Finalists of the MSF Solo Swim of the Year 2019

The Marathon Swimmers Federation (MSF) has announced the five finalists of the MSF Solo Swim of the Year 2019. The MSF Solo Swim of the Year award recognises the most outstanding solo marathon swim of year. Public nominations produced 17 nominees. MSF members and contributors then voted to select the five finalists. In what will no doubt be a year of curtailed marathon swimming due to COVID-19, the finalists highlight the achievements of 2019, when unprecedented swims not only broke records but also captured international media attention. All five finalists were the first people to complete these swims, setting new routes and standards in marathon swimming.

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Cameron Bellamy feeding on his historic 150km Barbados to St Lucia swim

The five finalists (in alphabetical order) are:

Cameron Bellamy (RSA) for his 150km Barbados to St Lucia swim (56 hours 55 minutes) on 15 September 2019. Ratified by the Barbados Amateur Swimming Association. Read more about Cameron’s swim here.

Sarah Ferguson (RSA) for her 60km circumnavigation of Easter Island (19 hours 8 minutes) on 16 March 2019. Ratified by the Marathon Swimmers Federation.

Jessi Harewicz (CAN) for her 59km swim from Strait of Georgia, Nanaimo to Vancouver (30 hours 13 minutes) on 26 August 2019. Ratified by the Marathon Swimmers Federation.

Becca Mann (US) for her 58km ‘Maui Nui’ swim (a triple channel swim from Maui to Molokai to Lanai then back to Maui) on 19 August 2019. The swim took 20 hours 53 minutes. Ratified by the Hawaii Channel Swimming Association.

Sarah Thomas (US) for her 132km English Channel 4-way (which as well as being a first also set a new world distance record for multi-way route) on 17 September 2019. The swim took 54 hours and 10 minutes. Ratified by the Channel Swimming & Piloting Federation. Read more about Sarah’s swim here. A first-hand account of Sarah’s swim, Roaring Back from Cancer, featured in our October 2019 issue.

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Sarah on Dover beach after her iconic 4-way swim

The swims were all carried out in accordance with MSF rules, which uphold the traditions and spirit of unassisted marathon swimming. The Marathon Swimmers Federation is dedicated to developing and promoting the sport of unassisted solo marathon swimming (ultra-swimming).

The final vote is open to any MSF verified marathon swimmer. For more information see here.

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Jonathan is a year-round skins swimmer with a particular love of very cold water. He has competed in ice swimming competitions around the world. He is a qualified open water coach with a particular love of introducing new swimmers to the open water.