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And the winners are

Ollie_Collin_and_RogerOlympic marathon swimmer Cassie Patten presented the winners of the 2012 H2Open Awards with their trophies at a ceremony at the Reading Lake Hotel on 28 April 2012. 

The awards, designed to celebrate achievement in open water swimming, received over 200 nominations across the eight categories. A distinguished panel of judges (see below) then reviewed all nominations and short-listed the top four in each category (see here for shortlist and here for the nominations)

Charity Swim of the Year – David Walliams for his epic 8-day 140 miles swim along the Thames through which he raised over £2 million for Sport Relief.

International Swim of the Year – Lorne Pier to Pub, a massively popular 1.2km sea swim in Australia now in its 32nd year.

Best UK Event – Nova International for the British Gas Great Swim Series, credited with driving the massive rise in popularity of open water swimming in the UK, the series attracted over 20,000 swimmers across its 5 events in 2011.

Coach of the Year – Bernd Berkhahn, German coach whose swimmers picked up all the top spots at the 2011 European Open Water Swimming Junior Championships.

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Innovation of the Year – AquaPulse from Finis, a waterproof heart rate monitor that detects the pulse in a swimmer's ear and relays that information verbally, while swimming.

Inspirational Swim of the Year – Roger Allsopp, who became the oldest person to ever swim the Channel in September 2011.

Open Water Ambassador of the Year – Colin Hill, for his work to bring Olympic marathon swimming to London and for raising the profile of open water swimming through television and other media.

Open Water Swimmer of the Year – Oliver (Ollie) Wilkinson who broke the world record for the fastest time swimming around Manhattan Island in 2011, completing the swim in 5:44:02.

Many thanks again to our judges, and also to everyone who made a nomination – without those nominations these rewards would have no meaning.

The judging panel comprised:

  • Cassandra Patten, Bronze medallist, 2008 Beijing Olympics Marathon Swim
  • Duncan Goodhew, Olympic Gold medallist and swimming ambassador
  • Steven Munatones, former 25km open water swimming world champion and founder of open water source
  • Kate Rew, founder, Outdoor Swimming Society
  • Nick Adams, President, Channel Swimming and Piloting Federation
  • Colin Hill, Marathon Swimming Technical Manager for the London 2012 Olympics

We will post pictures from the Awards presentation evening on our website shortly.