Solo Swims of Ontario Inc.

Cliff Lumsdon Award - 2009

Brian Keith & Neville Lewis

Below is the citation that was read at the 2009 meeting of Swim Ontario where the Cliff Lumsdon award of SSO was presented to Brian & Neville.

Brian Keith and Neville Lewis have both been involved in navigating marathon swimming attempts for the past 20 years. Working together, they have navigated the majority of Vicki Keith's numerous monumental swims as well as the historic swims of John Munro, Carlos Costa, Jenna Lambert and Natalie Lambert (to name but a few).

Throughout that time, they have drawn heavily on their backgrounds - Brian as a Canadian Forces military pilot and Neville from the Royal British Navy - employing their acquired skills to ensure the best route possible for the swimmers they guided in various marathon swimming attempts.

Brian and Neville work closely together as a team, plotting the swimmer's course every 15 minutes in order to adjust the course of the swimmer when currents or wind direction cause a shift in the swimmer's route.

Recently, Brian and Neville began using a program created to direct land traffic and modified it so that it could be adapted to track and guide swimmers engaged in marathon swimming attempts in our lakes. This technology will make it easier for less experienced navigators to plot and maintain the optimum route of their swimmer in the water and thereby save distance and effort, maximizing their swimmer's potential for success.

Both Brian and Neville have stomachs of iron, but anyone can occasionally get sea sick while travelling in neutral gear across a lake for most of a day in three metre swells. Yet, it is not uncommon to see either Brian or Neville take a fresh breath of air, race to the boat cabin, plot the next segment of the course, tweaking it if needed, make all the necessary adjustments, and come f1ying back topside looking very much green and woozy. Although most people will know how debilitating and awful it is to feel sea sick, this doesn't stop either of them from making that dreaded trek to the plotting table again, yet another 15 minutes later, to ensure that the swimmer has every possible advantage especially in bad weather and rough water conditions.

Brian and Neville have freely and generously shared their collective expertise over the years with designated Swim Masters, swim crews and Solo Swims executive. Most recently, this past June, they both gave valuable and informative presentations at SSO's annual marathon swimming workshop, held this year, at the Variety Village sports complex.

Together, Brian and Neville have been simply indispensable in facilitating the successes of the many solo marathon swimmers' that they have guided through our lakes over the years and have thereby contributed greatly to the raising of many thousands of dollars by these swimmers for a wide variety of worthy non-profit groups and charitable causes.

These two men have been the "guiding angels" of many a successful swim and are most worthy recipients of the Cliff Lumsdon Award and of Swim Ontario's subsequent recognition. Solo Swims of Ontario is both proud and honoured to present them to you.

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Created: 23rd February 2016
Last Updated: 14th August 2019