CALL FOR NOMINATIONS - 2017 Barra Award for Best Overall Year

evmoevmo SydneyAdmin
edited November 2017 in Admin Communications

Please submit your nominations for the Barra Award, by commenting on this thread. To submit a private nomination, please contact us.

The Barra Award, named after David Barra, recognizes the marathon swimmer (one male, one female) with the most impressive year of marathon swimming, all considered. . The Barra Award considers an individual’s full body of work in the sport, including swims, event organizing, community-building, leadership, and other contributions. In your nominations, please list the swimmer's marathon swimming-related achievements in 2017.

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 Barra Award (winners indicated in bold):


- David Barra
- Darren Miller
- Anna-Carin Nordin
- Stephen Redmond
- Grace van der Byl

2013 - female

- Anna Wardley
- Anna-Carin Nordin
- Kimberley Chambers
- Sarah Thomas

2013 - male

- Darren Miller
- John Walker
- Mo Siegel

2014 - female

- Emma France
- Elaine Howley
- Charlotte Samuels

2014 - male

- Anthony McCarley
- Rohan More
- Mo Siegel

2015 - female

- Bridgette Hobart
- Jaimie Monahan
- Sarah Thomas

2015 - male

- Andrew Malinak
- Craig Lenning
- Mark Sheridan

2016 - female

- Caroline Block (Maryland, USA)
- Devon Clifford (New York, USA)
- Chloe McCardel (Australia)
- Jaimie Monahan (New York, USA)

2016 - male

- Dan Simonelli (California, USA)
- Mark Spratt (Indiana, USA)
- Philip Yorke (England)

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.


  • MarkSheridanMarkSheridan UKMember
    edited October 2016

    Please can I nominate the very humble Jaimie Monahan for the Barra Award for Best Overall Year for a lady.

    I cannot name anyone more deserving of such an award.

    She completed many swims in 2016 including:

    • Lac Leman/Lake Geneva 43 miles (for the 2nd consecutive year - still only 2nd lady to ever swim it) - 28hrs 36m
    • Lake George - 32 miles - 21 hours and 24 mins
    • Lake Como - 31 miles - 20hours 29 mins
    • Rose Pitonof Swim - 17 miles - 5 hours 1 minute
    • Lago d'Orta - 17 miles - 8.5 hours
    • Absecon Island - 22.5 miles - 13 hours 59 mins
    • Manhattan 20 Bridges

    I am sure I have missed countless others out but was getting dizzy - not sure she spent much time on land in fact during the year.

    How many ice miles did she also complete in various parts of the world including Iceland.

    Her friend Arik deserves a medal & a knighthood for being so supportive!

  • david_barradavid_barra NYCharter Member
    edited October 2016

    Jaimie also swam Stage 7 of 8 Bridges this season

    MarkSheridan said:
    Please can I nominate the very humble Jaimie Monahan for the Barra Award for Best Overall Year for a lady.


    ...anything worth doing is worth overdoing.

  • AnthonyMcCarleyAnthonyMcCarley Berwyn, PACharter Member

    Caroline Block deserves nomination for swimming the English Channel, the North Channel and 20 Bridges this year. She now has the record for the shortest amount of time between swimming the EC and the NC – 19 days!

    She also started two other big swims – Tampa Bay and Lake George – but was trumped by race director weather decisions.

    (If you have more information about Caroline, your additions would be appreciated.)

  • AnthonyMcCarleyAnthonyMcCarley Berwyn, PACharter Member
    edited October 2016

    I would appreciate help from others rounding out my information...

    Chloe McCardel deserves nomination for swimming the English Channel seven eight times this year!

    I believe she also has helped and coached many other swimmers this year. And that she has swam the EC 20 21 times!

    (Who says woman aren’t dominating Marathon Swimming? This is a reference to a different discussion.)

    Details added

    Chloe's times, per CSA:

    • 10:45 (Jun 10)
    • 10:21 (Jun 17)
    • 9:48 (Jun 22)
    • 8:51 (Sep 11)
    • 10:00 (Sep 20)
    • 10:00 (Oct 9)
    • 10:19 (Oct 22)
    • 10:29 (Oct 25)

    All swims piloted by Reg Brickell on Viking Princess.

  • I'd like to nominate a newcomer but someone who has gone from taking an "Intro to Bay Swimming " session w me to Swimming 2 Stages of 8 Bridges and being the ONLY Solo non-wetsuit swimmer at Pennock Island in Alaska. Kim Hedges. She's a stalwart Sunrise swimmer at SERC, a wicked sense of humo(u)r and an "up and comer as well". It may not seem like alot but when you go from 0 to 60 in less than 2 years,I feel you need a shout out.

  • rosemarymintrosemarymint Charleston, SCCharter Member
    edited October 2016

    That's not counting her epic training swim in wicked conditions at The Gathering in May!

    Yay Caroline!!!

    AnthonyMcCarley said:
    Caroline Block deserves nomination for swimming the English Channel, the North Channel and 20 Bridges this year. She now has the record for the shortest amount of time between swimming the EC and the NC – 19 days!

    She also started two other big swims – Tampa Bay and Lake George – but was trumped by race director weather decisions.

    (If you have more information about Caroline, your additions would be appreciated.)

  • AnthonyMcCarleyAnthonyMcCarley Berwyn, PACharter Member

    @rosemarymint is referencing a seven hour training swim Caroline did (mostly) alone in the Chesapeake at 58 degrees.

  • AnthonyMcCarleyAnthonyMcCarley Berwyn, PACharter Member
    edited November 2016

    Dan Simonelli deserves nomination because of his adventure filled year…

    Dan started out the year early by swimming the Catalina Channel solo on 16 January 2016, becoming the second person to swim on that date, the 89th anniversary of the first successful crossing by George Young, winner of the Wrigley Ocean Marathon Swim, in 1927, starting the swim from the Isthmus as they had done in 1927.

    He kayaked all 4 days of SCAR in support of Dave Van Mouwerik, April 27-30.

    To start off the regular CCSF season, he swam with the CCSF Board of Directors Catalina Channel Relay, 8 May 2016. The purpose of which was for the CCSF Board to experience and get to know the new CCSF approved boat, Captain and crew of Pacific Star.

    Dan helped coordinate and swam with the Out, Around, and Back Relay, July 14 & 15, 2016. From the West end of Catalina Island Out to Santa Barbara Island, Around SBI, and (well, almost) Back to Catalina.

    Dan was also a member of the relay setting a CCSF record for Mixed relay (3 male, 3 female) age 50-59, going in the "opposite" direction from Mainland to Catalina.

    He did a 16mi swim, from La Jolla Shores beach to South Mission Beach jetty and back (San Diego), 1 Aug 2016

    Dan coaches the Arch Academy Zombies (open water swim team) who have done swims: Alcatraz swim, Catalina relays, English Channel relays, a SBCSA "First" -Santa Barbara Island to Anacapa Island relays. And in August, with the plan to do Ka'iwi (Molokai) Channel relays getting weathered out, he shifted the plan to a point to point relay swim along West coast of Molokai Island and swam with one of the two relays.

    Dan did a solo English Channel on August 25th.

    And then stayed there for the next few weeks working with Chloe McCardel and supporting other swims and relays:

    • Coach/crew support for Team Manatee, Swim Across America EC Relay (helped raise over $80k for SAA);
    • 4SeaAbles Relay
    • Channel Crusaders Relay
    • Return Trippers Relay

    La Jolla 10 Mile Relay, 25 Sept 2016.

    Observer for CCSF and SBCSA.

    Voting Member of CCSF Board.

    Member of IMSHOF Voting Panel.
    President La Jolla Cove Swim Club.
    Co-event director for La Jolla Pier To Cove swim.

    Assisted numerous Solo swimmers and Relays in their planning and coordination of their Catalina Channel, Anacapa Island, English Channel and other swims.

  • edwardedward Member
    edited October 2016

    I would like to nominate Devon Clifford as a female contender for the 2016 Barra Award. Ive known and admired Devon for many years. Her spirit is one with Ocean Waters, her commitment to open water marathon swimming is pure and her personality in and out of the water is infectious. While her 2016 journey has been remarkable, in geography, temperature, distances, conditions and bodies of water swum. Each Swim, without hesitation, worthy of recognition, I am nominating this young woman, who has repeatedly demonstrated a level of tough mental and physical fortitude that belies just about the nicest person you will meet. Before an event/race, at the start, during the swim, and at the finish Devon is positive, helpful, inclusive and encouraging to newcomers, competitors and old timers alike. In addition to her impressive swims listed below, Devon found time to Crew for Lori Kings monumental circumnavigation of Bermuda in June, train many days and hours with me both in the pool and in the overnight darkness of Long Island Sound in preparation for my Lake George adventure. I consider Devon to be the Best Ambassador our sport could hope for, and worthy of consideration for the prestigious Barra Award in this year of: The Formidable Female Candidate.

    • NY, Winter Swimming, Hudson River, (34f) January 30, 2016 sprint distances
    • Vermont, Lake Mephremagog Winter Festival (31f) March 5-6, 2016 sprint distances
    • Arizona, SCAR, (57f +) April 26-29,2016 66.9K 41.7miles 23:23.06
    • Peru/Bolivia, Lake Titicaca (52f) May 7, 2016 7.0K 4.35miles 2:15.00
    • NY, 8 Bridges Odyssey (68f+) June 26- July 3rd (+/-)189.9K 118 miles 45:00.01 (DNF short of finish stage 2 stage 5 conditions)
    • Vermont, Lake Mephremagog Border Buster July 30,2016 25.0K 15.53 miles 10:48.25
    • California, Don Burns Swim August 20, 2016 1.6K 1.00miles 23.37
    • California, Alcatraz Invitational September 10, 2016 2.04K 1.27miles 43:47
    • NY, Lake George Marathon Swim September 17,2016 >14.48K >9.0miles 5 hrs+ (DNF race called due to weather conditions)
    • South Carolina, swim Around Charleston September 25 19.31K 12.0 miles 5:07.58
    • NY, 20 Bridges Marathon Swim October 1, 2016 45.87K 28.5miles 8:03.10
    • Bermuda, Round the Sound October 8, 2016 7.25K 4.51miles 2:21.35

    TOTAL: 379.35K, 235.86 miles, 107 + hours

    Lori_kj9swimgregocrckayakevmobluemermaid9rosemarymintLynne_Apavlicovpem725swimrn62mltskGomezMaryStellaaafairmanFlowSwimmers[Deleted User]gigiDanSimonelli[Deleted User]dccliffbridgettehobartamaggioncreinke[Deleted User]mysterybobstephenrouchMarshallTexMoCo
  • evmoevmo SydneyAdmin

    I'm happy to nominate Patrick McKnight of Fairfax, Virginia for the Barra Award. In true Barra-esque fashion, Patrick completed the Triple Crown this year in a new record-shortest turnaround of 34 days, 7 hours, 4 minutes:

    • Catalina Channel - July 12 - 11h 4m
    • English Channel - July 21 - 12h 54m
    • Manhattan (20 Bridges) - August 15 - 7h 31m

    Patrick writes an entertaining blog about his adventures (which have previously included mountain climbing) at

  • JaimieJaimie NYCMem​ber
    edited October 2016

    I've been super impressed by Charlotte Brynn's @BrynnSwim season. The below list may not be fully complete but captures a few of her awesome (and speedy!) accomplishments this year. She has a wonderful attitude and is an excellent athlete in the water and the land. The Skinner Island Double Crossing I believe was a world first that she planned herself with @Fil and the Vermont team. The swim report from that swim particularly impressed me - it was filled with history and adventure and was one of the best things I've read all year. This was just one of the many swims she did in 2016, a more complete listing is below:

    • Skinner Island Double Crossing, Lake Memphremagog, USA, July 2016, 18 miles: 8 Hours, 35 Minutes, 57 seconds

    • Georgeville 1-way, Lake Memphremagog, CANADA, July 2016, 15 Miles:6 Hours, 41 minutes, 50 seconds. 1 Border Crossing

    • Ile Ronde Circumnavigation, Lake Memphremagog, USA, July 2016, 16.4 Miles: 7 Hours, 59 Minutes, 4 seconds. 2 Border Crossings

    • Kingdom Swim, Border Buster, Lake Memphremagog, USA, July 30, 2016. 15.94 Miles, 7 Hours, 55 minutes. 2 Border Crossings

    • Orrs Island, Maine, August 2016 - 70km over 3 days

    • English Channel Attempt, August 2016 (pulled due to labored breathing)

    • Jersey to France Attempted, September 2016 (cancelled due to Weather)

    • Lake George Marathon Swim Solo Attempt, September 2016 (cancelled due to Weather)

    • Memphremagog Winter Swimming Festival, March 2016

    • And many others I am missing I'm sure!

  • JustSwimJustSwim Senior Member

    Charlotte Brynn also swam SCAR, completing 3 of the 4 days.

  • SpacemanspiffSpacemanspiff Dallas, TexasSenior Member

    I am glad we can nominate one in each gender! Otherwise, would not be able to choose between my two friends, each of whom seem quite worthy of this award: @DanSimonelli and Devon Clifford.

    dccliff[Deleted User]DanSimonelli

    "Lights go out and I can't be saved
    Tides that I tried to swim against
    Have brought be down upon my knees
    Oh I beg, I beg and plead..."

  • JaimieJaimie NYCMem​ber
    edited October 2016

    I would like to nominate Mark Spratt aka @JustSwim for an amazing 2016 season! Mark swam a ton of events this year and extremely well, including an age group win in the USMS National 10 mile swim and 2nd in the 2-miler. He also did a ton of powerhouse back-to-back swims, including 2 short races right before his Catalina solo and NYOW's Spuyten Duyvil 10k just 3 days after Catalina, on the other coast! Mark earns every single delicious pre-swim burger for sure!

    • Swim the Suck - 10miles/16km in 4 hours, 11 minutes on 8-Oct

    • Spuyten Duyvil 10K - 6.5miles/10.5km in 1 hour, 35 minutes on 11-Sept

    • Catalina Channel Solo - 20.1miles/32.16km in 10 hours, 6 minutes on 8-Sept

    • Oceanside Labor Day Pier Swim - 1miles/1.6km in 21 minutes, 49 seconds on 5-Sept

    • Coronado Sports Fiesta - 1miles/1.6km in 21 minutes, 13 seconds on 3-Sept

    • Swim to the Moon 10K - 6.2miles/10km in 2 hours, 31 minutes on 21-Aug

    • USMS 10 Mile National Championship - 10miles/16km in 4 hours, 54 minutes on 30-Jul

    • 8 Bridges Stage 6 (Tappan Zee to GWB) - 15.7miles/25.12km in 3 hours, 35 minutes on 2-Jul

    • C.I.O.W.S. Swim - 2.4miles/3.84km in 1 hour, 2 minutes on 25-Jun

    • USMS National 2 Mile Cable Swim - 2miles/3.2km in 51 minutes, 2 seconds on 18-Jun

    • Great Chesapeake Bay Swim - 4.4miles/7.04km in 1 hour, 50 minutes on 12-Jun

    • Geoffrey Keller Memorial - 2.4miles/4km in 1 hour, 1 minute on 4-Jun

    • SCAR-Roosevelt Lake - 6.6miles/10km in 2 hours, 55 minutes on 30-Apr

    • SCAR-Apache Lake - 17miles/27.3km DNF on 29-Apr

    • SCAR-Canyon Lake - 9miles/14.4km in 3 hours, 41 minutes on 28-Apr

    • SCAR-Saguaro Lake - 9.5miles/15.2km in 3 hours, 38 minutes on 27-Apr

    • 24 Hour Relay on 30-Jan

  • evmoevmo SydneyAdmin

    A privately submitted nomination for Andy Truscott for the Barra Award:

    I would like to nominate Andy Truscott, Jersey Uk, for best overall year. I am new into open water swimming (first year) and have enjoyed it through Andy's encouragement and guidance. Not just for that but Andy has been an inspiration to us all this year and the fantastic year he has had. Coming off the back of completing Tampa bay swim in 2015 Andy set out to improve on that, and that's what he did.

    In February Andy took park in the annual BLDSA hour postal swim. In doing so he claimed a National age group bronze for the distance covered. He went from there to start his open water challenges in July.

    The first being Minquiers to Jersey (12 tough miles) 2 person relay with Ali Wood - first team to ever attempt and complete making it a world first in 6hrs and 23mins.

    Two weeks later Andy went on for his first attempt and completion of the English Channel - under guidance of Neil Streeter with Suva in time of 13 hrs and 58 mins.

    Yet again, 2 weeks after the English Channel, Andy attempted a Jersey Arch 2 Arch in a head to head race to raise money for Jersey Hospice. The event included a 11 mile run, swim Jersey to France (21 miles) and then cycle from Portbail to Paris (320km) in doing this Andy won the event and became the first person to complete the challenge (34 hrs and 4 mins) and also breaking overall world record in swim section (Jersey to France - 6hrs 32 mins) and the fastest time set by a "local" person and in doing so is the first person to hold local record twice within 12 month period.

    Andy then next set his sight on his next challenge being a Round Jersey relay (45 miles). - with team RAD (3 man male team) with Decio F and Robin Johnson who was both our first big sea swim. We completed the relay in hour stints in a time of 10 hrs 25mins.

    But before we attempted our Round Jersey relay Andy had crewed for a round island charity relay team, and also an individual round island swim (Dave Barra, himself).

    After the round island relay swim Andy helped another swimmer (Max Beer) who came over to swim Jersey to France but had his equipment left behind. Not only did Andy take a day off work to crew but he lent his own kit to Mäx For the Jersey to France swim. Max then during the swim went on to break Andy's world record by 4 mins to set the new target.

    What seemed to be a great year for Andy already then got extended as three and half weeks later he went back to the first swim of the year only to complete the Minquiers to Jersey swim as a solo - first person to ever attempt it as a solo and completed it in time of 7 hrs and 11 mins.

    Andy then went on to complete 6 days later in the Jersey pool swimming masters meet claiming 5 golds, 7 silvers and 1 bronze. That weekend he also competed and won the Jersey masters 5k open water swim championships as well as doubling up as the JLDSC 5k open water swim champion.

    Andy ended his year as a member of the fish out of water JLDSC men's relay marathon running team.

    Andy did all this whilst encouraging new members to the club and also teaching them stroke work and encouraging the timid beginners.

    As a summary, Andy has been inspirational over the year:

    • completing 2 world first swims
    • winning charity challengers
    • setting world new times for swims during his 5 marathon swims
    • Undertaking relay swims with new open water swimmers whilst setting a good example to us and encouraging us to be the best we can.
    • Coaching and winning local races both open water and pool events and crewing for swims around the island and Jersey to France whilst pushing the swimmers to be best they can and to break world records even though it was his own world record.

    He has been a true ambassador of local swimming this year. I feel he has been a pleasure to be around and has inspired me to be an open water swimmer and if I knew nothing else I would say that was noble and inspirational alone but to do all that and his own marathon swims ..... well it's hard to put into words but fantastic.

  • ssthomasssthomas DenverCharter Mem​ber
    edited November 2016

    I'd like to nominate Karl Kingery, @Karl_Kingery for the Barra Award.

    Karl did his first marathon swim last summer across Lake Tahoe and then planned a huge summer for himself this year, which takes guts as a relative new guy to the sport.

    • 24 Hour Relay in January
    • Catalina crossing in June.
    • He won the first Castle 10K here in Colorado in July.
    • English Channel in July. (I observed his 6 hour qualifier in May- which is probably award-worthy, too. It was 55 degree water at 8000 feet in the wind. Pretty tough conditions for a qualifier- and he gutted it out with grit and mental toughness)
    • He had planned another marathon swim for August, but was forced to cancel due to weather and boat issues.
    • He also helped plan and crewed for my Lake Powell swim, which should probably count for like 5 swims all together. Karl was irreplaceable in the route planning before the swim. He spent hours and hours on this project making sure we were creating the best route possible before we started swimming. Without his time, attention to detail and overall effort this swim would not have been successful from the start. Then, during the swim, he piloted, pace swam, and was generally an awesome crew member for 56 hours straight.

    I know others have more swims under their belt this season than Karl, but he has two major swims in Catalina and the EC, plus gave so generously of his time in crewing for me. I definitely think he deserves recognition for a very successful and well-rounded season of adventuring!

  • JaimieJaimie NYCMem​ber
    edited November 2016

    Not sure what category exactly this falls under but @Howard13 Howard James just completed an English Channel in November - believe this is the first time this has ever been done! His team reported water temps of 14-15*C and air temps of 8 in the daytime and 3 degrees overnight. Ouch! Not only that but Howard also has the earliest EC swim as well, completed this year on May 16, almost 2 weeks before Kev Murphy's longstanding earliest swim of May 29th back in 1990. I don't know him and not sure what he did between May and November but what what a season just based on these two feats. Amazing bookends to the EC season - I am shivering just thinking about it!

  • DanSimonelliDanSimonelli San Diego CASenior Member

    Nice bookmarks!

  • DanSimonelliDanSimonelli San Diego CASenior Member

    I nominate Philip Yorke, from Mirfield, England.

    Phil has had an interesting and extraordinary year...of swimming and service to our marathon swimming community in Britain.

    After breaking his wrist and with it immobilized, Phil swam the BLDSA Champion of Champions event:
    5 mile, 3 mile, 1 mile swims in one day.

    Later, on consecutive days, he swam 2-way Bala, 6 miles, and 1-way Bala the following day.

    Windermere twice.

    Support paddled Coniston Vets and Ullswater.

    Phil swam Loch Lomond, 21.6 miles.
    (2nd person to swim it breaststroke and set the fastest time)

    Coordinated and crewed for Aspire EC Relay team.

    Swam St. Mary's Loch, 6.5 mi.

    And, Phil is the Honorary General Secretary of the British Long Distance Swimming Association.

    Phil is always ready and willing to help fellow swimmers in any way, whether that's individually crewing or supporting their swims or through his work with Aspire English Channel Relays, raising money for this Charity for people paralysed by spinal injury.

  • Tiffany McQueen.. I really don't know what she HASN'T done this year.

  • evmoevmo SydneyAdmin
    edited November 2016

    Reposting nomination instructions from above. Please help me out here? I have only so much bandwidth.

    In your nominations, please list the swimmer's marathon swimming-related achievements in 2016. Not limited to solo marathon swims - could include relays, stage swims, organized races, community-building, leadership, "ambassadorship," etc.

  • suziedodssuziedods Mem​ber
    edited November 2016

    Tiffany McQueen: Army Vet and swimming machine...

    • 24 Hour Relay Jan
    • Swim Around Lido Key ( day after they cancelled it)
    • SCAR ( well most of it)
    • H2Open Plus SoCal Cup May 22
    • Capitola Wharf 2 Santa Cruz May 28 /29
    • Del Valle 10K DNF (pulled at 3 hours due to event time limit)
    • Seal Beach Rough Water 3 mile and 1 mile July 2
    • Portland Bridges Swim July 9
    • Great Moose Migration Aug 9 ( 10 or 11 miles)
    • Swim the Kingdom Week Aug 13-21
    • La Jolla Cove 10 Mile Relay (as a solo) Sept 25
    • Swim The Suck Oct 8
    • Anacapa Nov 4
    • and one more Dec 7 but she won't tell me what it is.
This discussion has been closed.