2019 WOWSA 50 Most Adventurous Open Water Men
21st January, 2019
Every year the World Open Water Swimming Association (WOWSA) creates two lists of the World’s 50 Most Adventurous Open Water Men and Women. The awards, led by US coach Steven Munatones, are a click list of feats involving adventure, athleticism, endurance and cold – and an introduction to hardline clubs you may never have known existed: the 24 hour club, the Zero Ice Mile, the Ice Seven Challenge and the 2fer0 Club, an exclusive club of 5 who have completed a 2km swim in 0 degree water and air temperature below 0.
Listed alphabetically rather than in order of merit, the top 50 includes Ross Edgley, who completed the Great British Swim (a 157 day 2000 mile circumnavigation of Great Britain) in 2018, and Bangladesh’s most famous river swimmer, Kshitindraw Chandra, a man after OSS founder’s Kate Rew’s heart (“”I didn’t have much idea about the beauty of this country until I swam dozens of its rivers,” he says).
“Congratulations to all those involved,’ says Kate Rew on behalf of The Outdoor Swimming Society. ‘what you’ve achieved, the strength and imagination you’ve shown, and what you inspire others to do, is incredible.’
The 2019 World’s 50 Most Adventurous Open Water Men list (alphabetized by last name) is as follows:
1. Evgenij Pop Acev, professional marathon swimmer from Macedonia
2. Khitindra Chandra Baishya, marathon swimmer from Bangladesh. Khitindra Baisya favours head up breaststroke and retired after a 157km 2018 river swim. Read more.
5. David Barra, marathon/channel swimmer and event organizer from the USA
6. John Batchelder, butterflying marathon/channel swimmer from USA
7. Nejib Belhedi, marathon/stage/boat pull swimmer from Tunisia
8. Cameron Bellamy, marathon/channel swimmer from South Africa
9. Alexander Brylin, channel ice swimmer from Russia
10. Salvatore Cimmino, amputee advocate and marathon/extreme swimmer from Italy
11. Jean Craven, extreme swimmer and event organizer from South Africa [shown above at 5915 meters in the Andes]
12. Ned Denison, IMSHOF administrator and marathon/channel/ice swimmer from Ireland
13. Craig Dietz, disabled open water swimmer from USA
14. Ross Edgley, stage/marathon swimmer from Great Britain. In 2018 Ross completed the Great British Swim. We are proud to say he is now an OSS Ambassador.
15. Sven Elfferich, ice swimmer from the Netherlands
16. Fergil Hesterman, ice swimmer and event organizer from the Netherlands
17. Simon Holliday, marathon swimmer from Hong Kong
18. Hudson Brothers, 3 wild swimmers from Great Britain
19. Avram Iancu, extreme stage swimmer from Romania
20. Howard James, channel/marathon swimmer from Great Britain. Among Howard’s challenges are the record he holds for doing the latest English Channel swim in 2016 – in 13 degree water.
21. Stephen Junk, channel/marathon swimmer from Australia
22. Henri Kaarma, event organizer and ice swimmer from Estonia
23. Ger Kennedy, ice/underwater/extreme swimmer from Ireland. Ger’s challenges include being a member of the 2fer0 Club, an exclusive club of 5 people who have completed a 2km swim in 0 degree water and air temperature below 0, completing a Zero Ice Mile (a mile in less than 1 degree) and inventing the Ice Seven challenge with Steven Munatones (ice miles in 7 continents, including one Zero Ice Mile).
24. Josef Köberl, winter/ice swimmer and event organizer from Austria
25. Ion Lazarenco Tiron, marathon/channel/extreme stage swimmer from Republic of Moldava
26. Benoît Lecomte, extreme stage swimmer from France/USA
27. Diego López Dominguez, marathon/channel/extreme/ice swimmer from Spain
28. Pádraig Mallon, escort pilot, event organizer and marathon/channel/ice swimmer from Ireland
29. Ingemar Patiño Macarine, channel/marathon swimmer from the Philippines
30. Andrew Malinak, administrator and cold water/marathon/channel swimmer from the USA
31. Ken Mignosa, marathon/channel swimmer from the USA
32. Rohan More, marathon/channel swimmer from India. In 2018 Rohan More became the youngest swimmer to complete the Ocean’s Seven challenge – and also the first from India.
33. Lynton Mortensen, marathon/channel swimmer from Australia
34. Greg O’Connor, marathon/channel/ice swimmer and event organizer from the USA
35. Matías Ola, event organizer and ice/extreme swimmer from Argentina
36. Thomas Pembroke, channel swimmer from Australia
37. Lewis Pugh OIG, ocean advocate and ice/extreme/channel/marathon/stage swimmer from Great Britain/South Africa. In 2018 Lewis completed The Long Swim
38. Stephen Rouch, marathon swimmer from USA
39. Adrian Sarchet, marathon/channel swimmer from Guernsey
40. Dan Simonelli, coach/guide/observer and marathon/channel swimmer from the USA
41. Albert Sobirov, ice swimmer from Russia
42. Petar Stoychev, marathon/channel/ice/Olympic swimmer from Bulgaria
43. Adherbal Treidler de Oliveira, marathon swimmer and event organizer from Brazil
44. Andy Truscott, marathon/channel swimmer from Jersey. Ultra-marathon swimmer Andrew Truscott became the first person to complete a double non-stop round Jersey swim in 2018 – a twenty-two hour challenge that saw him cover almost 80 miles.
45. Jacques Tuset, prison island/channel/marathon swimmer from France
46. Maarten van der Weijden, Olympic champion, extreme/marathon swimmer from the Netherlands
47. Cristian Vergara, extreme/marathon/channel/ice swimmer and event organizer from Chile
48. Christof Wandratsch, marathon/channel/ice swimmer and event organizer from Germany
49. Martyn Webster, marathon/channel swimmer from Great Britain
50. Bill Welzien, marathon swimmer and event organizer from the USA
Created by WOWSA: The World Open Water Swimming Association.
Kate Rew, January 2019