emotions have run the gamut and it's been difficult. The island supported me in a million different ways, emotionally, physically, and with enthusiasm I had never expected. It made the whole experience tremendously special, and I felt, and feel, even more tied to this island I love.

    Less than a week after the swim, two days after we left, Hurricane Irma hit the island, and we all breathed a sigh of relief that the damage was not worse. Then, less than two weeks later, Hurricane Maria hit and the island, much like the rest of Puerto Rico, did not fare well.

    Thankfully, all residents survived and no one was badly hurt. That said, the situation is not good. The island is still without consistent power, still without water, and as a place that is reliant upon tourism, residents are now without work or a means of income. Residents of the island are also dependent upon the mainland, and trips to Fajardo, the port city, for many of their basic services as there is a lack of medical and dental care on the island, no place to buy supplies they might need, and extremely limited access to the things we take for granted every day. With ferry access an issue right now, and Fajardo itself also being in bad shape, the island is feeling even more left out of the recovery efforts. It's hard to know when, or if, the island will return to what it was.

    Each time I sit down to finish compiling my records for the swim, and to ready them to submit to the Federation to have the swim confirmed as "official", I get distracted by the need the island has now, and instead, I buy yet another few boxes of athletic wipes for residents to "bathe," or I make another donation, or I send notes of love to our friends there.

    The island and the people there made this dream possible for me, and I owe it to them to do whatever I can to help them right now. Swimming connected me to this place in a way that I can't adequately describe to folks who aren't part of this crazy tribe of open water people, and whether or not Culebra wants me, it's stuck with me now!

    Gosh, I didn't mean to write so much. I guess I'm having a lot of feels!

  • DanSimonelliDanSimonelli San Diego CASenior Member
    edited November 2017

    Lynnkub said:
    I nominate Dan Simonelli for his California "Island Hopper" series!

    I suppose it would be good to explain this swim adventure.

    The extended idea was prompted by my wanting to swim the Santa Barbara Channel between Anacapa Island and the mainland.
    But, I also wanted to venture farther out and explore the other 3 northern CA Channel Islands (San Miguel, Santa Rosa, Santa Cruz).
    So, I looked at the map on the SBCSA site and I thought it could be interesting to swim between each of the islands.
    I'd been wanting to find a unique and adventurous swim to do, and this settled into my mind to be just that.

    So, with the help and guidance of Dawn Brooks (Captain) and Evan Morrison @evmo and Dave Van Mouwerik @VanMou the stage swim plan came together:

    Boat out to San Miguel, swim between SM and Santa Rosa. Boat around SR and swim between SR and Santa Cruz. Boat around SC and swim between SC and Anacapa. Boat around and swim Anacapa to mainland.

    I completed the first three swims, but I did not start the final swim as I wasn't feeling well and decided to bag the three I did and call it a day.

    It was a full spectrum experience.
    Epic, grand and a beautiful adventure into many well difficult and miserable.

    Forever grateful to Dawn Brooks, Guy Morgan (my kayaker) and Evan and Dave.

    Evan's photo of the 3 Islands stacked behind one another,
    Love it!


  • evmoevmo SydneyAdmin

    I nominate Karl Kingery ( @Karl_Kingery ) for the Yudovin Award, for his unprecedented swim across the 20-mile length of Yellowstone Lake, Wyoming. Challenges include cold water (60ish), elevation (7730 feet), and in true David Yudovin fashion, locals & rangers who are really, really not accustomed to people swimming there. Park Service signs warn of "20 minute survival time" for swimmers :)

    Extensive documentation of Karl's swim recently published at:

  • JaimieJaimie NYCMem​ber
    edited November 2017

    Swims like these get me excited about marathon swimming. Awesome to see so much activity in this category this year. To me, this is what it's all about!

  • j9swimj9swim CharlestonSenior Member
    edited November 2017

    I'd like to nominate Jaimie Monahan (@Jaimie ) for the Yudovin Award as it recognizes the single most adventurous solo swim of the year and an unprecedented route. On August 28/29 2017 Jaimie became the first person to swim unassisted the entire 37 miles length of Lake Maggiore from Tenero-Contra, Switzerland to Sesto Calende, Italy in 24:02:00. In true @jaimie fashion it was done quietly, the document containing the historical and interesting tidbits about the swim, what it meant to her and why this lake, along with lovely photos and videos.

    I'd also like to recognize Arik (@Arik) for his role in this swim and the other magical ones Jaimie did this year. This is a team sport, swims like this don't happen unless the swimmer has a crew who is completely dedicated to them and Arik does this. Because he is so good at the management of the swim and the care of the swimmer, Jaimie can just relax and swim...she needs to focus on nothing else. And don't be surprised if she goes back and swims it the reverse direction one day.

    "Looking back I think next time I would have preferred to land on the sandy beach on the other end of the lake, and it would have been nice to time things to swim past the legendary Borromean Islands during the day instead of night. Other than that it was a perfect day"

    So please join me in recognizing Jaimie Monahan for another amazing swim in a beautiful lake filled with historical significance and providing the OWS community with a document for a roadmap of a dream swim.

  • bluemermaid9bluemermaid9 Boca Raton, FL, United StatesSenior Member

    I'd like to nominate Devon Clifford, Stefan Reinke, John Humenik, Steven Minaglia, and Joe Zemaitis for their tandem stage swim of the Hawaiian islands. I was following along their progress and enjoying the post-swim pictures and I thought, what a wonderful way to celebrate friendship, ocean swimming, and a beautiful environment! On the first day this adventurous quintet swam the Auau Channel from Maui to Lanai in 5:55, on the second day the Pailolo Channel from Maui to Molokai in 5:28, and on the third and final day the Kalohi Channel from Lanai to Molokai in 5:21. Thank you for sharing your swim and providing swimmers like me with novel ideas!

This discussion has been closed.