(PRESS RELEASE) — Just 4 months after the Inaugural St Lucia Channel Swim event, the organizers received official word from World Open Water Swimming Association they are being nominated for the 2018 WOWSA Swimming Offering of the Year Award!
World Open Water Swimming Association (WOWSA) was founded in 2005 by Steven Munatones, the creator of Oceans 7. As Open Water swimming has been growing year after year, Mr. Munatones felt there needed to be an umbrella organization for this particular sport. As noted on the website “WOWSA offers the open water swimming community news of its sport, promotion of its heroes, education programs for its coaches, and event support with insurance and sanctioning for its races, solo swims and relays.”
There are 4 different categories awarded annually. According to the selectors, World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year are always an eclectic mix of products, events and services. The award meant to identify products and services that (1) best support and assist open water swimmers achieve their goals, (2) are innovative, unique and beneficial to open water swimmers, race directors, coaches or administrators, and (3) have made the most positive impact on the world of open water swimming during the calendar year.
Steven Munatones noted in his nomination “For creating a warm-water (25°C – 26°C) channel swim between volcanic islands with beautiful green mountains with Atlantic Ocean swells with dynamic conditions, for organizing an international event co-hosted by the Ministry of Tourism and the Department of Youth & Sports, and for establishing a swim that can become a warm water crossing that attracts top open water swimmers from around the world, the St. Lucia Channel Swim between St. Lucia and Martinique by Sue Dyson and Nathaniel Waring is a worthy nominee for the 2018 World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year.”
Receiving a nomination is an honor! Throughout the award history for the WOWSA Swimming Offering Award, there’s an average of 15 events or offerings nominated annually. Well, all except for 2012, the first year of this award, when there were 22 nominees. Previous nominees include Cork Distance Week, Marathon Swimmers’ Forum, Global Swim Series, and Swim Across America. This puts SLCS in great company! Out of all the nominees over the years, St Lucia Channel Swim is the only Caribbean event to be nominated and it’s a nominee in the inaugural year!
The organizers, Sue Dyson and Nathaniel Waring, along with the team that assisted them for 2018, are humbled and honored. According to Ms. Dyson “We are completely overwhelmed in receiving this nomination. With the thousands of open water events and offerings that take place on a yearly basis, your initial reaction is astonishment and almost a little disbelief. Then amazement and honor sets in!
Of course, we could not have received this nomination without the support of the entire local committee, Marine Police Unit, Emergency and Fire Services, SLASPA, Events Company Saint Lucia, Dept of Youth & Sports, Dept of Tourism, St Lucia Tourism Authority, Cap Maison, Captain Mike’s, St Lucia Yacht Club, the International Open Water Community, and so many more. This nomination will allow the event and open water swimming to continue to grow in Saint Lucia. It’s an honor for all of St Lucia and it should be recognized as such!”
This achievement alone speaks volumes to what awaits open water swimming and sports tourism in Saint Lucia. With support and development in the local community on the horizon, it can be expected that the organizers will continue to strive to draw regional and international attention to St Lucia’s shores.