CALL FOR NOMINATIONS - Service to Marathon Swimming Award (2013)

evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
edited November 2013 in General Discussion
In response to suggestions in the New Awards Categories thread, we are establishing a new award for Outstanding Service to the Sport of Marathon Swimming.

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.

Please submit your nominations, by commenting here, for individuals who have gone "above and beyond" in service to our sport, in a non-swimming role, in the year 2013. Please also explain why the individual(s) deserve the nomination.
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Comments

  • IronMikeIronMike Bishkek, KyrgyzstanCharter Member
    edited November 2013
    @AquaRob. I haven't been lucky enough to have him crew for me, but apparently he's crewed for everyone else in the marathon swimming world!

    (Love the dual-language description of ths award, @evmo)
  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
    edited November 2013
    Thanks Mike! Friendly reminder:

    Please also explain why the individual(s) deserve the nomination.

    (Not that I am challenging the nomination, I absolutely agree... but this is the process.)
  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
    Let me check with @AquaRob and get the full list of his crewing/observing/etc. for the year.
  • jcmalickjcmalick Charter Member
    edited November 2013
    Chalk a Nomination up for Eri Utsunomiya.

    Not only has this amazing woman given of herself to crew for others, she has also had a large part in helping to coordinate Tsugaru Channel Swims over the last few years being a native of Japan and now residing in Jersey City, NJ.

    This year, Eri helped crew/volunteer/observe/kayak for Swimmers at MIMS, Ederle, and other NYC Swim Events. Additionally, she helped with many CIBBOWS swims, 8Bridges, Cold Water Challenge, and a handful of other races on the east coast (US).

    In addition, she helped crew in Catalina and San Francisco and did this mostly on her own dime; a woman that I may note is not gainfully employed.

    This is a worthy nominee that dedicates herself passionately to the Open Water Swimming Community and helps make swims and dreams a reality for so many marathon swimmers.
  • Here is a nomination for David Barra.

    I will list a few of the things that Dave did this year for Marathon Swimming, but it will be far from complete.

    Assisted with MIMS (Safety Officer?)
    Assisted with CIBBOWS Swims
    Crewed for Bob Needhem's EC attempt
    Escort pilot for Mo Siegel's 20-mile Cape Cod Bay Swim
    Assisted JC at the finish for the C3 swim
    Organized the 8-Bridges Swims
    assisted Alan Morrison's Sandy Hook to Manhattan Beach Breaststroke?

    This is just what I an aware of. Please add more.
  • The Dover Beach Crew.

    Particularly The General, Freda Streeter, with Barrie Wakeham, and Irene Keel, and various others who come and go over the season, who sit there in rain and wind and sun, week after week, month after month after year after year, who feed swimmers from the shingle, who help hypothermic swimmers get dressed, who encourage them, who chat and share the obsession, who watch out for them, who abuse and insult them to get back in the water, who listen when they aren't successful, who greet those are and those who aren't with smiles and advice, who share a treasure trove of experience, who also crew and who help swimmers achieve their dreams.
  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
    edited November 2013
    @AquaRob's activities for 2013:

    - Crew for @jcmalick Catalina solo, @Lynnkub Anacapa-Santa Cruz inter-island, Julian Rusinek San Miguel-Santa Rosa inter-island.
    - Ass't observer for a Santa Cruz island solo attempt
    - For Avila Beach OW Swimmers, organized various events & supported long training swims.
    - Started weekly Friday night swims @ Lopez Lake.
    - Joined Board of Directors for SBCSA.
    - Mysterious bearded presence in DRIVEN documentary.
    - Tricked girlfriend into kayaking for 7 channel swims and thinking that marathon swimming is actually cool.
  • ssthomasssthomas Charter Member
    How about one for Phil White- he does amazing things in Vermont for open water swimming. I don't know all of his events, but there are a ton of opportunities to get in the water and swim in Vermont. I know of his swim that was the 10 mile World Open Water Championships in Lake Memphremagog. There was a 10 mile swim, and I think some shorter distances that day. There's In Search of Memphre, a 25 mile swim in the same lake. And then the 8 Days/8 Lakes Kingdom swims, with at least 3 swims being 10k or over. There's probably more, too.

    What I think is great about what Phil, and his events do, is that they recognize different swimming ability and allow you to compete in whatever way you are comfortable. I like that spirit of inclusion and fun- I think it's great for our sport!

    Pretty awesome stuff going on up there, and I know Phil spends a lot of time making it happen. (And he also organizes things like *gasp* running races....)
  • ssthomasssthomas Charter Member
    edited November 2013
    I also would be stupid/thoughtless to not want to nominate my In Search of Memphre (double) crew- Ryan Willis and Bill Shipp. Maybe individually they didn’t contribute to marathon swimming as much as some of the above people and groups, but I think their sacrifice and dedication really embodies what a swimmer needs and relies upon for a successful swim.

    My poor husband, Ryan, threw out his back 4 days before the swim. He could barely walk in the days leading up to the swim and the doctor advised him against flying. Yet, somehow, he dug deep and managed to sit in a 12 foot aluminum boat for 30 hours, albeit with some pretty heavy medication. It was also his first time as pilot and navigator. He only ran aground once and only nearly ran into me a couple of times. I call that success! I’ve said before: Loving me is expected from a relationship, but crewing for me is not. I’m blessed to have his support in all my crazy swims.

    The second piece of that crew is Bill Shipp. Bill was a complete stranger to me until the day before the swim. My original second crew member bailed a few weeks before the swim, and Phil sent out a call for help. Bill had never met me and probably had never heard of me. He still volunteered to drive up from Maryland to sit in a boat with a complete stranger and to make feeds for a complete stranger… for 30 hours. We exchanged a few pieces of information before the swim- including when he offered to rescue our bags from the airport after a missed connection- but otherwise, he went in blindly to help out a swimmer in need.

    Both men suffered the elements: It was cold. It was windy. It was wet. They had to pee in a shared nalgene bottle. Ryan ran us aground in the middle of the night and while I treaded water a few feet away, Bill took off his pants and got the boat out of the muck. I was cold in the water- I can’t imagine how cold it was out of the water to be partially wet and unable to move around to warm up and dry off. When I needed hot feeds and our hot water ran out, they figured out how to get me more hot water. Bill diligently recorded my swim, feeds and stroke count. He took video. He took pictures. He cheered for me. He snuck some Ibuprofen into my feeds when he knew I was being too stubborn to ask for it. They both anticipated and reacted to whatever I needed to keep me swimming.

    Without the two of these outstanding crew members, this really long, really difficult swim never would have been successful. I could never thank either one of them enough- and that’s why I think they deserve at least some sort of recognition of their amazing accomplishment from someone other than me.
  • AquaRobAquaRob Charter Member
    edited November 2013
    For starters, thank you @Ironmike for the nod, I appreciate it!

    I would like to nominate Allison Bayne for the Service to Marathon Swimming Award, I think she definitely beat me out this year in marathon swimming support work. As Evan noted one of my biggest contributions to the sport this year was cultivating an enthusiastic EMT certified paddler and buying her a roof rack for her car :) Here's what she did this year:

    In 2013 she paddled for Steve G.'s off season Anacapa attempt, Thomas K's successful Catalina crossing, Graham L's successful Catalina crossing, Lynn K's Anacapa circumnavigation attempt and successful Santa Cruz Island to Anacapa crossing, Bob N's Santa Cruz Island attempt, Julian R's San Miguel Island to Santa Rosa crossing, and JC's successful Catalina crossing. Her support season included an Alaskan, an Italian swimmer, a UK swimmer, and a Delawarean so she provided a great service to our far away marathon swimmer friends. If you're counting that's 7 outings! The only thing that kept her from doing even more channel swims was that her day job only allows for so much time away.

    It's worth noting we live ~2 hours from Ventura Harbor (most SBCSA swims) and ~4 hours from San Pedro (Catalina swims) so going on a swim is no small travel undertaking! Also she's one of the few people I've seen Captain Bob smile at regularly and on purpose... not sure how to measure that particular metric, but it's impressive

    Locally Allison was a frequent support paddler for the Avila Dolphins crew for our Sunday swims as well as some of our Friday nights at Lake Lopez. Having a paddler around on a fairly regular basis was great for the group and made a lot of swimmers a lot more comfortable. She also paddled a local 5k and 10k swim as well as assisting other swimmers of ours on shorter adventures that were a big deal to them. Since I couldn't make it this year to Semana Nautica she paddled for Dave VM instead.

    Oh and for what it's worth she's a super cool girlfriend in that when I break a date for an evening out at the last minute to fill in on a channel relay she's totally cool with it :)

    image
    Allison doing a practice rescue in Avila Beach

    image
    Asleep in the kayak at Channel Islands Harbor after 9 hours of paddling
  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
    edited November 2013
    AquaRob said:

    she's one of the few people I've seen Captain Bob smile at regularly and on purpose... not sure how to measure that particular metric, but it's impressive

    lol! :)

    Seriously though, this is a great nomination and completely deserved. Allison is also responsible for this memorable piece of attire:

    image
  • I second the Dave Barra nomination. Although it may be on a personal level he made what could have been an awful day during MIMS into a very enjoyable and rewarding one for me and my crew. The other work that he does is also inspiring.
  • Andy Magness of END-WET. Out of nowhere, he pulls off organizing one the the longest swims in the US, keeps it under $300, manages to give everyone a good, safe swim, everyone has a fun weekend, in 2 years has 100% finish rate, and even manages to get the local bakery to donate their semi-sweet sea salt chocolate chip cookies which are apparently loaded with crack or some other horribly addictive drug. Add to that that he is planning to make the race 36 miles this year - the longest race in the US.

    -LBJ
    "Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go." - T.S. Eliot
  • I nominate Evan Morrison for accepting the responsibility to be the public face for Marathon Swimming during the Ms. Nyad sideshow. He held his composure in trying circumstances and articulated the spirit of Marathon Swimming well. Certainly advanced the sport (or at least kept parts of it from becoming a circus act) and created great awareness of the sport in the general public.

    At a lunch last week I met a CIO of a national healthcare service company. He brought up the subject of Ms. Nyad because he knew I swam, had heard about the Ms. Nyad controversy and wanted my opinion. This gentleman in no way was a swimmer, but he wanted to know all about the technical rules of the sport. I don’t believe these kinds of conversations would happen if it weren’t for the work Evan did this year for the sport.
  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
    Very much appreciated, Anthony! As with last year, the Forum admins are recusing themselves from eligibility for these awards. Thanks, though :)
  • I would like to second Sarah Thomas' nomination of Phil White. For over 5 years Phil has work tirelessly to put together an array of open water swim events and other sporting activities in the Newport, Vermont area. Phil is committed to providing opportunities for participants at all levels and he is equally supportive of the Champion and the Novice. His passion is to spark the love of the outdoors in all who come to the Kingdom. He has done his work in relative obscurity and on a shoe string budget with an army of dedicated volunteers. Oh and along the way he has raised many thousands of dollars for charity and I dare say boosted the local economy with the influx of participants from around the country and the world. His genuine love of the task of coordinating events comes through every year as he honors every swimmer - the first and the last as they exit the waters in his sleepy little new England town.
  • I am so torn on the Allison Bayne and @AquaRob nominations. Can they be nominated as a duo "Service" award?
  • Thanks, Sarah and Bill for the nomination for consideration. Totally did not see that coming and totally honored to even be mentioned with the others who have been.

    I believe any list of nominees in this category should include Ned Denison. If I started in on his service to this sport, I probably wouldn't have time to get my recycling in today before they close. I will say that he was right there at the earliest planning stages of Kingdom Swim in 2008, patiently guiding an ignorant idiot who was determined to put some swimmers in the waters of Lake Memphremagog. He's been a constant consult ever since, as I know he has been to many, many others. Just the words Sandycove, Distance Swim Camp, Global Conference, should be 'nuff said" to warrant this nomination
  • I'd like to second JC's nomination of Eri - who was tremendous crewing for me in Japan & San Francisco but more importantly has been a volunteer at numerous Cibbows & NYC Swim events (& 8 Bridges & lots of other events) for the past few years.

    Now if we could only get her back in the water!
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