Thanks to our Ocean Ambassadors who are helping to spread the word about the environment through sports and other activities in their daily lives that reach a wide range of the community. Their excellence in athletics or other personal achievements has made them leaders in their respective specialties, and we are honored to have them as Ocean Ambassadors who support our efforts to improve the health of the ocean.
One of the examples of the amazing feats our Ocean Ambassadors undertake, is the World Record Free Dive by William Trubridge on May 2nd, 2016, at 122m in 4min 24 seconds, unassisted.... breaking his own world record. This is all in the name of sports and the environment, helping to protect the Hector's and Maui's Dolphins, and reducing plastic pollution. Read More......
NCAA All American Water Polo Player - U.C. Berkeley
Johhny is a first team All-America, All-NCAA and All- Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) water polo player at U.C. Berkeley, which won the NCAA Championships in 2016 with Johnny’s leading Cal’s scoring in the tournament. He is only a sophomore, and emerged on the national scene immediately as a freshman in 2015, earning the MPSF Newcomer of the Year Award after leading the team and ranking second in the conference with 74 goals. This earned him second team All-America and second team All-MPSF honors, becoming the second Bear in a row (Luca Cupido) to win the top newcomer award.
Johnny is studying business, and almost went on a track to become a professional surfer, so he knows the ocean well, and it is this appreciation which has led him to be excited to be an Ocean Ambassador. He attended Harvard-Westlake High School in Los Angeles where he was a four-time All-American and 2015 CIF Division I player of the year, and voted 2014 co-player of the year by the Los Angeles Daily News.
Olympic Gold Medal Swimmer
Alain is a French swimmer from Aubagne, Bouches-du-Rhône. He was coached by Denis Auguin, and his international career peaked at the highest level between 2005 and 2012 at two Olympic Games and a world record in the 100m freestyle. In 2008, during the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, he became the 1stFrench Olympic champion in 100 metres freestyle in 47.21seconds, ahead of Eamon Sullivan and the duo Jason Lezak – César Cielo. He was awarded three medals at 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. In 2012, he became Olympic champion of 4x100m freestyle relay team which beat the United States.
He announced his official retirement from swimming after the 2012 Olympic Games in London, and today, he is considered to be one of the greatest French athletes, thanks to his 2 Olympic titles. Since 2008, the Nuit de l’eau, and event sponsored by EDF and its historical sponsor Alain Bernard, helps the general public to discover variety of aquatic activities, while donating funds to improve access to drinkable water and sanitation in schools in Togo, West Africa. Being one of Ocean Recovery Alliance's ambassadors for ocean protection is completely in line with his current engagements, and he is excited to expand awareness via his speaking and athletic ventures in the years to come.
Daredevil Distance Swimmer
Martin is one of the world’s leading long-distance swimmers and recipient of five Guinness World Records. He is recognized as the “Big River Man” for swimming world-renowned rivers including the Amazon, Yangtze, Mississippi, Danube and Parana.
Fishman, Human Fish, The Craziest Man in the World, The Big River Man - Martin has been named all of these while accomplishing the impossible as a professional marathon swimmer. Born in Slovenia in 1954, Martin taught himself how to swim at the age of six as a means to escape from his home life. Soon, he was defying the expectations of spectators, and has continued to do so by breaking long distance swimming records around the world.
So what gives him the ability to swim for days on end without stopping? It’s his “super powers.” In Stan Lee’s Superhuman’s, it was discovered that Martin doesn’t get fatigued as normal humans do. While this difference gives him the ability to swim for longer, it is his determination to promote friendship, peace, and clean water that pushes him to go further than anyone ever has. When it comes to swimming, Martin comes second only to creatures with gills and fins.
World Record Holder Circumnavigation Sailor
Nick is an Australian yachtsman/professional sailor, adventurer and business entrepreneur. He has competed at multiple world elite level sailing events, including the America's Cup. Nick has circumnavigated the globe three times under sail, and established a new, outright World Sailing Speed Record for the fastest global circumnavigation in 2002 (the Jules Verne Trophy). His career boasts 14 various World Sailing Speed Records and one Guinness World Record for becoming the first / fastest and still the only person to have windsurfed non-stop and un-assisted across the notorious Bass Strait in a time of 22 hours and 11 minutes.
In the year 2000 Nick was awarded the prestigious Australian Sports Medal in recognition to his achievements in sailing. Nick is an active speaker/presenter. His story and delivery are supported by some incredible images and footage of extreme conditions from the most remote corners of our planet. He is engaging and inspiring. He is the Author of 'Chasing the Dawn,' and the recipient of career highlight documentary 'Sea of Dreams'. Currently based in Hong Kong and tackling the frontier of new ocean challenges and records in the region.
Open Water Swimmer, Hong Kong
Singha was born in Thailand and raised in Hong Kong, and has been interested in swimming for most of his life and learning since he was only one year old. When Singha was 6 years old, he had his first major triathlon and indoor pool swimming competitions. His determination to focus solely on ocean swimming was when he had won his first triathlon competition. He felt that instead of swimming in an indoor pool, he preferred to swim freely with the natural waves. Since then, Singha has been slowly dominating Hong Kong open water swimming by breaking a record swimming swimming 15km solo in 3 hours and 4 minutes at the age of 16. He has won the local long distance swims of the Clean Half Extreme Marathon Swim, the Cold Half, was 2nd in the Taipei Presidential Cup, and third in the Xiamen Open Water Swim. He was selected to go to Portugal to attend the Olympics qualifiers in 2016, and although he was not able to make the Olympics in Rio, he is still the first Hong Kong swimmer to make that level of competition in open water swimming, and is still hopeful he will make it for 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
As an ambassador he hopes he will be able to raise awareness to protect our ocean, as it is his passion to continue swimming and be a proud user of our waters.
Hong Kong Team K1 Paddler - Ocean Lover, and Olympic Hopeful
Ryan has been a paddler for most of his life. He was raised in Hong Kong with a family that enjoys watersports, and he started paddling in the ocean at a young age. When he was 12 he took his passion for kayaking into the next level and started training for sprint kayaking. He is now a Hong Kong representative for the discipline 200m, 500m, and 1000m on the K1. In the past two seasons of racing, he has achieved great results for his age category and was 1st in the 200m and first runner-up for the 500m sprints. He is currently the youngest sprint kayak paddler representing Hong Kong.
For a school project, Ryan created a usable plastic bottle kayak out of hundreds of bottles from his school to raise awareness about problems of plastic waste in the ocean, and to give students in Renaissance College new ideas of what to do with plastic waste. “My project was a success, as it innovated students in school to be involved in plastic related problems around bodies of water in Hong Kong.”
Four-Time Olympian, Gold Medalist and Tri-Sport Competitor
Sheila is an American Olympic Gold Medalist in the 4x200 meters freestyle relay from the 1996 Atlanta Games and the 2004 ITU Triathlon World Champion. Sheila is the smallest swimmer (159 cm) to win Olympic gold since 1920. She is also the only woman in the world to have competed in three different sports (swimming, triathlon and modern pentathlon) in four consecutive Olympics (1996, 2000, 2004, 2008). Now retired from competition, Sheila conducts swim clinics based around the propulsion theories in her book, Call The Suit, and is a motivational speaker for corporations, schools, and community organizations.
Shu Juan Guo (Monica)
Sponsored Surfer, China
Shu Juan Guo, known to all as Monica, grew up in the beautiful town of Yangshuo, Guilin, China. Yangshuo is known for its outdoor sports such as rock climbing, hiking, rafting and more. This is where Monica got her taste for adventure and excitement as well as a keen interest in the natural world from watching animal shows with her dad on TV every night. It is from these shows that she initially developed her love of the ocean.
Before she started surfing she worked different jobs including as a model, real estate broker and adventure guide. It was because of the latter that she in 2008 moved to Hainan. Here she instantly developed a passion for surfing and the calm it produced within her. On the waves nothing can trouble Monica and it has become an integral part of her life. In 2009 she met Darci Liu and they instantly became best friends. Gradually Monica became a pro surfer along with Darci, and later teaching surfing as well. Being a surfer Monica bears tremendous respect towards the ocean and believes that we all need to share the responsibility of protecting it and all the life forms that live within it, a lesson she is vividly passing onwards to her surf students.
Today she runs Tubang Travel & Property Management with her partner. At the same time she is doing lots of promotions and has appeared in numerous magazines including French Marie Claire, Lodown News along with numerous television appearances. She is very excited to be an ocean ambassador, learning new skills and hopefully spreading knowledge of the ocean with the world.
World Record Holder – Free Diving
William learnt to swim at the age of 18 months, and was freediving to 15m by the age of 8, however he did not begin serious training for the sport until 2003. In 2004 he became the first non-Italian instructor at Umberto Pelizzari's prestigious Apnea Academy. Since then he has trained extensively with Pelizzari, and written the translations of 'Manual of Freediving' (Idelson & Gnocchi) and the Apnea Academy Instructors Manual.
William holds the world record in the discipline of Unassisted Constant Weight (no fins), and can dive to over 100 meters (330 feet) without the use of fins, rope, weight, or any other form of assistance. In 2010 he also broke the world record in the discipline Free Immersion, with 116m (380 feet). He currently trains in Tenerife, at Tenerife Top Training Center during the summer and Dean's Blue Hole in the winter.
“As a freediver, the ocean is my playground and my church. Seeing it become gradually choked by plastic detritus is heart-wrenching and I couldn't stand by and let it happen. In the Bahamas, we try to collect plastic from the beaches, and try to educate the next generation that throwaway plastics are not acceptable, and 100% recycling is a moral responsibility. The ocean is the life blood of our planet, and as the planet's stewards we are responsible for keeping it clean." www.verticalblue.net
Dominican ultra-distance swimmer in open waters, Marcos is the first and only swimmer that has united all five continents in the world by swimming.
Marcos was born in January 12, 1975 in Santo Domingo, as a child he was diagnosed with chronic asthma. At the age of 6 he began swimming advised by his doctors as a way to fight his condition. Destiny was outlined. Through this sport he discovered how to handle adversities and self-improvements. He found in open water swimming a way to combine his love for the sea and his passion for long lasting and endurance sports.
Pushing the limits of human capacity and taking his sports career to the highest level, Marcos is one of the few distance open water swimmers of the world that has successfully combined his presence in the most prestigious professional competitions of this sport on an international level with stunning solo crossings that would be unimaginable for many. To Swim a total of 22 hours nonstop when he executed two complete swims around Manhattan island in New York, or to crown himself as champion taking the first place in one of the longest competitions worldwide, river Bhagirathi in India with a total of 81 kilometers.
Inspiring in each one of his strokes, in 2010 he got the world to praise the motto "I swim with Marcos" to support the attainment of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals. He unified the five continents of the world while fulfilling an extensive agenda of social work in which he touched the hearts of hundreds of thousands of people. This made him worthy of the Man of the Year Award from the World Open Water Swimming Association given during the Global Open Water Swimming Conference in 2011. Nominated for the prestigious prize Prince of Asturias of the Sports in Spain, he is also presently serving as a Good Will Ambassador for the Development Program of the United Nations (PNUD-RD). He is a Good Will Ambassador of the Dominican Republic for his outstanding sports career, his humanitarian role, and for being a worthy promoter of his country both inside and out of the sports area.
Sponsored Surfer, China
Darcy, or Liu Dan in Chinese, is China's first "Pro" surfer and represents a growing movement of Chinese surfers embracing the sport in the warm waters surrounding Hainan Island in the South China Sea. With an infectious personality, she has emerged as an ambassador to the sport of surfing in China. She actively sets an example for the next generation of surfers - young and old - who learn from both her lessons as an instructor, and from watching her gracefully maneuver through the often stormy waves that pound Hainan's coastline during the Typhoon season.
Born nearly 600 miles from the nearest ocean in the rural mining and farming town of Enshi, Darci grew up studying ballet in an arts academy in Wuhan until the age of 18. Her training as a ballerina instilled her with a style and grace of movement that is evident in her approach to surfing. Despite only learning to swim at the age of 18 in a swimming pool in Guangzhou, she has embraced a fearless attitude towards facing new challenges in the water - just as she did when learning new vaults and acrobatics in dance school.
Her years of disciplined training as a ballerina give her a focus and determination in and out of the water that propels her to continuously improve her skills and conquer new challenges, while at the same time providing a sterling example of the 'aloha' spirit for a nation where interest in surfing is still in its infancy.
OC1 Paddler and Ocean Lover - Kailua,Oahu.
Anna has spent a lifetime in and on the water, starting on a swim team at age four, and competing at US nationals at 18. For the past 9 years she has applied swim conditioning, technique and discipline to Outrigger Canoe Paddling. Anna has just completed her 4th season of OC1 racing in Hawaii. Each year her goal was to race all of the coastal races on Oahu, and all the major channel crossings between Maui, Molokai, and Oahu. During the January - May 2012 season alone, Anna competed in 12 OC1 races totaling over 230 miles of racing - Goal Completed.
She also loves to take part in open water swimming events. The North Shore Race Series and Waikiki Rough Water Swim are some of her favorites in Hawaii, as are the Sheko Challenge and ‘The Clean Half’ in Hong Kong.
As an ambassador for Ocean Recovery Alliance it is Anna’s goal to ‘use less now’ and challenges herself to race and train single use plastic free. She talks constantly with other competitors and race organizers about reducing plastic at the consumer source. By bringing attention to the choices made on a daily basis and how avoiding single use plastic products can reduce the plastic in the ocean Anna feels the individual impact will add up to make a difference.
Anna’s upcoming goals include expanding her focus into other ocean disciplines, such as surf ski, stand up paddling and paddle board - all with Ocean Recovery Alliance logo boldly displayed on her equipment.
Film Maker and Musician
Gary is a filmmaker and musician with a passion for the ocean and environmental sustainability. Born in France, he moved to Bali at a young age with his family. Witnessing the island's conversion from a verdant tropical paradise, to a congested playground for the world's economic elite, with trash overflowing to it's once picturesque beaches, he founded Make A Change Bali at 14-years old: a non-profit organizing aimed at educating the local community about the effects of plastic waste and the importance of sustainable waste management.
He now resides in New York, and continues to run his activities via film and music to create the biggest impact. His latest project THE RECLAMATION is a 40-min documentary exploring Tolak Reklamasi, one of the biggest environmental movements in the history of Indonesia.
Stand Up Paddler and Ocean Lover
Kacie Wallace is an artist, attorney, mediator, athlete, educator and ocean-lover. She is a professor of law and supervising attorney at North Carolina Central University School of Law. She also teaches conflict management courses at Duke University and the Rotary Center for International Studies in Peace and Conflict Resolution. Kacie serves as a consultant to film production companies, institutions of higher education and national sports teams on issues of conflict resolution and crisis intervention. She is a mediator for the United States Olympic Committee and recently served as the ombudsman at the 2011 Para PanAm Games in Guadalajara, Mexico.
Kacie’s passions for all things “ocean” are fulfilled through long distance open water swim and standup paddleboarding (SUP) competitions. She was a former state record holder and nationally ranked backstroker before she found the joys of the open water. Since, she has swum in international competitions around Bermuda, crossed channels in the Mediterranean and competed up and down the east and west coasts of the US. Currently, she is a member of the YOLO Board Race Team and competes in long distance standup paddleboard races, and will paddle in the 2012 World Championships of SUP from Molokai to Oahu. She uses her open water adventures as an opportunity to blur the lines of passion and competition, to see more of the world’s oceans and to raise awareness about their health and sustainability.
World Champion Windsurfer, Italy
Rob is a real Ocean Ambassador, and has been Windsurfing for more than 30 years all around the World, so he has seen changes in the water taking place. Some good, and some are not so good, with the stresses from pollution, overfishing and reef degredation. Rob spends most of his life around the ocean, and has competed in the Windsurfing World Cup for 10 years, in all five continents. He has lived for years in places like Maui (Hawaii) , South Africa and the Carribbean, and now gives windsurfing clinics around the world, teaching people to have respect for the Ocean during his clinics. Rob spends any of his free time in the water, windsurfing, stand up paddling, surfing or swimming, and is an excellent example of one who uses the water, and gives a lot back to it in return. (www.robhofmann.it)
Open Water Swimmer
Simon is an open water swimmer, inspired by swimming for causes, as opposed to just trying to accomplish a certain feat. He is a Learning and Development professional living in Hong Kong, with a focus on resilience and well-being. In 2014, Simon became the second person to swim from Hong Kong to Macau (over 35kms), breaking the previous world record by 15 minutes. Before moving to Hong Kong, he completed the English Channel as well as several long swims across the UK and Ireland.
Simon is a qualified swim coach and recently started "Splash" – a charitable initiative running learn-to-swim programmes for foreign domestic workers. He has also helped to set up SwimInAsia – a swimming adventure company encouraging people to enjoy and respect the sublime Hong Kong coastline. His spirit for the water, and its improvement, are the traits that make him a perfect ambassador for the ocean.
Jake is a Korean American actor born and raised in Queens, New York. He has performed throughout New York on stage, film, TV and national commercials. His recent work includes roles on the hit Fox series "Gotham," and a supporting lead role in the Bart Freundlich feature "Wolves" starring Michael Shannon which hits theaters in the Spring of 2016. He is also a proud ensemble member of the Barefoot Theatre Company based in New York City. During his free time, Jake enjoys playing basketball and volunteers for various organizations.
Although he was born and raised in the city and takes pride in being a city boy, there is no feeling in the world to him like being in or at the sea and taking in the wonderful energy and elements of the water. It's very important to do everything we can as human beings to conserve and protect the ocean. And that is why he loves what the Ocean Recovery Alliance stands for and is doing every single day.
Hong Kong Olympic Swimmer, UC Berkeley
Hannah is a University of California Berkeley graduate and has been a swimmer for most of her life. Born and raised in Hong Kong; the ocean has always played an important role in her life. She swam for the Cal Women’s Swimming team from 2007-2011. As a senior in the 2010-2011 season, she helped lead the team to their second national team title in three years. Throughout her swimming career, Hannah has participated in the Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008 Olympic Games representingHong Kong. Currently, she is training for the London Games in 2012. A lot of her training and preparation for the London Olympics is in the ocean. It is such a powerful and natural resource that should be treasured and protected.
Born in Palo Alto, California, Chip has grown up with an active outdoor lifestyle. Chip found his true love in the ocean when he started windsurfing in 1981. After many years competing on the international windsurfing scene and completing liberal arts degree at UC Berkeley, he was always seeking the new emerging sports. In 1992, he started a multi-sport apparel company called UltraNectar, Inc. In 1997 Chip discovered the sport of kiteboarding and brought it from Hawaii to the Northern California coast where he helped to develop and popularize the sport, pioneering what are now the numerous kiteboarding locations on the West Coast. After many years competing on the international level, Chip was instrumental in developing kiteboard course racing, and almost winning the 2009 World Championships, but finishing in 2nd place. Chip is the 3- time Masters World Kiteracing Champion. Today course racing is a global pursuit, lending a metric to the sport that did not exist before. Kiteboard racing has a bid for the 2016 Olympics, and continues to be robustly popular. Chip is also one of only two people who has rounded the Farallon Islands, known for having one of the highest populations of great white sharks in the world. Chip also snowkites, and is highly involved in developing and popularizing this amazing contemporary sport.
The ocean, it's surrounding waterways, and their preservation are vitally important to Chip. "Most of the sports that I love have something to do with water, wind and the outdoors. The majority of the water we use as athletes ends up in the ocean and then that ocean affects many other aspects of our environment. This is why a clean ocean is imperative for the enjoyment of generations to come."
Marathon Swimmer and Ocean's Seven Aspirant
Jen began her journey in marathon swimming in 2009, when she crossed the 21-mile Catalina Channel in a time of 9:02, the fastest female time of the season. In 2010, she competed in the 28.5-mile Manhattan Island Marathon Swim, placing 7th overall and 4th woman. Jen has also swam the 17-mile channel between Kauai and Niihau in Hawaii, completed a second Catalina Channel crossing in the opposite direction, a 20-mile Lake Tahoe crossing, Lake Berryessa, two races in South Africa, and the Strait of Gibraltar. She swims to raise awareness about the health of our oceans and reduce plastic pollution.
Jen teaches Kinesiology and Sport Psychology classes at California State University, Fullerton and is a Sport Psychology Consultant who educates
athletes on the mental aspects of achieving excellence in sport. She works primarily with open water swimmers and credits much of her personal swimming success to her knowledge of the mental game and understanding what it means to be comfortable being uncomfortable. She is passionate about teaching these skills to other athletes and assisting them in their journeys to accomplishing their goals.
To follow Jen on her Ocean's Seven journey, visit www.jenschumacher.org.
Outdoor industry entrepreneur and adventure race athlete
Ryan is one of Asia's outdoor industry pioneers -having consulted, managed projects, built companies and competed as an athlete throughout the region since 1998. He is Co-founder and a Director of a Group of leading outdoor companies (www.APA.co) involved with outdoor education, adventure sports development & management, corporate training/team building and film/video production.
Ryan was previously the founding Race and Managing Director (1998-2001) of Asia's first series of international adventure races (Thailand, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Philippines, Malaysia) and grew the events into partnership with National Geographic Channel with worldwide media distribution.
Currently, Ryan is one of Asia's top adventure racing athletes and Director of The North Face-sponsored Champion System Adventure team.
Ryan has won many of the region's top adventure races –including Action Asia Challenge several times – and has captained his team on many occasions to top 10 finishes in the Worlds leading stage adventure race, Redbull Wu Long Mountain Quest.
The oceans and waterways of Asia have had a huge role in Ryan's life personally and professionally as both an amazing playground for water sports, as well as, a core activity venue used in the outdoor education side of his businesses. Ryan hopes that by inspiring youth, executives, and recreational athletes with the beauty and enjoyment of what we can do in Earth's natural environment we can raise awareness in its value and promote ways to protect the environment we share with so many other species.
Musician & Long Distance Swimmer, South Africa
South African musician and long distance swimmer Carina Bruwer is a self-confessed swim addict, for whom open water swimming (and ocean swimming in particular), has opened several exciting doors in life. She competed in 7 countries between 2004 and 2006, breaking nearly a dozen records (national and international), winning numerous races, and enjoying significant media coverage. Some of her most notable swims during this time include the 36km crossing of False Bay (the “white shark capital of the world”), the English Channel, Straits of Gibraltar, roundings of Key West Island, Robben Island, Danger Point, Bizerte, and many more.
After taking a break from open water swimming when she started a family in 2008, Carina - also a musician and leader of the well-known and multiple award-winning instrumental pop group Sterling EQ - returned to the sport in 2013 with a dramatic and widely publicized solo rounding of Cape Point for child cancer. She now does all her long distance swims in support of The Little Fighters Cancer Trust (a local organisation supporting children with cancer and their families); recent highlights including an unprecedented 4–way crossing of the Messina Straits, swimming from Corsica (France) to Sardinia (Italy), and an 18km triple race distance swim at the 2014 edition of Swim The Island in Spotorno (Italy). Carina has also been nominated for World Open Water Swimmer of the Year in 2014.
Sponsored Surfer, Hong Kong
Wolf, only 14 years of age, is a young ocean ambassador, and has been a surf and skateboard fanatic for years already. Born in Hong Kong, Wolf has been strengthening his surfing abilities whenever and wherever he can. Having won several surf competition titles, including the Taiwan and Hainan Open, he continues to embrace the ocean and feed off its energies. He is sponsored by Quiksilver, and not only does he have the intentions on going Pro, he wants to spread his passion and concern for the beautiful ocean that he so thrives in.
Singer/Songwriter & Open Water Swimmer, Australia
Jane grew up in Sydney surrounded by its beautiful beaches and wildlife, and is a keen ocean and river swimmer. Her music reflects her passion for nature and she is a keen supporter of Ocean Recovery Alliance, donating part of the sales from her song ‘Walk Gently On The Earth’ to ORA (find it on iTunes http://bit.ly//WalkGentlyOnTheEarth ). This hypnotic chill out pop track features leading jazz musicians, Middle Eastern percussion, Indian dilruba & tambora and Sanskrit chanting, with the message that we are all connected, and the world has enough for everyone if we just take our share and no more. Jane is currently writing songs for her second album while songs from her first album ‘Walk Gently’ continue to make ripples on radio waves around the world. www.janewalker.com.au