CALL FOR NOMINATIONS - The Barra Award (2012)

evmoevmo SydneyAdmin
edited November 2015 in General Discussion
Please submit your nominations here for the Barra Award.

This award is intended to honor the marathon swimmer (male or female) with the most impressive body of work in 2012, considered as a whole.

Each forum member is limited to one nomination per category.

To submit a private nomination, send a PM to the Admins ( @evmo and/or @loneswimmer) and we will submit it on your behalf.

In your nomination, please include the following details:
  • Name of swimmer
  • List of marathon swimming-related achievements in 2012. Not limited to solo marathon swims - could include relays, stage swims, organized races, community-building, leadership, "ambassadorship," etc.
  • Brief comments: Why does this person deserve this honor?
If you agree with a nomination and want to "second" it, click the "Like" button on that nomination. The number of "likes" a nomination receives will be taken into consideration by the finalist selection committee as a measure of support from the forum community.

Unlike original nominations, "likes" are not limited to one per member, per category.

Nominations will remain open at least through the end of Sunday, November 4, 2012.


(The Barra Award is named after forum charter member @david_barra, who in a single year (2010) completed the English Channel, Catalina Channel, Manhattan Island Marathon Swim, Maui Channel, Tampa Bay Marathon Swim, Ederle Swim, and the Boston Light Swim.)

url=""]Link to original announcement[/url


  • loneswimmerloneswimmer IrelandCharter Member
    In a move that will surprise no-one, I'm nominating Stephen Redmond for the Barra Award.

    In 2012 Stephen became the first person to complete the Ocean's Seven, by finishing the Cook Strait, Molokai Channel and Tsugaru Strait in 2012.

    Not just that, but each of the 2012 swims took at least two attempts. He travelled around the world twice from the isolated South-west of Ireland to the isolated shores of Japan, once being caught in an eddy current for six hours and going around in a circle. In the end, Tsugaru took four attempts. He tackled Molokai first unsuccessfully in 2011, and he called the Cook Strait swim a "widowmaker".

    Is that it?

    No, after finishing the Ocean's Seven Stephen soloed Fastnet Rock off Ireland's South-west coast. For the second time, and he is in fact the only swimmer to have achieved this swim in notoriously difficult and dangerous water.

    Stephen is an inspiration for many marathon swimmers who will never be the fastest, by showing that tenacity and self-belief can also triumph.

  • rondirondi Member
    edited October 2012
    I would like to nominate David Barra, the namesake of this award, for the Barra award.

    In 2012 Barra swam:
    • the first two legs of the Arizona SCAR swim series and the fourth leg of the 6-lake challenge completing 3 consecutive days of 9-10 mile swims.
    • Stage 3 (13.1 mi) and Stage 5 (19.8 mi) of the seven stage 8 Bridges Hudson River Swim, NY
    • La Traversee du Lac St Jean, Canada (32 K)
    • Vidosternsimmet, Sweden (21K)
    • The inaugural Plymouth to Provincetown, MA (20 mi)
    • In Search of Memphre, VT (25 mi)

    In addition, David was co-director of the inaugural 2 Bridges Swim Under the Walkway (2.5K/5K), Hudson River and the second 8 Bridges Hudson River Swim – the longest marathon swim in the world (120 mi).

    David also serves on the board of Coney Island Brighton Beach Open Water Swimmers (CIBBOWS), a thriving group of open water swimmers in the NYC area.

    Showing his commitment to open water swimmer safety, in 2012 David purchased a RIB which he uses to support swims in the area including testing new swims which will hopefully be offered in 2013 – Bannerman’s Island Return in the Hudson River and Coney Island to Sandy Hook Return in the NY Harbor.

    All of the above and more shows that David is a great ambassador for our sport.
  • evmoevmo SydneyAdmin
    edited October 2012
    For the Barra Award I nominate Grace van der Byl.

    Grace's marathon swimming achievements in 2012 defy superlatives. Her two major swims this year were each, in their own right, among the most outstanding achievements in our sport's history.

    In July Grace swam all seven stages of the 8 Bridges Hudson River Swim - 120 miles from the Rip Van Winkle bridge upstate to the Verrazano Narrows in New York City. She was the first swimmer to finish in each of the seven stages, setting eight new records in the process. Her overall time of 31 hours, 47 minutes will set a high bar for years to come.

    Then on October 5th, Grace set a new record (overall and women's) swimming from Catalina Island to the California mainland. Her time of 7 hours, 27 minutes, 25 seconds broke Karen Burton's 18-year old record of 7:43:06.

    To fill out Grace's case for the most outstanding marathon swimming "body of work" this year, she has been one of the CCSF's most active and sought-after support paddlers for the past two seasons. This year, she and her husband Neil also organized a network of paddlers to help Catalina Channel swimmers (especially those coming from outside Southern California) obtain support for their swims.

    For her world-class speed and endurance, her skill as a support paddler, her organizational vision, and her winning personality, Grace van der Byl is a worthy nominee for the Barra Award.
  • evmoevmo SydneyAdmin
    edited October 2012
    A private submission for the Barra Award: Anna-Carin Nordin of Sweden.

    Her marathon swims in 2012 include: Along with an English Channel crossing in 2010 and a Molokai Channel crossing in October 2011, Anna-Carin has now completed five channels of the Oceans Seven.

    If any forum members have additional info about Anna-Carin, please add it to this thread or PM me.
  • loneswimmerloneswimmer IrelandCharter Member
    edited October 2012
    From a private nomination

    Forum member @PennyPalfrey of Australia and Great Britain:

    Her 2012 swims include

    [*] Cuba to Florida attempt (41 hours), a record-breaking attempt.
    [*] North Channel attempt (pulled at 8 hours due to hypothermia, an attempt to complete the Ocean's Seven)
    [*] Whitsunday Islands (Australia, 4hrs 49)
    [*] Swim the Suck (10 miles)

  • jcmalickjcmalick Wilmington, DEMember
    In a move that should also not be a shock to anyone, I nominate Darren Miller for the Barra Award.

    2012 saw Darren conquer the Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming (52nd person) and take a few extra steps closer to the Ocean's Seven Challenge by completing two more channels bringing him to a 70% completion with Cook Strait and the North Channel on the horizon in 2013.

    Swims added to his resume in 2012 were:

    May 3rd - Strait of Gibraltar (14.4km) in 3:44
    June 23rd- Manhattan Island Marathon Swim (28.5mi) in 8:03 (TC)
    July 10th - Tsugaru Channel (18mi) in 15:55
    July 21st - Extreme North Dakota Watersports Endurance Test (END-WET) (26.7mi) in 9:11

    Darren selflessly tackles all of his swims for Team Forever and the Forever Fund(501c3 non-profit organization) which he co-founded in efforts to aid families in their struggle to afford the costs associated with infant Cardiothoracic surgery at the UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh. BY THE WAY, 100% of contributions go towards this cause and donations can be made on Darren's website ( In addition to swimming and encouraging others in our community, Darren is the Race Director and Founder of the UPMC Children's Hospital Foundation 5K Open Water Challenge.

    For Darren's unwavering commitment to Open Water and helping others, he is a worthy candidate for the Barra Award.
  • evmoevmo SydneyAdmin
    Thank you, JC! Let's keep the nominations coming, folks!
  • smithsmith Huntsville, AlabamaSenior Member
    edited October 2012
    I nominate 2012 Fina Grand Prix Champion Trent Grimsey for the Barra Award.

    This was a huge breakout year for the Australian. Here's a list of his 2012 marathon swims & placings. (I think I got everything at10K and above. If I missed one, please feel free to chime in):

    New Zealand Open Water Nationals 10km (Taupo, New Zealand) - 1st
    Santa Fe Coronda (57km) Grand Prix (Santa Fe, Argentina) - 5th
    Oceanian Championships 10km Open Water (Noumea, New Caledonia) - 1st
    Capri-Napoli (36km) Grand Prix (Naples - Italy) - 1st (Broke Paul Asmuth's World Record)
    Trans Tahoe Relay 18km (Lake Tahoe, California) - 1st
    Lac Saint-Jean (32km) Grand Prix (Roberval, Canada) - 1st
    Lac Magog (34km) Grand Prix (Magog, Canada) - 1st
    Lac Megantic (10km) World Cup (Megantic,Canada) - 4th
    Lake Ohrid (30km) Grand Prix (Ohrid, Macedonia) - 2nd (won by Petar Stoychev)
    BCT Gydnia 18km (Gydnia, Poland) - 2nd (won by Petar Stoychev)

    Trent ended his season by breaking Petar Stoychev's English Channel world record with a time of 6 hours 55 minutes.

    Indeed, an amazing year for Mr. Grimsey. What's more, at only 24-years-old, he has many marathon swimming years ahead of him. At this rate, he could be well on his way to becoming one of the most dominant and decorated competitive marathon swimmers in history.

    Keep moving forward.

  • ssthomasssthomas DenverCharter Mem​ber
    To add to @jcmalick's nomination of Darren Miller- Darren is also a fantastic human being. He's also donated time crewing and observing other races and does a huge amount of public speaking to benefit the Forever Fund (which benefits our community, too!). He's just a regular guy with a huge heart and amazing capacity to inspire others. In the spirit of the Barra award, I doubt we'd find a more perfect nomination.
  • lakespraylakespray Senior Member
    edited October 2012
    I'll nominate Craig Lenning of Denver, CO.

    In June 2012 he became the first observed solo swimmer to complete the 20 mile Blue Mesa reservoir the largest body of water in Colorado at an elevation of 7500 feet. Also known as the poor man's Tahoe. Speaking of Tahoe, Craig did solo night crossing in July. Craig finished out his marathon swim season by completing the Tsugaru Channel in Japan in August. Craig has completed four of the Oceans Seven completing North, English, Catalina and Tsugaru. Craig is a great supporter of open water swimming in Colorado and a motivator to many. Plus he looks good in a Kimono.
  • ForeverSwimForeverSwim Pittsburgh, PennsylvaniaCharter Member
    edited November 2012
    I would like to second @lakespray's nomination of Craig Lenning. Craig has been a close friend and mentor since beginning this amazing sport in 2010. He and his wife, May have been awesome hosts when I visit Colorado - a true testament to their kindness and generosity! He is a swimmer 'under the radar' in our community, and yet has achieved so many incredible swims; most notably the North Channel. He went 11+ hours one day in the Tsugaru Channel this past summer, and was back in for a 10+ hours (and a completion) a few days last later - basically two marathon swims within a few days! He travels many hours on the weekends to train in mountain lakes, and is about as dedicated to this sport as anyone else. It will be an honor to swim side-by-side across the Cook Strait with him this March! I nominate Craig not only on his awesome resume (as referenced above by @lakespray) but the fact he is a genuine person, and all-around great guy! They just do not make them much tougher...
    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania U.S.A.

  • ssthomasssthomas DenverCharter Mem​ber
    I nominated Craig over on the male swimmer page- but @lakespray and @foreverswim have it right. Craig is an amazing athelete (member of the International Ice Swimming Club, too!) and friend. He is 100% my inspiration for being in this sport, and staying in it. I know anyone who meets him speaks of him humbleness, kindness, and generosity. He doesn't crave attention, but is always willing to share his knowledge and experiences with anyone who is interested in marathon swimming. It's an honor to train with him and to have him as my mentor.

    We have our work cut out for us when it comes to voting and nominating. There are truly so many inspirational people doing great things!
  • I too would like to second the nomination for Big Darren Miller. My nomination of Darren Miller is much more than just his amazing accomplishments in the open water during the 2012 season, which were very impressive. It is for his ability to bring people together and for his drop of a dime commitment to help others. Not only did he assist me in my swims, his effort to raise money for those less fortunate are incredible. His love for marathon swimming is at the highest level. His commitment to it is beyond impressive. Darren's support for others shines through. For that, Darren is my nomination for The Barra Award.
  • firebahfirebah Charter Member
    edited October 2012
    With Grace’s permission I would like to give you a bit more information on Amazing Grace.

    A little known fact about Grace is that in college she had to undergo heart surgery due to supraventricular tachycardia (SVT). 4 years ago Grace was hospitalized after suffering a myocardial infarction.

    12 years ago this coming Christmas Grace was hit head on by a drunk driver in an intersection. 7 other cars also hit Grace. She sustained major head injuries from this accident and was in the hospital for many weeks and told she would most likely not walk again and if she did her balance would be severely affected. Upon returning home, her then boyfriend Neil (now her husband) cared for Grace. Neil had to carry Grace and help her with everything she required, as she was unable to care for herself at all. After 4 months of Neil’s constant care Grace began to walk again. Today Grace still has residual side effects from the damage done to her brain.

    In 2010 she was named Coach of the Year here in San Diego for her hard work with children in this community.

    Grace donates countless hours to help swimmers achieve their dreams of crossing the Catalina Channel by being an official observer, kayaker, support crew and helping to assist swimmers to obtain kayak support for their crossings.

  • evmoevmo SydneyAdmin
    edited November 2012
    Last-minute private nomination for Michelle Macy of Oregon, USA.

    Nominations will close at 11:59pm GMT this Sunday. If you have someone in mind, now's the time!
This discussion has been closed.