Two CT women nominated for 2011 World Open Water Swimmer of the Year.

Elizabeth Fry and Marcy MacDonald both are nominated for this prestigious award. Please visit www.openwaterswimming.com for more information about both and to cast your vote

Westport resident and record-shattering open water swimmer Elizabeth Fry and Marcy MacDonald (USA) – Freestyling Foot Doctor  have been nominated for the 2011 World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year.

The nomination recognizes Fry, 52, for “her dynamic spirit in helping others realize their open water dreams while she realizes her own potential in some of the most difficult swims in the world,” according to the sponsor of the World Open Water Swimming Association (WOWSA) awards, Open Water Source. In particular, the nomination recognizes Fry for the two “double crossings” she swam in 2011.

Last June, she set the double crossing record and became the only person to complete the unprecedented 35-mile Ederle Swim, swimming from Manhattan Island to New Jersey, and back. Her time of 11 hours, 5 minutes set the standard for both men and women, young and old. She then became the oldest person to complete the 42-mile double crossing of the English Channel in 24 hours, 39 minutes, with her return journey faster than the outgoing swim from England to France. This was her third attempt to complete the two-way crossing of the iconic Channel, having previously accomplished five successful one-way crossings. She wrapped up her 2011 season with a 13 hour, 25 minute, 25-mile crossing from Vermont, U.S.A. to Québec, Canada.

In addition, Fry has served as the long-standing director of the 25K Swim Across the Sound, one of the nation’s largest open water swimming events, which has raised millions of dollars for the St. Vincent’s Medical Center Foundation.

Fry trains with the Westport Swim Club, a Connecticut Masters team, which is coached by Staples Girls Swim coach Michael Laux. She began her swimming career in Long Beach, New York and attended Camp Akomak, a swim camp in Canada. As a teen in Westport, she swam for the Westport Weston Family Y Water Rats and Staples High School swim teams. Fry attended college at the University of Connecticut, where she was awarded the John Squires Award for the most improved swimmer as a freshman while earning a degree in Chemistry, and earned graduate degrees at Fordham University.

About the WOWSA Award

According to Open Water Source, the WOWSA award is meant to honor not necessarily the best athlete, but the individual who best embodies the spirit of open water swimming; possesses the sense of adventure, tenacity and perseverance for which open water swimmers are known; and has most positively influenced the world of open water swimming in 2011. This year’s award nominees include twelve women from nine countries. Awards also are given for Man of the Year and Performance of the Year.

Voting takes place online at Open Water Swimming from November 1 to December 31. The winner will be announced and honored on January 1 at the Global Open Water Swimming Conference.