Pinoy Aquaman nominated to WOWSA ‘Man of the Year’ award

SURIGAO CITY (MindaNews/11 December) — For pioneering solo-swims across islands in the Philippines, triathlete-lawyer Ingemar “Pinoy Aquaman” Macarine has been nominated to the World Open Water Swimming Association (WOWSA) “Man of the Year” award.

Macarine, 39, a marine conservation advocate told MindaNews Thursday he couldn’t believe he was nominated to the prestigious award.

On its website, WOWSA, a renowned swimming organization based in Huntington, California in te US said “Macarine has transitioned from a middle-aged triathlete to an inspirational open water swimmer with a large national fan base and big dreams.  He has significantly energized the Filipino open water swimming community with his unprecedented several solo marathon swims throughout his native Philippines over the last 3 years.”

The post cited that “in 2015, he completed the 10.5-km Hinatuan Passage in 5 hours 8 minutes, the 19.9-km Cebu Channel crossing in 7 hours 45 minutes, and the 12.9-km Saranggani Bay while promoting local areas for tourism and clean sea.”

It added: “For his enthusiastic love of open water swimming adventures, for devising all types of unprecedented crossings in a country where many thousands of more pioneering swims are possible, and for his dream of attempting many more ocean and channel swims, Ingemar Patiño Macarine is a worthy nominee for the 2015 World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year,.”

Macarine, currently the president of Surigao Runners Club said he is among the 12 famous nominees, and the first from Southeast Asia.

WOWSA will give “The Man of The Year” award to the nominee who will garner the highest number of votes on its online voting.

Cutoff date and time for online voting is January 1, 2016 at 12:00 am (California time).

“Official results will be announced on January 1, 2016 at The Daily News of Open Water Swimming,” WOWSA said on its website.

Early last month, the Pinoy Aquaman was named by international conservation group World Wildlife Fund for Nature as one its environmental heroes this year.

WWF said Macarine has raised environmental awareness by “pioneering solo channel swimming in the Philippines to promote marine conservation”.

Macarine, who hails from Surigao City, did endurance open-water swims in some of the dangerous channels around the country and in the US.

In April last year, he swam from Alcatraz Island Penitentiary to San Francisco City in California–the first Filipino to do so. He became the first Filipino in history to swim across Chesapeake Bay from Bay Bridge Marina to Sandy Point Park Beach in Annapolis, Maryland last June 8.

Fellow triathletes and several endurance swimmers in the country have urged Filipinos to vote for the swimming marathoner.

“Anyone can cast their vote on the website,” John Cubillan, fellow triathlete-lawyer in Surigao City said.

One can vote by accessing the link

Aside from Macarine the other nominees are: Antonio Argüelles, Channel Swimmer Redux of Mexico; Attila Mányoki, Prolific Ocean Swimmer of Hungary; Ben Hooper, Transoceanic Challenger of Great Britain;  Benoît Lecomte, Transoceanic Adventurer of France/U.S.A.; Christof Wandratsch, Ice Swimming Record Holder of Germany;

Evgenij Pop Acev, FINA Grand Prix Champion of Macedonia; James Tout, Long-overdue Triple Crowner of U.S.A.; Lewis Pugh, Ocean Advocate of Great Britain; Rohans More, Oceans Seven Adventurer of India; Rostislav Vítek, Ice Swimmer Extraordinaire of Czech Republic; and Simone Ruffini, Olympian & World Champion from Italy. (Roel Catoto/MindaNews)