Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

The local community has long known about the aquatic passion and ocean swimming talents of the indomitable Hank Wise since his days as a young age group swimmer.

People of every generation throughout Southern California and his hometown of Long Beach had been enthralled by the warm-hearted charisma and boundless energy of Wise from his youthful days at Long Beach Wilson High School and Stanford to his most recent Catalina Channel crossings, with coaching and camping stints in between.

The Aquatic Capital of America Foundation, a non-profit organization formed to promote aquatic activities and heroes in Long Beach, California, recognized Wise as its 2016 Waterman of the Year.

Wise will be honored along with its Olympian Tony Azevedo (Athlete of the Year), UCLA water polo coach and Olympian Adam Wright (Coach of the Year), Casa Colina Outdoor Adventures and Michael Johnston of the Long Beach City Manager’s Office for Organizations of the Year, Marcedes Lewis (Outstanding Achievement), Suzie Price (Citizen of the Year), Patrick O’Donnell (Community Service Leadership), and Dr. Howard Chen (Special Honoree of the Year).

Hank is an incredible athlete, a coach of age group swimmers and masters swimmers, a great surfer, a fantastic paddler, a camp organizer, a local leader, but most importantly, he is an inspiration,” says Steven Munatones. “He is not only unforgettable, but he also never fails to bring a smile on the faces of everyone he meets.”

The ceremony to honor Wise and his fellow honorees will be held on January 19th 2017.

To RSVP, contact lucyjohnson1@gmail.com or text 41444 (keyword ACOAAWARDS). For more information, visit www.aquaticcapital.org.

Copyright © 2016 by World Open Water Swimming Association