CALL FOR NOMINATIONS - 2016 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. To submit a private nomination, please contact us.
The Streeter Award (named after Freda Streeter) 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):
2013- Allison Bayne and Rob Dumouchel
- Eri Utsunomiya
- Phil White
- Dover Beach crew
2014- Roger Finch and Tracy Clark
- Greg O'Connor
- Neil and Grace van der Byl
2015- Craig Lenning
- Dan Simonelli
- Eileen Burke
- Phil White
- Suzie Dods
The MSF Global Marathon Swimming Awards, now in their fifth year, are the only peer-nominated, peer-voted awards for the sport of marathon swimming.
Well, then, I nominate Dave Barra, Rondi Davies and Alex Arevalo for the Service to Marathon Swimming Award.
I'd like to nominate Evan Morrison for the Service to Marathon Swimming Award. His new TRACK.RS service is bringing marathon swimming into the 21st century, and doing the impossible--making a sport that happens in remote areas far away from the prying or supportive eyes of would-be observers and fans and making it a spectator sport.
Yesterday was an enormous win for TRACK.RS and for marathon swimming as a whole--there was such overwhelming interest in Sarah's swim, the site couldn't handle the traffic, and I see that as a hugely encouraging sign for the future growth and sustainability of the sport. The more people who are paying attention, the better we'll be in the long run.
I think Evan deserves a huge round of applause and a heavy dose of gratitude for what he's single-handedly done for the sport in creating this tool. I can't even imagine how many hours he's sunk into developing and maintaining this service, which we get for next to nothing as swimmers and completely free as fans. It truly is a remarkable thing that will impact the sport long into the future. And I feel better today that our sport has a future after what I witnessed this week, thanks to both Evan and Sarah. Technology and just plain good, honest swimming FTW!
Stop me if you've heard this one...
A grasshopper walks into a bar...
@emkhowley - thank you
Nonetheless we're going to continue the co-founders' tradition of ineligibility for the MSF Awards... plus track.rs is technically a for-profit venture (albeit an extremely non-lucrative one at this point), so somewhat outside the scope of "Service."
It's sufficient reward to me that people use it and enjoy it!
OMG, do we ever. Thank you, @evmo!
Stop me if you've heard this one...
A grasshopper walks into a bar...
I respect your stance re: the awards, @evmo but for-profit venture or not, don't think for a minute that this isn't a service to the community. Yesterday was glorious. (Plus I've spent much of today re-writing a lecture I'm giving in a couple of weeks on self-tracking, digital data and virtual communities on the basis of the incredible wave of remote participation that happened last night - so thanks for that too).
I'd like to propose a new award category of "Crew Person or persons" of the year. I'd nominate two people, I'd hope they both receive the award and that it be named after them. The nominee's are Ryan Willis and Scott Olson for there support of Sarah Thomas on her epic swim. We'd call it the Olson-Willis Crew Award
Now I know some folks would say that Ryan as Sarah's husband has to do this but he really went way above and beyond. If you even knew how much preparation work he put into this, building in redundancies trying to anticipate breakdowns etc. He brought two engines for the "Sea Nymph" skiff, big and very heavy batteries for a fish finder GPS unit that saved our bacon for navigating at night. I think he brought every tool he owned and he owns a lot of them and things did break on the boat. Last but and definitely not least he was on that skiff or in the kayak keeping an eye on Sarah through the cold nights almost the entire way. He picked up her feeds not only for her but brought food to the rest of crew in the skiff and kayak.
What can you say about Scott Olson, kayak-er extraordinaire. A quiet guy who does not call attention to himself and probably be embarrassed to be nominated for something like this. He has the same endurance as Sarah, I don't know how long he was out there with her but it was most of the time. There paths crossed when he assigned to escort her for End Wet swim up the Red River in June of 2015. Since that time he has escorted her across Flat Head Lake in Montana and then her back to back End Wet's this year. He's paddled something like 150 miles at her side. He's simply a rock!
I would like to second Ken's proposal. I cannot imagine two more stalwart, dedicated and self-sacrificing people. Being able to watch them both support Sarah on a VERY difficult swim (extreme understatement) was an honor. As crews get all of us swimmers through and observe our swims, I think that this award is a great idea.
A very worthy nomination! For now, the proposed Crew Award overlaps considerably with the existing Service to Marathon Swimming Award. So, in keeping with our principle of keeping the award categories distinct, Scott and Ryan will be slotted as nominees for Service to Marathon Swimming.
This might not be the most popular post but before you form your opinion, please think about it and read it to the end. I thought about this post for several months now and i do feel quite strongly about it:
I would like to nominate for the Streeter Award for Service to Marathon Swimming the whole organization NYCswim.org.
NYCswim.org has started at 1993 as a group of volunteers and over the years it revived and gave a birth to the new marathon swimming culture around NYC. There is not a swimmer in the New York City and its area who would not fondly remember at least one of the NYCswim.org events like the Statue of Liberty swim, or Governor's Island swim, or the iconic Little Red Lighthouse swim and many others. We all have fun stories about the eddies, the currents, water temps, and we all still remember the great views the swims supplied. Many of us, including me, were returning to the pool only to be able to swim one of the events. My personal favorite was Governor's Island swim. It was always my small vacation from the hectic life in the city.
NYCswim.org is not just Morty Berger who was the force and brains behind all the swims, and who obtained all the permits, managed to get NYPD, coast guard and everyone in the city on board, but NYCswim.org is also a huge line of tireless volunteers, who over the years did all the tedious jobs, woke up early, stayed up late, answered emails, prepared t-shirts, helped us into the water, out of the water, did the timing, the observing, the kayaking... All those volunteers, who either stayed for years and helped event after event, or those who just helped out once or twice, all those volunteers created a family that we all loved to come back to. Among many, let me name Hannah Borgeson, Mia Borrelli, Capri Djatiasmoro ... but this list can go on and on...
I know what are many of you thinking right now. Morty Berger did not manage the organization to its best in last couple of years. Yes, the last 2 years could have been smoother. But sometimes, it is just really hard to let go and close the shop. So, I am asking you to look past the last 2 years and view the history of NYCswim.org organization as a whole, and consider the organization that over its 20+ years of existence revived marathon swimming in the whole tristate area. Organization that became a flagship of open water swimming on the East coast and, during its best times, had probably no parallel.
Without NYCswim.org, I would probably never find my way to the pool. I would never discover how beautiful world can be when observed from between waves while floating in the water. I owe my swimming to NYCswim.org and I don't want that to be forgotten because of some unanswered emails.
Morty Berger and NYCswim.org said their good bye this summer. A new organization was formed and it is bravely taking over. It is not easy and we all hope that NYopenwater.org will be at least as successful as NYCswim.org was during its best years.
And as we say good bye to NYCswim.org, I would like to also say 'THANK YOU, NYCSWIM'! You impacted my life way more than I ever thought is possible.
My ears pricked up when the words "Crew" and "Services to Marathon Swimming" appeared on here. Having observed many EC swims, and indeed done the odd solo or relay, I have never known a more selfless, big-hearted, caring, "friend of the Swimmer(s)" than Dover's Samantha (Sam) Jones. As first mate / co-skipper or whatever her official title is on the good ship Suva, the one term that isn't sufficient for Sam is "Crew". I have watched her intervene, only when necessary and all the wheels are a-coming off a swim, to pick the swimmer - and their crew at times - up from the depths of despair and bring it all under control with her trusty pilot Neil Streeter. When kind words are needed, she has them, but when a verbal equivalent of the cat-o-nine-tails is warranted, there is none finer than her cat and its nine tails. When not on Suva, she is an on-call member of the Dover Lifeboat. And when not doing either of these, she is a selfless source of help, wise words and advice to anyone who asks for help. Oh and she knows her stuff too, her two solos are not thrust at those seeking advice. She knows, too, the pain and the downs of EC swimming, but uses all this experience to make people's dreams come true, mostly without them ever realising it at the time. I am delighted to nominate Ms Sam Jones.
So, without a doubt Ryan and Scott were amazing on my swim, but 80 miles and 56 hours took every single one of my crew members. From the planning to the execution to getting home in one piece- we needed all 13 of them. I'm not sure how I feel about singling out any two of them for recognition. I'm also not sure about them "providing a service to marathon swimming" as a whole- but they definitely provided a service to me and my dreams, so I'll elaborate from above. They deserve recognition any way they can get it and probably should go down as one of the best support teams ever created for a marathon swim. They were epic.
Ryan- Spent hours preparing, planning prior to the swim. He spent most of the swim next to me in the Sea Nymph. I think he slept for about 4 hours total. He helped resolve my meltdown in only the way an awesome crew chief and husband can. :-)
Scott- Poor guy has only known me for about a year and a half and has already spent over 100 hours next to me in a kayak. He was amazing on this swim- his quiet support and competent kayaking is something you want in a swim escort. Scott probably slept the least on this trip- too excited/anxious and wanting to make sure he was available to help.
Karl- Karl spent hours and hours and hours helping to create a very detailed GPS route. He initiated conversation and asked questions about things I'd never even think of. Without his route, we never would have been able to navigate this tricky lake. He also drove the houseboat the entire first night and a good portion of the second night.
Jamie- Jamie helped Karl with the route and shared a lot of his past experience. He's also incredibly supportive and positive- just what you need on a long swim. He probably fielded the most calls from me prior to the swim where I was freaking out. He always knows just what to say to me to keep me positive and motivated.
Becky (my mom)- What can I say- she's awesome. She collected riddles from my friends before the swim to help keep my mind occupied. She spent half of the first night and all of the second night with Ryan on the boat. It was cold. It rained. She never complained. She's also THE BEST at throwing feeds at my face. She never, ever misses.
John- John is my mom's man friend. He helped with groceries and was a quiet support throughout the swim. He was available for spotlight duty and navigation help. He also drove my car home for me at the end, cuz, well, I didn't feel like it. :-)
Melody- My sister. She stayed awake for almost the entire swim, making sure all of my feeds were perfect. Without her, I would have died. She also spent a few hours in the kayak.
Alex- My cousin. This was his first swim, but he had the fortunate (unfortunate?) distinction of being related to me AND being a paramedic. He served as our spotlight during the first night of navigation.
Ken- Ken and I swim/train together a lot in Denver. He pace swam with me the most- including a few hours on the second day, an hour at the end of that day, and then another 3 am session on the second night. He didn't know how much of a workout he was going to get. He's my favorite swim partner, so having him there was so important. He probably knows my stroke and tendencies more than anyone- so if something had gone wrong, he likely would have recognized it first.
Jack- Jack is another swim pal from Denver. He is always positive, happy and supportive. He brought so many purple things to decorate the boat with and even made a pretend "Facebook" with pictures of my friends and dogs to help motivate me.
Alice- This was Alice's first swim adventure, too. Not sure she knew what she got herself into. She was also a calm presence- spending time on the small boat in the first night and helping to keep the boat in tip top, organized shape.
Suzie and Andrew as observers also deserve a shoutout- Detailed notes, support and cheering when needed, lots of help on the route pre-planning, etc. They deserve all the accolades one can give a super awesome observer team who made sure this swim was done right.
If you've swam anywhere in the Hudson River in the past 4 years, dig out some photos and look in the background for a tie-dye shirt. Starting in 2012 with my involvement in swimming MIMS, someone else appeared, and they haven't been able to get rid of him since. This is a person who has absolutely no swim aspirations, marathon or otherwise; he has no natural nautical ability. He once tried to kayak for me while I swam the width of the Hudson and flipped three times before we got out of the marina. Yet here he is, in the background of almost every photo of a swim done on the Hudson for the past 4 years.
Roy Malinak (he's my dad) does the manual labor and heavy lifting behind the scenes. There is no task to big, and no task too menial for him. His only goal is to be helpful. He ported kayaks in and out at North Cove for last 7 MIMSs NYC Swim ran - that's where he met @Gvanderbyl years before I ever did. He's been lifting heavy things and herding us cats at 2 Bridges all five years it has run. He uses his vacation time to hang out on Launch 5 with @david_barra and @rondi for a full week every year, and then he's also the first one off the boat when someone needs to drive hours back to the start to return a swimmer's bags at the end. He'll call me and brag: Greg let's me touch the ropes! by which he means an ex-State Trooper who has a very commanding and particular way of running his Launch trusts Roy enough to do some of the important bits, like handle dock lines on a big steel boat. "He let me help" is his reward.
You might be saying "So what? We all do that sort of stuff." Sure, we do, because we deal in the trade of marathon swim support give-and-take. But this is a guy for whom we'll never get to return the favor - we're never going to get to toss him a bottle as he swims anywhere. He's all give, no take. The only bottle he'll accept is one labeled Sam Adams after the boats are cleaned up, kayaks are on roof racks, and everyone else is headed home to rest up for tomorrow's big day.
Look for that tie-dye shirt in the background of your photos. He's there, and he'll continue to be for as long as he can.
Roy Malinak for the Streeter Award for Service to Marathon Swimming.
Photo by John Humenik
I don't wear a wetsuit; it gives the ocean a sporting chance.
I've had the pleasure of meeting your dad during an 8-Bridges. I believe he was wearing that very shirt.
I'm loving that the award with the most nominations so far is the Streeter award! And I'm a little sad that only one party can 'win'. Most of us cross paths with at least one of the people/organizations in a given season, we're so very lucky to have their support. Thanks to all the nominees and a special thanks to Roy for getting my bag to me at the end of a very long day!
So well said, Jim. I second this. Sam has quietly saved many a Channel solo with the right words or advice on feeding. Her swimmers are her passion and she wants, more than anything, to get them across this capricious piece of water. Sam might not even see this...... especially since she can be called out any time as RNLI crew. Bravo, Sam. Long may you be out there when we need you.
I have great difficulty with this nomination when this person still has not paid back deposits to swimmers (me bing one of them). Money paid in good faith for a swim that never happened.... Not okay....
I think David Barra is a friggin' HERO. If you want to recognize service to the open water swimming community in 2016. He's the guy in my book. Add in Rondi and Alex and NYopenwater.org and you have it all.