The International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame inducted 16 new members at its 2018 Honouree Award Ceremony, which was held for the second consecutive year at The Chapel, Beaumont Estate, Old Windsor, in England.
The “Class of 2018” highlighted the global nature and diversity of marathon swimming, with 13 different countries represented, more women than men, a wide range of ages and an impressive spectrum of achievements. The ceremony was attended by the largest ever gathering of Honorees. If you wanted to rub broad shoulders with stars of the marathon swimming world, this is where you needed to be. Those recognised included world champions, Olympians, record breakers, coaches and volunteers.
The following received the coveted green sash:
Cindy Cleveland (USA) – started age 23 and achieved three first-ever marathon swims in California that paved the way for hundreds of other swimmers. In 1978, she swam from Oxnard California to Anacapa Island and back (24.2 miles), in 1979 she swam around Catalina Island (48 miles), and in 1980 she crossed Monterey Bay (23 miles).
Albert Coward (GBR) – took up swimming after rugby wrecked his knees and pioneered marathon swimming in the Gulf of Naples with a long list of impressive swims between 1973 and 1989 where he owns and runs a bed and breakfast.
Pilar Geijo (ARG) – multiple winner of the FINA Open Water Swimming Grand Prix professional circuit and 35 international level podium finishes, Pilar is one of the most consistent and successful competitive marathon swimmers ever.
Martina Grimaldi (ITA) – has the speed to win over 10km and the endurance to succeed over 25km, and collected 24 international medals over her 11 year career. She has twice been FINA European Champion, once World Champion (at both 10km and 25km) and won bronze at the 2012 Olympics marathon swim.
Trent Grimsey (AUS) – is the current English Channel world record holder in a staggering time of 6hrs55 minutes. Before he set that record, Trent competed on the FINA International circuit and in 2012 was ranked world number one.
Zhang Jian (CHN) – is the first and only resident in China to swim the English Channel. In his home country, he has pioneered several marathon swims including the Qiongzhou Strait (18.3 miles), Fuxianhu Lake (21.8 miles), and Hong Kong to Macau (21.8 miles).
Linda Kaiser (USA) – is honoured for her contribution to the sport as an administrator as well as her swimming track record. She co-founded the Kaiwi (Molokai) Channel Swimmers Association and contributes to the running of the Waikiki Roughwater Swim. She was the first of only two swimmers to have swum each of the nine channels in the Hawaii Islands.
Kathrin Lammers (GER) – achieved 25 podium finishes in 51 international marathon races between 1993 and 2002 across a range of distances including the 48-mile Ile de Orleans, St Laurence River.
Mohamed Ahmed Marouf (EGY) – was active on the international swimming circuit between 1985 and 2001 and is still the record holder for the 16.4-mile Lake Zurich Marathon in 5hrs, 51 minutes and 41 seconds. He has since coached in Canada, Egypt and Saudi Arabia.
Jaimie Monahan (USA) – after completing some impressive and high speed marathon swims including Lake Geneva (42 miles) and Lake Maggiore (37 miles, first recorded non-wetsuit crossing) Jaimie turned her attention to Ice Swimming and is the first person to complete the Ice Sevens Challenge.
Rohan Dattatry More (IND) – is the youngest person (at 32) and first swimmer from Asia to complete the Oceans Seven. He’s also a Triple Crown swimmer and a recipient of the Tenzing Norgay Award from the Indian Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports.
Anna-Carin Nordin (SWE) – is the first woman and second person to complete the Oceans Seven. She’s the first person to swim from Eckerö in Finland to Grisslehamn in Sweden (15.5 miles) and has completed many other marathon swims.
Poliana Okimoto (BRA) – between 2006 and 2016 was a World Champion, Olympic Medallist and frequent podium finisher on the FINA international circuit (16 gold, 9 silver and 3 bronze medals). She has twice been named by FINA as best open water swimmer of the year.
Sarah Thomas (USA) – set a world record for the longest ever marathon swim of 80 miles in Lake Powell, swimming for 56 hours and 5 minutes, and then broke that record with a mind-blowing 104.6 mile swim in Lake Champlain, which took 67 hours and 16 minutes.
Hugh Tucker (RSA) – is recognised for his contribution to the sport as a coach and leading contributor to open water swimming in South Africa since the early 1970s, and has supported many South African swimmers with training for the English Channel. He completed his one English Channel swim in 2004.
Jacques Tuset (FRA) – adds an unusual twist to his marathon swims: he seeks out swims that allow him to “escape” from prison islands. He has “escaped” from 25 so far. He has also completed many more conventional marathon swims including the English Channel, the Gibraltar Strait and the Beltquerung Strait.