The voting for the inaugural Global Marathon Swimming Awards closed at the New Year and early last week the winners were announced. There were three categories of award for the first year, 2012:
- Female Performance of the Year
- Male Performance of the Year
- The Barra Award for the most Impressive Overall Body of Work for the Year
Who was nominated?
Category: Solo Swim of the Year (Female) - the single most outstanding solo marathon swim by a female in 2012.
The nominees were:
- Annaleise Carr - Lake Ontario crossing
- Chloe McCardel - two-way English Channel crossing
- Tina Neill - San Clemente Island to California mainland
Category: Solo Swim of the Year (Male) - the single most outstanding solo marathon swim by a male in 2012.
The nominees were:
- Trent Grimsey - English Channel world record
- Craig Lenning - Tsugaru Channel crossing
- Bill Shipp - Lake Memphremagog crossing
Category: The Barra Award - the marathon swimmer (male or female) with the most impressive body of work, considered as a whole, in 2012.
The nominees were:
- David Barra
- Darren Miller
- Anna-Carin Nordin
- Stephen Redmond
- Grace van der Byl
Why were these swimmers nominated?
Links to all the nominations can be seen here which includes links to the individual nominations AND the reasons for those nominations.
Who could vote?
Actual members of the forum can be assumed to be either marathon or aspirant marathon swimmers, or involved in the sport somehow. We believe peer recognition and the voting methods outlined below are the strength of the awards.
Why is voting restricted to Forum Members?
These awards do not have the reach, publicity nor media recognition of other awards. But those nominated and winning do have the knowledge and recognition that their efforts are respected and validated by the only people truly capable of appreciating their accomplishments; marathon swimmers, aspirant marathon swimmers, and those specifically interested in the sport, from around the world.
In most votes, voting is restricted (such as in national election where it is restricted to citizens) to those with interest in the specific subject. Otherwise vote rigging and vote-brigading for nationalistic or personal reasons, often not by the nominees become the dominant motive.
How was voting run?
Initially the awards were opened up to a nomination process. This allowed the possibility of any swimmer worldwide being nominated, the only criteria being that they followed accepted marathon swimming rules. Private nominations could be made to the Administrators (Evan & I) who subsequently published those nominations.
The nomination process was open for four weeks.
The process then moved to a finalist short list which was open from November to the end of the year.
Only signed up members of the forum could vote. Every forum member had one vote per nominee and these were cast by “liking” the nominees. At the close of voting tallies of likes were taken and panel consisting of the Administrators and members of the forum agreed on the winners.
What precautions were taken to insure the integrity of the Global Marathon Swimmer Awards?
- Care was taken to determine that no vote-brigading was carried out through any sudden influx of members.
- No ongoing tallies of votes were published during voting. Letting potential voters know of the state of the voting during a vote, is one the oldest and greatest flaws of any voting process.
- Multiple voting by members by using different devices or IP address was not possible as voting was per Forum Membership ID. Vote early, vote often may be a joke, but with the above two is the other greatest flaw of online voting.
Who were the winners?
Female Solo Swim of the Year
Tina Neill - Unprecedented 52-mile swim from San Clemente Island to the California mainland
Male Solo Swim of the Year
Trent Grimsey - English Channel world record (6 hours, 55 minutes)
The Barra Award for most impressive body of work in 2012, considered as a whole
Grace van der Byl - New Catalina Channel overall world record; new records in all 7 stages (plus overall time) of the 8 Bridges Hudson River Swim
We would like to note that the Barra Award voting was extraordinarily close. Stephen Redmond was the runner-up to Grace by a margin of only two votes.
What do the winners receive?
Unfortunately, there is no physical award, Evan and I are just two guys, we wish we had physical awards to bestow. What the winners receive, for what it’s worth and along with all the nominees, are the respect and admiration of their peers and a significant number of the global marathon swimming population for their excellence and commitment to the marathon swimming tradition.
These are true swimming icons for us all to recognise, to celebrate and where possible, to attempt to emulate. They each embody the ethos of true marathon swimming, as indeed did all the nominees.
We congratulate them all, and thank the Forum Members for participating in the inaugural Awards.
(We are open to improvements and suggestions for next year).
It’s a water world. Swim it.