CALL FOR NOMINATIONS - 2014 Service to Marathon Swimming Award

evmoevmo SydneyAdmin
edited March 2015 in Admin Communications
MSF is pleased to announce the Third Annual Global Marathon Swimming Awards, the only peer-nominated, peer-voted awards for the sport of marathon swimming.

Please submit your nominations for the Service to Marathon Swimming Award, by commenting on this thread. To submit a private nomination, send a PM to the Admins ( @evmo and/or @loneswimmer) and we will submit it on your behalf.

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 also explain why the individual(s) deserve 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 Service to Marathon Swimming Award are (winners indicated in blue font):

- Allison Bayne and Rob Dumouchel (Central Coast, California, USA).
- Eri Utsunomiya (New York, USA).
- Phil White (Newport, Vermont, USA).
- Dover Beach crew (Dover, UK).

Last year's Call for Nominations threads is HERE.


  • david_barradavid_barra NYCharter Member
    edited November 2014
    I’d like to nominate the the team of Roger Finch and Tracy Clark for their back to back crewing of Otto Thaning (oldest EC crossing) and Charlotte Samuels (youngest Triple Crown swimmer)... two record breaking swims with only a few hours land interval between them.
    FilgregocJustSwimssthomasMvGNeilEugeneJBirrrdStevenSamuelscsamuels25sunshine2Andy[Deleted User]THANINGLindsayElst55ironkiwiAnoushkaBoldPaulParrishTracy_ClarkzaraAlisonLetleyLiz64RogerSoulsbyRogadrianrotchell

    ...anything worth doing is worth overdoing.

  • FilFil Derby, VTCharter Member
    I would like to nominate Greg O'Connor. Boston Light. Massachusetts Open Water Swimming Association. That Cape Cod swim, whatever it's called, and incredible and selfless support of the swims in the Northeast Kingdom. He was winner of NEKOWSA's Unsung Hero Award 2014. See: (Only correction to that announcement is that I guess he's not a Triple Crowner, but I saw him take down Memphre in some fierce headwinds in 2011 so I know he's that kind of a swimmer). I have no idea what he's done to support other swims and other swimmers. I can only imagine. But he is just the kind of quiet unassuming, good-natured drinking buddy who should be on this list.
  • emkhowleyemkhowley Boston, MACharter Member
    Here, here. Well said, Fil. Know why Boston has quietly become a hot-bed of cold-water marathon swimming? It's largely down to Greg's efforts. He inspires, supports, and advises swimmers at all levels, and it shows. If I could, I'd nominate him again myself. And I love that there's a category for this sort of work in these awards.

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

  • MvGMvG MauritiusCharter Member
    edited November 2014
    For his selfless and generous service to aspiring English Channel, North Channel and other cold water swimmers from all over the world, not least by organising and animating with great (and always slightly dark) humour the yearly Cork Distance Week, I herewith want to nominate Ned Denison for the 2014 MSF Service to Marathon Swimming Award.
    (Don't forget to 'like' if you second this nomination.)
  • I would like to nominate Richard Clifford whose service to swimmers in the New York City area is remarkable. I think his entire career of kayaking is amazing but for this calendar year alone he, as a volunteer, circled Manhattan four times with three solos and one relay, kayaked for an Ederle swim, did two legs of the Eight Bridges swim, and kayaked for the Little Red Light House swim. I am sure he did more but that is what I remember. I think this is probably a pretty average year for him yet still worthy of a nomination.

    Am I allowed a second nomination in this category?
  • evmoevmo SydneyAdmin
    edited November 2014
    frnkdeb wrote: »
    Am I allowed a second nomination in this category?

  • Great- Then I would also like to nominate Neil and Grace van der Byl for all they do for Catalina swimmers coming from a great distance. I was fortunate enough to get assistance from an amazing kayaker set up through them and I know many others have enjoyed their assistance and support. Full disclosure - Neil was the kayaker so I am doubly grateful to them.
  • LynnkubLynnkub Charter Mem​ber
    Oh my! Grace and Neil for Amazing service to the sport!
  • LynnkubLynnkub Charter Mem​ber
    edited November 2014
    I would like to nominate Santa Barbara Channel Swimming Association for Service to the Marathon Swimming Community as the FIRST marathon swimming sanctioning body to have a rule that is protective of the bodies of water in which we swim.

    14. The swimmer or crew may not intentionally pollute the ocean with trash or debris (including but not limited to feed cups and gel packs) at any point before, during or after the swim, from dock to dock.
  • Thanks Lynn and Frnkdeb!! Labor of Love
  • evmoevmo SydneyAdmin
    edited November 2014
    I received a private nomination for @loneswimmer's blog at

    It is well-written, to say the least, well rounded, and it touches on a lot of aspects of open water swimming that people don't always think about. He does it with humour as well as experience. It reaches a broad, sometimes non-swimming audience and educates them about many aspects.

    It's a well-deserved nomination, but Donal and I agree that we will continue our ongoing policy that we are not eligible for these awards, no matter what we do.

    Many thanks to the nominator for their good intentions, though!
  • phodgeszohophodgeszoho UKSenior Member
    I am not sure if this counts as it is not really an individual but I feel they are truly deserving of recognition.

    So I would like to nominate the British Long Distance Swimming Association aka the BLDSA!

    I have never meet a more dedicated, passionate, and not to forget, slightly crazy group of swimming enthusiasts. Their tireless efforts to annually organise around 20+ events ranging form small introductory 1k river swims all the way up to 35K swims with nothing more then unpaid volunteers working under a "not for profit" is a huge testament to their dedication and spirit.

    Other the last three years of participating in their events I have always found them to be the most amazing, welcoming and empowering experiences. I hope to do many more swims with them in the future and continue to see them fostering and assisting both the young up and coming champions and the not so young returning to the waters to give it a bash.

    They have been handing out awards and encouragement to the long distance swimming community since 1956 and I definitely I think it is time they received an award in recognition of that service.

    They are awesome! :-)
  • HelbeHelbe Senior Member
    I'd like to nominate Dan Simonelli for this award. I know he is involved in coaching aspiring marathon swimmers, takes on crew and crew chief roles, kayak support and observing and is a great ambassador for marathon swimming. Dan responded to a fb contact from a complete stranger and readily agreed to assist in pulling together a great team to support my Catalina swim. I also know he has also assisted many others to fulfil Channel swimming dreams.
  • evmoevmo SydneyAdmin
    edited November 2014
    A privately-submitted nomination for Phil White:

    I'd like to nominate Phil White for this award.

    Phil is an energetic and passionate organizer of marathon (and shorter) swim events in the Northeast Kingdom region of Vermont. His swims take place in some of the most beautiful, clean lakes in the world.

    In 2014, Phil's marathon swims included the 6 and 10 mile Kingdom Swims, the 15 mile Border-Buster swim, and the 25 mile Search for Memphre swim. The Border-Buster and Search for Memphre swims are unique in the swimming world, as they require the swimmers to cross the US-Canadian border while in the water.

    Phil's swims are a gift to the marathon swimming community. He works tirelessly to provide safe swims that are beautiful and challenging. Phil's service to the marathon swimming community lies mainly in his love and commitment to the swimmers. No one is a stranger at Phil's swims. Swimmers of all abilities are made to feel welcome at his events. Phil's joy of the sport, the swimmers, and the lakes of the Northeast Kingdom is contagious.

    Each year, Phil personally hosts a slew of swimmers at his personal residence, the "Clubhaus". In 2014, Phil encouraged several swimmers to exceed their expectations and swim longer distances than they had swum before. When the Search for Memphre had to be postponed in 2014 because of thunderstorms, he re-ran the event the next day. This is no small feat for a 25 mile swim that crosses the border into Canada. He then organized another Search for Memphre swim for a participant who could not stay for the second running of the event. Phil regularly goes out of his way to accommodate the needs of swimmers, while strictly adhering to established standards of swimming conduct and safety.
  • AnthonyMcCarleyAnthonyMcCarley Berwyn, PACharter Member
    I would like to second @Helbe’s nomination of Dan Simonelli.

    I first met Dan in July of last year and had the same exact experience as @Helbe describes. I was in San Diego for non-swimming reasons, but didn’t want to miss a chance to swim in the famous La Jolla cove. I put out a couple of feelers looking for someone to point me in the right direction. Not only did Dan show up to point me in the right direction, but he got in the water and gave me a wonderful swimming tour of the cove. It was exactly what I needed at the time. An enjoyable, relaxed ocean swim one month before a big (for me) swim – put in me in a perfect state of mind.

    Dan instantly became interested in me and my swims. If he didn’t, I would never had even seen the photo that is now in our calendar for the month of January. (Too long of a story for a nomination.)

    Just because Dan cares about swimming, he helped me find an excellent kayaker (Niles Furlong who kayaked for Chloe’s amazing swim) for MIMS this year.

    Dan kayaked for two other of my marathon swims this year – Catalina and Anacapa. For Catalina, he was much more than a kayaker – he was my local guide. He took care of almost all of the local details, including finding a second kayaker when the someone canceled two days before the swim. He helped make the entire experience stress free.

    In the spirit of full disclosure, Dan has become a friend – hard not to feel close someone who has watched directly over you for more than 20 hours of swimming and has been helpful in so many ways.

    I could use help with the rest of this second to @Helbe’s nomination – I believe the following are true, but if someone else could help round this out, it would be appreciated:

    • President of La Jolla Cove Swim Club.

    • CCSF & SBCSA Observer.

    • Kayaker, support crew on many swims - helping swimmers with their organization and coordination of their swims.

    • Mentor and coach to several teenager Catalina relays and individual marathon swimmers.
  • DanSimonelliDanSimonelli San Diego CASenior Member
    Wow! Thanks Helen @Helbe and @AnthonyMcCarley!! I'm humbled by the recognition!
    As Gracie said, "labor of love". And I do love helping with swims and seeing people strive for and realize their swimmy dreams! It's an amazing experience to share!
  • FilFil Derby, VTCharter Member
    Thank you, Evan. Wonderful to be in the mix in this community. Nominated or not, it is a great joy to be offering up some wonderful swims to some terrific swimmers, good-hearts all.
  • evmoevmo SydneyAdmin
    Last call for nominations...
  • mpfmarkmpfmark Teesside England Charter Member
    Freda Streeter
    no intro needed
  • evmoevmo SydneyAdmin
    mpfmark wrote: »
    Freda Streeter
    no intro needed
This discussion has been closed.