Sarah Thomas

Outdoor Swimmer columnists Sophie Etheridge and Sarah Thomas nominated ‘Woman of the Year’

Adaptive swimmer Sophie Etheridge and marathon swimmer Sarah Thomas – both columnists for the magazine – are among an impressive array of nominees in this year’s WOWSA awards

The World Open Water Swimming Association (WOWSA) have announced their nominees for this year’s awards and we’re thrilled our wonderful columnists Sophie Etheridge and Sarah Thomas are in the running!

Adaptive swimmer Sophie has been nominated for an astounding three awards including Woman of the Year, Performance of the Year and Adaptive Performance of the Year, while marathon swimmer Sarah Thomas has also been nominated for Woman of the Year.

For the ‘Woman of the Year’ nomination, WOWSA says of Sophie:

“In 2023, Sophie Etheridge, a British adaptive swimmer with complex regional pain syndrome, completed the longest ever solo English Channel swim in a record time of 29 hours and 4 minutes. Using only her arms due to her condition, Etheridge’s achievement also supported the STARLIGHT campaign, aimed at training swimming teachers in disability swimming.”

WOWSA says of Sarah, also for the ‘Woman of the Year’ nomination:

“Sarah Thomas is an American open water swimmer and breast cancer survivor who set a world record for the longest open-water swim in a lake in 2023. She swam the entire length of Lake Mead, the largest man-made reservoir in the United States, from the Colorado River to the Hoover Dam. The swim was about 47.5 miles long and took her 26 hours and 45 minutes to complete.”

Andy Donaldson Gibraltar Strait

Other friends of the magazine who have been nominated include Andy Donaldson (above) who completed the Oceans Seven challenge in less than a year Jonty Warneken, who became the first para swimmer to swim the North Channel solo in 2023 and, Jessika Robson, who set a record as the youngest person to swim the North Channel. Well done all of you!

The public now able to cast their vote for their chosen nominee until 31 January. To read more about the nominees and to cast your vote, click here:

Read our favourite swim stories from 2023.

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Abi writes swimming news stories and features for the Outdoor Swimmer website and manages the social media channels. She loves to swim, run, hike and SUP close to her home in Herefordshire. While she’s a keen wild swimmer, Abi is new to the world of open water events and recently completed her first open water mile. She has previously written for The Guardian, BBC Countryfile Magazine, BBC History Magazine and Ernest Journal.