CALL FOR NOMINATIONS - 2017 Streeter Award for Service to Marathon Swimming
Please submit your nominations for the Streeter Award for Service to Marathon Swimming, 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 Streeter Award (named after Freda Streeter) is meant to hono(u)r individuals who have contributed most meaningfully to the sport of marathon swimming in a non-swimming role. 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
- Craig Lenning
- Dan Simonelli
- Eileen Burke
- Phil White
- Suzie Dods
- David Barra, Rondi Davies, Alex Arevalo of New York Open Water (New York, USA)
- Sam Jones (UK)
- Roy Malinak (New York, USA)
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.
I'd Like to nominate Tom Linthicum (Reptile) and Dave Van Mouwerik for their combined work supporting swims in Lake Tahoe, establishing a definitive historical record of past crossings and developing the Lake Tahoe Marathon Swim Federation.
Mark Sheridan for serving as president of the British Long Distance Swimming Association. He traveled around the U.K. almost every weekend during the season, sometimes arriving home after midnight before commuting into London very early the same morning. He personally organized two of the BLDSA's biggest events, Champion of Champions in Dover and Two-Way Windermere. He managed to jump in for a few BLDSA swims himself as well as a second SCAR and a 12K swim across Lake Geneva after his epic 43 mile solo last year.
I nominate Scott Zornig ( @ScottZornig ) for the Streeter Award.
Scott recently stepped down after serving tirelessly as the Santa Barbara Channel Swimming Association president for 8 years.
In 2009, just three years after starting the SBCSA, founder Emilio Casanueva was forced to resign for health reasons. The organization likely would have disintegrated as quickly as it was formed, but Scott had a strong vision for a marathon swimming sanctioning body serving the "other" seven Channel Islands (besides Catalina, which was already served by the CCSF).
With single-minded determination, Scott installed an all-local board of directors to ensure swim attempts were properly supported, shored up the association's financial stability, and developed a well-honed nonprofit organizational structure that has inspired and informed other new sanctioning orgs that have formed in recent years. Read Scott's first-person account of the SBCSA's early years.
During Scott’s tenure, the SBCSA sanctioned 104 channel swims and circumnavigations (91 solo and 13 relay) - 76% of all recognized Channel Islands (ex-Catalina) swims from 1926-2016. Scott was also instrumental in advising and supporting the DRIVEN documentary film in its very early stages.
Marathon swimming sanctioning organizations serve a critical function in our sport: verifying its integrity, maintaining its history, and providing support and advice to swimmers. Simply put, the SBCSA would likely not exist today if not for Scott.
I nominate Evan (@evmo) for his tireless efforts in keeping both MSF and track.rs up and running. I think we all know how valuable the track.rs service is, whether we are swimming and keeping our friends and family informed, or following others' swims from our couch.
Additionally, he has spent countless hours on the LongSwims database, which is a searchable database of marathon-distance swims. http://longswims.com/
Evan won't let us nominate him for the final voting- but it's silly because if anyone deserves this award, it's him. I'll second the nomination, just out of principle. I don't even want to know the amount of hours he dedicates to the MSF, track.rs, and the Santa Barbara Channel Swimming Association. He crews, he observes, and he does more things behind the scenes on the computer that we all benefit from.
If we won't let us nominate him for this (we've tried before), maybe we can create a new award and name it after him. It could be the "Morrison Award" given out only on a case by case basis (not annually) and only to those who further the sport of Marathon Swimming above and beyond the call of duty. If voted for, he could be the first recipient.
I love that plan, @Karl_Kingery!
In other news, I nominate Andrew Malinak, aka @malinaka, for the Streeter Award. In the past year he's helped build the Northwest Open Water Swimming Assocition into a thriving organization that's observing lots of swims in the greater Seattle area, the Strait of Juan de Fuca, and other locations. (I've lost count of how many swims he's piloted for and supported in his home waters this year, but I suspect it's at least a half dozen and probably a good bit more.) He also selflessly gave more than a week of his time to come back east to support @ssthomas on her massive Champlain Swim, doing the majority of the piloting in all sorts of crazy conditions and with some pretty high stakes. On virtually no sleep, he got the job done.
His love of the sport is deep and genuine and rivaled only by his desire to see fellow swimmers reach their goals. For his selfless support of others and his serious self-sacrifice of time and energy, I think he should get the nod. That, and I hear his underwater pumpkin carving skills are a wonder to behold.
Stop me if you've heard this one...
A grasshopper walks into a bar...
Hey, folks. Thanks. These projects (track.rs, longswimsDB) are motivated mostly by personal interest, and I'd probably still do them even if no one else used them. But I'm very happy that anyone else uses them and likes them.
The MSF awards are for others, at least until I sell my shares and move to Belize.... but seriously, the friendships of @slknight, @ssthomas, and @Karl_Kingery are more than compensation.
These days I feel inadequate that I cannot handle all the work that MSF has become. Perhaps that's a good kinda problem? But still, I apologize to those people, hopefully they know who they are, who have gotten slow email replies or slow action on other stuff.
The best reward is that people continue to use MSF projects, participate in the Forum, submit swim documentation, vote in the awards, search in the database, follow their friends on track.rs.
I love this community, I'm so glad it still prospers despite the onslaught of Big Corporate Social Media, #DYST, etc. Thank you for being here.
I nominated Scott Z in this category, but I fully support Reptile/DaveVM, Mark Sheridan, and Andrew - they are incredible stewards of the sport.
@malinaka also let me swim around Mercer Island twice this summer, even tho everyone else just went once. He's the best.
I nominate Jim Beaty of Hague, NY, for the Streeter Award for Service to Marathon Swimming.
In my community, marathon swimming was limited to periodic updates on English Channel swimmers who make the national news, and the local lore of Diane Struble, who was the first to swim the length of Lake George in 1958.
Jim became aware of my goal to swim the length of Lake George in early June, 2017. Within a month, he was hosting a night training swim from his dock, sharing his boat, supplies, enthusiasm, and organizational skills. He studied the practical considerations of a solo swim, used his network of lake enthusiasts to increase the roster of Team 32, and was a driving force in the success of our adventure. Jim considered all aspects of safety and technology needed, and confidently navigated the lake overnight, all day, and well into a second night on what reportedly involved about 3 hours of sleep. After our first night training, I had a little trouble distinguishing between his boat’s lights and the lights on shore, so he strung Christmas lights along his boat so I could easily identify it. The lights had a practical function, but also a lighthearted charm to focus on when a moment became perhaps a bit stressful.
Team 32 may well have been the most inexperienced marathon swim support team since 1875. Jim and his alternate pilots were long time boaters and very familiar with Lake George, and a few of my paddlers were experienced with long journeys, but none of us had participated in a long marathon swim like this in any capacity. By the time we started on August 9, I knew everyone was ready. I also knew that as a team, we would succeed largely due to Jim’s very steady leadership.
Jim has supported one Marathon Swim. I searched far and wide for my support team. Jim came on board from outside the marathon swim community and was brilliant. Hopefully, he will serve as a representative of all the people out there who are not yet familiar with marathon swimming, but will embrace it and support it once they become aware of it.
This could possibly be Jim’s only contribution to Marathon Swimming. It remains to be seen how far I will go with my marathon swimming, and how many of Team 32 will go on to support other swimmers, but Jim helped us all gain critical skills to carry forward.
Just as Jim’s participation in Team 32 was a show of faith in my ability to swim for miles, this nomination is my show of faith in the lasting impact of Jim’s kindness and leadership.
Thank you for your consideration.
I second Evan's ( @evmo ) nomination and mention that long before Scott Zornig ( @ScottZornig ) ever stepped up to fill the role of SBCSA, he was active in the open water swimming community and has been inspiring swimmers go farther since the 90's. He continues to encourage and inspire swimmers around him with his rallying cry: "You used to be fun!"
Just kidding. That is from Swim Camp Catalina. Starting out as Scott and Jamie's Most Excellent Adventure, Scott has continued to volunteer his time and effort to coordinate this since 2014.
If it were not for Scott, SBCSA and the swimming history of the remaining 7 California Channel islands would be lost.
I would like to nominate Greg O’Connor and Elaine Kornbau Howley for their shared work running Boston Light from 2009 to the present, keeping alive the oldest Marathon Swim in the US, and growing it to a capacity of 25 solo participants each year, averaging over 20 solo finishers each year and 5 or more relay team finishers as well. They also started the Doty 1-mile swim together with the Doty family to honor Jim Doty who ran Boston Light for years and was a legend in the northeastern marathon swimming community.
Beyond that, they have individually contributed to the sport in so many ways. Greg started (and serves as President) of the Massachusetts Open Water Swimming Association, (Elaine serves as Vice President) which has served to substantially grow open water swimming opportunities in Massachusetts and the profitability of the L Street Tavern.
Greg is also one of three co-founders of the Vampire Swim, an international blood drive that takes place world-wide close to Halloween (This year with venues in Dublin, Myrtleville, Loch Ness, Boston, and Ottawa) and he has been a driving force on the Organizing Committee of the Memphremagog Winter Swimming Festival.
Greg and Elaine also support open water swimming by being among the first to sign up for new events, helping them become a reality: Greg was the very first to sign up for Kingdom Swim in 2009. The two were the first to sign on to (and complete) In Search of Memphre in 2011, 10 years after 9/11 and together helped re-open the US Canadian border to international swims at a time when it was believed that the border was forever closed after 9/11. Greg was among the first to sign up for the first year of Arizona S.C.A.R. Challenge. And he was among the first to sign up for the Lake George Swim, offering his support for this effort. And, of course, Greg and Elaine were both among the first to sign up for the winter swim on Lake Memphremagog in 2015 (As of mid-January that first year, we had only 11 swimmers signed on. This year we are filled to capacity at 62 swimmers and 5 on the waiting list) Elaine’s decision to swim Loch Ness with Sarah Thomas and Craig Lenning helped establish the Triple Crown of Lake Monster Swims (Tahoe, Memphremagog, Loch Ness). While these might be considered swimming achievements, the decision to take on novel challenges (and encouraging others to follow their lead) is a very real contribution in the creation of these new events.
Both Greg and Elaine have served as boat pilots, crew, and kayakers at many of the swims on Lake Memphremagog. After they each swam the 25-mile length of Lake Memphremagog, they have returned repeatedly to support the swim itself and the swimmers engaged in it. And they have returned to kayak and pilot at Kingdom Swim repeatedly over the years. Greg has served not only as boat pilot but also as Safety Officer for several years.
Elaine has been a prolific writer about open water swimming as a freelance writer (before and after her time with USMS) and a writer for USMS as well. Her two most recent articles discuss the history (and mystery) of swimming on Lake Memphremagog and Loch Ness.
Elaine also served as an observer and dingy bailer for Sarah Thomas’s historic 104-mile swim on Lake Champlain, at times in some pretty frisky and challenging conditions.
I'm sure I have missed something in all of this, I cannot begin to say enough about their "hands on" contribution to open water swimming and their support of open water swimmers . Selfless, unassuming, and joyful, each.
And, yes, there are many other worthy nominees. But isn't that the joy of this annual exercise? To acknowledge the substantial contributions by so many.
As co-founder, I'm going to break with @evmo and agree with the wishes of the forum. I understand Evan's reasons, but I think it's long overdue. Without discussing it with him and posting this morning my time to get it out, let's consider @evmo added to the list.