The WOWSA Talks, formerly called the Global Open Water Swimming Conference, is an annual symposium and networking event for open water swimming and all of its niche disciplines including marathon swimming, channel swimming, ice swimming, winter swimming, stage swimming, wild swimming, high-altitude swimming, transoceanic swims, and events including mass participation swims, Olympic 10K Marathon Swim, FINA Open Water Swimming Grand Prix series, and FINA 10K Marathon Swimming World Cup series.
The WOWSA Talks is an entertaining, educational and inspirational series of 20-minute presentations by luminaries in the sport of open water swimming. From stage swimmers like Ben Lecomte who is swimming across the Pacific Ocean and Ross Edgley who is swimming around Great Britain to administrators and technologists like Evan Morrison and channel swimming experts like Dan Simonelli, the 3-day event will be kicked off by a viewing of Sea Donkey, the 2017 World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year, a film about Adrian Sarchet‘s North Channel crossing on November 9th.
The series of WOWSA Talks will culminate with the WOWSA Awards where Antonio Argüelles of Mexico (World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year, shown above), Jaimie Monahan (World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year, shown below), Margarita Llorens Bagur (World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year), and Sea Donkey (World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year).
“The WOWSA Awards are not necessarily meant for the fastest swimmers, but are specifically meant to honor individuals who best embody the spirit of open water swimming, possess the sense of adventure, tenacity and perseverance that open water swimmers are known for, and have most positively influenced the world of open water swimming,” explains Steven Munatones. “That is exactly what Antonio, Jaimie, Margarita and Adrian did last year – and throughout their swimming careers.”
The list of previous WOWSA Award winners are below:
World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year
* 2008: Randy Nutt of the USA
* 2009: Petar Stoychev of Bulgaria
* 2010: Marcos Díaz of the Dominican Republic
* 2011: Jamie Patrick of the U.S.A.
* 2012: Stephen Redmond of Ireland
* 2013: Pádraig Mallon of Ireland
* 2014: Henri Kaarma of Estonia
* 2015: Antonio Argüelles of Mexico
* 2016: Nejib Belhedi of Tunisia
* 2017: Antonio Argüelles of Mexico
World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year
* 2008: Edith van Dijk of the Netherlands
* 2009: Poliana Okimoto of Brazil
* 2010: Anne Marie Ward of Ireland
* 2011: Pilar Geijo of Argentina
* 2012: Annaleise Carr of Canada
* 2013: Olga Kozydub of Russia
* 2014: Nataliya Fatyanova, M.D. of Russia
* 2015: Bridgette Hobart Janeczko of U.S.A.
* 2016: Jaimie Monahan of U.S.A.
* 2017: Jaimie Monahan of U.S.A.
World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year
* 2009: Andrew Smilley of the Cayman Islands for his performance at the RCP Tiburon Mile in San Francisco
* 2010: Ventura Deep Six of U.S.A. for its 202-miles (325 km) relay in 101 hours 39 minutes along the California coast
* 2011: Nejib Belhedi of Tunisia for his coastal 1400K Swim Across Tunisia
* 2012: Juan Ignacio Martínez Fernández-Villamil of Spain for organizing the Descenso a Nado de la Ría de Navia for decades
* 2013: Bering Strait Swim, an international relay with 121 participants (swimmers + officials + crew)
* 2014: Diomede Islands Swim, a 5.6 km tandem swim by Alexandr Brylin and Grigorii Prokopchuk of Russia between the USA and Russia
* 2015: Strait of Messina record-breaking crossing by Andrea Fazio of Italy
* 2016: Sarah Thomas of U.S.A. for her 80-mile (128.7 km) crossing of Lake Powell in 56 hours 5 minutes 26 seconds
* 2017: Margarita Llorens Bagur (Spain) for her 37-hour 73 km solo attempt between Ibiza and Javea in Islas Baleares
World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year
* 2012: SWIM Channel, produced by Patrick Winkler of Brazil
* 2013: International Ice Swimming Association, founded by Ram Barkai of South Africa
* 2014: Step Out Of The Ordinary Blue Letter Campaign by Pádraig Mallon and Camlough Lake Water Festival (Ireland)
* 2015: World Ice Swimming Championships in Murmansk, Russia by the International Ice Swimming Association
* 2016: Samsung Bosphorus Cross-Continental Swim (Turkey)
* 2017: Sea Donkey by James Harrison with Adrian Sarchet (Guernsey)
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