Months into his Swim Across Tunisia with months left to go, English Channel swimmer Nejib Belhedi is the epitome of patience, steadfastness and commitment.

In the beginning of his 1,400K stage swim from one end of Tunisia to the other, it was simply Nejib, a lone swimmer and his local crew.

Alone with their dream, they never stopped believing that his swim could generate benefits beyond a solo swim. Now, with the Tunisian media and fellow Tunisians following his daily progress from west to east, Nejib’s belief in his dream and work towards getting people in the water has proven fruitful.

With a focus on youth and a goal of generating jobs and dreams of success, Nejib has not only inspired others to carry on his stage swim across other countries in the Mideast, but he has also moved into the lead in the World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year voting.

With 9 more days to go in the online voting, this is the current status of the WOWSA Awards for Performance of the Year:

1. 1400K Swim Across Tunisia (Tunisia) – Swim of Peace – 923 votes (13%)
2. Julie Galloway (Ireland) – Round Jersey – 895 votes (13%)
3. Patagonia Extreme Cold Water Challenge (Chile/Argentina) – 800 votes (12%)
4. Selina Moreno Pasagali (Spain) – Marathon Swimming Cancer Survivor – 788 votes (11%)
5. Windermere 12-way Warriors (England) – Dozen Times Better – 550 votes (8%)
6. Bridging The Cayman Islands (Cayman Islands) – Captivating Channel Challenge – 453 votes (7%)
7. Ray Gandy (USA) – Two Days in the Bay – 358 votes (5%)
8. Japan to Taiwan Ocean Swim Challenge (Japan/Taiwan) – Charity Relay – 355 votes (5%)
9. Rebekah Boscariol (Canada) – Swimming for SickKids – 333 votes (5%)
10. The Swim (United Kingdom) – Charity Relay Across the Irish Sea – 330 votes (5%)
11. Special Olympics World Summer Game (Greece) – Global Catalyst of Good – 264 votes (4%)
12. Colleen Blair (Scotland) – Swimming Across the Graveyard of Ships – 225 votes (3%)
13. Forrest Nelson (USA) – Making the Round in Catalina – 203 votes (3%)
14. Farallon Islands Swimming Association (USA) – Renaissance In San Francisco – 201 votes (3%)
15. A Swim For The Coastlines, Un Nado Por Las Costas (Dominican Republic) – 93 votes (1%)
16. Progetto Adriatico (Italy to Albania) – Learn To Be Free – 89 votes (1%)
17. Swann Oberson (Switzerland) – Switzerland’s First World Champion – 65 votes (1%)

Voting continues until December 31st.

CLICK HERE TO VOTE

The WOWSA Award for Performance of the Year is given not necessarily to the best athlete, but is meant to honor the individuals who (1) best embody the spirit of open water swimming, (2) possess the sense of adventure, tenacity and perseverance that open water swimmers are known for, and (3) have most positively influenced the world of open water swimming in 2011.

Wherever these individuals and teams ultimately finish in the WOWSA Awards, they are all wonderful ambassadors of the sport, representing the epitome of everything that is cool, right and good about open water swimming.

Copyright © 2011 by Open Water Source