And rightly so.
Not only was the business owner and race director active on dryland throughout the State of New York, but she was also relentless in the open water, both locally and internationally, and raised money for an unprecedented charity swim.
The 52-year-old race director for the Lake Hopatcong, a charity swim held annually in September, is also a CPA, CITP and President of Paradigm Technology Consulting in New Jersey.
After completing the 19.7 km Rottnest Channel Swim in western Australia in 8 hours 49 minutes, she participated in the 8 Bridges Hudson River Swim (Stage 1 of 18.3 miles in 5:38 + Stage 2 of 7:00 (DNF) + Stage 3 of 13.2 miles in 4:42 + Stage 4 of 15.2 miles in 4:49 + Stage 5 of 19.8 miles in 8:01 + Stage 6 of 15.7 miles in 3:33 + Stage 7 of 18.1 miles in 5:26).
But she culminated her year with the pioneering Nazareth College Finger Lakes Challenge (also referred to as The 5 Majors & The 4 Minors Swimming for a Cause), an 9-stage 156-mile solo swim. She started the adventure on July 11th and ended on September 26th as she earned more and more attention and supporters with every mile swum. Her event included two challenges within the New York Finger Lakes: the Majors and the Minors. The Majors includes the lakes over 11 miles, ranging from 15.5 to 38 miles each with Canandaigua, Keuka, and Skaneateles in July and 38-mile Cayuga Lake and 38-mile Seneca Lake in August. The 4 Minors includes the lakes under 11 miles that she crossed over the weekends in September 2015.
She completed each one of the stages in the New York Finger Lakes: 15.5-mile Stage 1 in Canandaigua in 7:38 + 19.9-mile Stage 2 in Keuka in 9:07 + 16-mile Stage 3 in Skaneateles in 7:27 + 37.9-mile Stage 4 in Cayuga in 20:33 + 37.9-mile Stage 5 in Seneca in 24:31 + 4.5-mile Stage 6 in Honeoye in 2:02 + 8.1-mile Stage 7 in Conesus in 3:47 + 6.2-mile Stage 8 in Otisco in 2:02 + 11.1-mile Stage 9 in Owasco in 5:57, each with a large smile and heartfelt appreciation for her support team and growing number of fans.
With her year-long performance as she balanced work, family and organization of her charity swims, Bridgette Hobart Janeczko exemplifies exactly what a World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year does. She not only embodies the spirit of open water swimming and possesses the sense of adventure, tenacity and perseverance that open water swimmers are known for, but she also very positively influenced the world of open water swimming and everyone she touched with her swims and personality.
The final 2015 WOWSA Award voting results:
1. Bridgette Hobart Janeczko (U.S.A.): 13,735 votes
2. Tita Llorens (Spain): 4,983 votes
3. Elizabeth Fry (U.S.A.): 428 votes
4. Pilar Geijo (Argentina): 259 votes
5. Alex Cape (Canada): 183 votes
6. Rachele Bruni (Italy): 143 votes
7. Chloë McCardel