There is an undeniable, endless joy that emanates from deep within the soul of Roger Finch as he journeys on his globe-trotting mission of open water swimming, crewing and volunteering.
While Finch literally travels the world, smiling, swigging and swimming to his heart’s desire, his efforts were especially appreciated this year, a year in which the South Africa experienced a potentially debilitating stroke.
Out of nowhere came a stroke that led to his hospitalization. But three weeks later, Finch was in the water again with a new lease on life.
Despite a disappointment of being in New Zealand for a Cook Strait crossing that never got started due to inclement weather, Finch was still able to get in a Robben Island crossing in Cape Town and crewed for many friends and colleagues on their own marathon challenges and channel crossings.
His quick recovery enabled him to complete an 8-mile Boston Light Swim and organize and coach at the Varne Ridge English Channel Swim Camp. He raised money for a new wheelchair for Ros Hardiman, a physically challenged English Channel swimmer.
From his good nature and strong mindset to his consistently high spirits and humble generosity, Finch was nominated for the 2016 World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year among the following inspirational individuals:
1. Roger Finch (South Africa)
2. Seti Afoa (Samoa)
3. Tomi Stefanovski (Macedonia)
4. Edoardo Stochino (Italy)
5. Ferry Weertman (Netherlands)
6. Nejib Belhedi (Tunisia)
7. Ger Kennedy (Ireland)
8. Alex Kostich (USA)
9. Masayuki Moriya (Japan)
10. Colin Hill (Great Britain)
11. Ingemar Patiño Macarine (Philippines)
12. Lewis Pugh (Great Britain)
13. Christof Wandratsch (Germany)
Copyright © 2016 by World Open Water Swimming Association