CALL FOR NOMINATIONS - 2016 Yudovin Award for Most Adventurous Swim
Please submit your nominations for the Yudovin Award for Most Adventurous Swim, by commenting on this thread. To submit a private nomination, please contact us.
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. This award hono(u)rs the spirit of adventure, rather than pure athleticism. In other words, the most interesting or unusual swim, though not necessarily the longest or fastest swim.
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.
In your nominations, please explain why the individual 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 Yudovin Award (winners indicated in bold):
2014- Patti Bauernfeind - Monterey Bay
- Katie Benoit - Bodensee
- Peter Hayden - Anacapa circumnavigation, return to mainland
2015- 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
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.
Um, I'll nominate Sarah Thomas for the Yudovin Award. In case anyone is wondering, it is for her Lake Powell swim. I know it is worthy of the Solo Swim of the Year Award, but it is pretty F-ing adventurous too.
I would like to nominate Lori King for the Yudovin Award for her swim around Bermuda on June 15th, 2016. Lori swam the 36.5 mile distance in 21 hr 19 m 45 s.
The first attempt of this swim was made by Sean O'Connell on July 9, 1976 in a counterclockwise direction and was unsuccessful (the north shore currents were too strong he has been quoted as saying). His second attempt on August 21, 1976, going clockwise, was successful and took 43 hr 27 m.
Over the past two years Lori dreamed, planned, trained, and executed this swim on her own. She put together a crew of Bermudians who knew the waters. They had great concerns about navigation in some areas due to unpredictability of the wind direction and the effects it would have on certain parts of the course; two boats were damaged during the swim. Lori started her swim one day before planned and at a different start location because of an unfavorable weather forecast. The night portion of the swim on the North Shore had terrible head winds.
Lori did this monumental swim with humility and grace and inspired countess Bermudians (and others) along the way.
I would like to nominate Greg O'Connor for the Yudovin Award for his swim across Massachusetts Bay from Gloucester, MA to Strawberry Point in Scituate, MA. Greg covered the 23.2 miles in 13 hours 55 minutes 5 seconds on August 15th. Greg is a great ambassador of our sport and is incredibly deserving of this award. In addition to his Massachusetts Bay swim, he also attempted the Lake George Marathon Swim (also adventurous) that had to be aborted due to weather. Greg also completed a relay in Swim Across the Sound this year.
In addition to swimming, Greg runs the Boston Light Swim along with Elaine Howley and is instrumental in other MOWSA swims. And, he observed a swim across Cape Cod Bay this summer.
Greg's Massachusetts Bay swim was not the first adventurous swim Greg completed. In 2012, Greg, along with Janet Harris, Eileen Burke and David Barra, they completed the first swim across Cape Cod Bay since 1968.
Observer Bob Fernald reported on the Massachusetts Bay swim as follows:
"Morning came early for the crew supporting Greg O'Connor on his historic adventure swim across the Massachusetts Bay. Captain Chris Sweeney, and expert kayaker Bill Steele know these waters well. Rounding out his support crew was up and coming Open Water swimmer Fran O'Loughlin, whose infectious personality lit up the boat in the dark hours. Also on board, MOWSA observer, Bob Fernald.
But, this swim is unchartered territory for swimmers. Subject to all weather conditions that could arise, there is still a certain level of unknown for this crossing.
Water temperatures were balmy on the cool brisk morning. The winds were unfavorable for the first few hours before day light broke, creating rolling wavelets for Greg to pound through. He didn't complain. Lobster boats were out pulling up the day's catch as the swim navigated through a forest of lobster buoys, signature to only northern New England waters.
Without saying anything, as the day drew on, the swim grew long at times for Greg. His team was uber-prepared, and attentive to his every effort. Feeds from Bill on his Mirage-driven Hobie kayak were quick, and efficient. Prepared for anything, the support crew enjoyed a beautifully warm, but not hot day to cross the bay. Greg, just swam on, keeping the crew abreast of his condition, hydration/fuel consumption, and urination frequency along the way...like any experienced marathon level swimmer.
In observer terms, the swim was pretty uneventful. Greg was well prepared to swim for this distance. He did his homework, he trained, and he prepared his crew well. Not unexpected from a great ambassador to our sport. Greg resuscitated, and co-manages "the Grand Daddy of Open Water swims," the oldest marathon swim in the country, the Boston Light Swim. His expansive knowledge of open water swimming was evident in each stroke.
Like most first time adventure swims, certain parts of the swim were figured out on the fly. His landing spot, and navigating the finish through the rocky shore, and late day tidal flow was a challenge to finesse for his finish.
Although not mentioned a lot, there was the concern for seeing big pelagic predators on this swim. Over the years, Cape Cod has developed a reputation for great white shark sightings. In recent years, they have been spotted inside Cape Cod bay, as well as Mass Bay. Greg was prepared well. SharkShields off the kayak, and an attentive crew were measures well thought out for this scenario. In the end, the swim was uneventful in this category.
Greg pioneered this crossing using his deep experience in open water swimming. From the moment we met in the parking lot, to shaking hands at the end of the day, he had a grasp on every detail. Details are what matter....details lead to success."
I nominate Jeff Miller for the Yudovin Award, for his unprecedented and adventurous 22.9-mile circumnavigation of St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands.
Jeff and his team did a fantastic job documenting the achievement, with copious photos, video, GPS data, and narrative reports. It is now available for public viewing via MSF Documented Swims:
What a great swim! Congrats Jeff!