2019 WOWSA 50 Most Adventurous Open Water Women

21st January, 2019

Every year the World Open Water Swimming Association (WOWSA), publishes a list of the World’s 50 Most Adventurous Women, featuring 50 “audacious women who have performed courageously well in open bodies of water”.

“The 2019 list only includes contemporary aquatic adventurers and focuses on women who have done or escorted unprecedented  open water swims of note in risk-inherent channels, lakes, seas, oceans, or one winter swims, ice swims, stage swims or marathon swims, women who have proven themselves in both high-level competitions and solo swims, and women who have safely guided many channel or marathon swimmers of all abilities in rough waters or cold waters or in extreme conditions,” says WOWSA.

Their achievements may introduce you to a new world of clubs and routes, among them the Triple Crown of Open Water Swims, 24 hour club, the Half Century Club, and – a rare moment of whimsy in a serious set of swims – The Triple Crown Of Lake Monster Swims – marathon swims in lakes renown for their monsters (Loch Ness, Lake Tahoe and Lac Memphrémagog).

The women in the 2019 World’s 50 Most Adventurous Open Water Women list are presented alphabetically by last name. The Outdoor Swimming Society warmly congratulates all swimmers on their achievements, attempts and inclusion in this list.

1. Amy Appelhans Gubser, marathon/channel swimmer from the USA
2. Hania Bakuniak, ice/channel/marathon swimmer from Poland. In 2018 22 year old Hanna broke the record for an ice km.

Hanna Bakuniak

3. Abhejali Bernardová, channel/marathon swimmer from the Czech Republic
4. Colleen Blair, marathon/channel swimmer from Scotland
5. Caroline Block, marathon/channel swimmer from the USA
6. Carina Bruwer, marathon/channel/charity event swimmer from South Africa. Capetown based Carina is a celebrated flautist who specialises in ‘cold, rough water’, completing marathon swims and channel crossings.

Carina Bruwer

7. Charlotte Brynn, marathon/channel/ice swimmer and coach from New Zealand/USA.

8. Devon Clifford, marathon/channel/open water swimmer from the USA
9. Olive Conroy, ice/winter swimmer from Ireland
10. Ana Marcela Cunha, professional marathon swimmer from Brazil
11. Anna DeLozier, ice/winter swimmer from the USA
12. Nadezhda Dudina, ice/winter swimmer from Russia
13. Abigail Fairman, marathon swimmer from the USA
14. Elizabeth Fry, marathon/channel swimmer and event organizer from USA
15. Pat Gallant-Charette, channel/marathon swimmer from the USA
16. Pilar Geijo, professional marathon swimmer from Argentina
17. Elena Guseva, ice swimmer from Russia
18. Ines Hahn, ice/winter/professional marathon swimmer from Germany
19. Jessi Harewicz, marathon/channel swimmer from Canada
20. Mariel Hawley Dávila, marathon/channel/cross-border swimmer from Mexico. In 2018 Mariel became the first woman in her country to complete The “Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming”. Members of the Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming has successfully completed three marathon swim. One, 20.9 miles (33.7 km) across the English Channel between England and France. Two, 20.2 miles (32.5 km) across the Catalina Channel between Santa Catalina Island and the Southern California mainland in the United States. Three, the Manhattan Island Marathon Swim or the 20 Bridges Circumnavigation Swim of Manhattan, a 28.5-mile circumnavigation around Manhattan Island.

Mariel Hawley

Mariel Hawley
21. Bárbara Hernández Huerta, winter/extreme swimmer from Chile. Nickname: Ice Siren. Barbara specialises in glacier swims.

22. Edie Hu, marathon swimmer from Hong Kong. Edie set a record for swimming around Hong Kong Island in 2018, making the distance in 12 hrs 37 min 43 sec. The previous record, set in 1976, was just over 17 hours.

23. Lori King, marathon/channel swimmer from the USA
24. Tita Llorens, marathon/channel swimmer from Spain
25. Marcy MacDonald, DPM, marathon/channel swimmer from the USA
26. Elina Makïnen, ice/winter swimmer from Finland
27. Angela Maurer, professional marathon swimmer and Olympian from Germany
28. Chloë McCardel, marathon/channel swimmer and coach from Australia
29. Sally Minty-Gravett, marathon/channel swimmer and coach from Great Britain (Jersey). We’re pretty sure we saw Sally at the Dart10k last year, but what we didn’t know is that when she’s not taking it easy on the Dart, she’s achieving all sorts of marathon swims, from a channel 2-way to five channels overall.

Sally Minty Gravett

30. Jaimie Monahan, ice/winter/marathon/channel swimmer from the USA
31. Molly Nance, marathon/channel swimmer from the USA
32. Nuala Moore, marathon/ice swimmer, second, author and lecturer from Ireland
33. Angel More, marathon/channel swimmer from the USA
34. Victoria Mori, ice/winter/professional marathon swimmer from Argentina
35. Anna-Carin Nordin, Oceans Seven/ice swimmer from Sweden
36. Conny Prasser, Iron Icewoman and ice swimmer from Germany
37. Cheryl Reinke, marathon swimmer from the USA
38. Vera Rivard, marathon swimmers from the USA
39. Kate Robarts, marathon/channel/winter/relay swimmer from Great Britain. Kate is a marathon swimmer from Cornwall who has successfully completed The Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming and is a member of the Half Century Club  (marathon swimmers over 50).

Kate Robarts

40. Susan Simmons, marathon swimmer with Multiple Sclerosis from Canada
41. Kate Steels-Fryatt, polar ice miler and ice/winter swimmer from Great Britain
42. Sarah Thomas, marathon/extreme swimmer from the USA
43. Nora Toledano Cadena, marathon/channel/cross-border swimmer from Mexico
44. Wendy Trehiou, marathon/channel swimmer from Great Britain (Jersey)
45. Mandy Uys, marathon/stage swimmer from South Africa
46. Samantha Whelpton, winter/ice swimmer from South Africa
47. Sabrina Wiedmer, ice/winter/marathon/channel swimmer from Switzerland
48. Kyra Sterre Wijnker, channel/ice swimmer from the Netherlands
49. Julia Wittig, ice/winter swimmer from Germany
50. Paula Yankauskas, winter/marathon swimmer from the USA

Huge congratulations to all swimmers on their numerous achievements.

  • World Open Water Swimming Association (WOWSA).

Kate Rew, January 2019