Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.
With his tough crossing of the 19.5 km Tsugaru Channel, Guy Moar of Australia joined some of the top swimmers in the world* who have completed the most Oceans Seven channels.
His Tsugaru Channel crossing from Honshu to Hokkaido in northern Japan took him 11 hours 32 minutes of constant effort.
“Guy was escorted by Captain Mizushima,” explains Masayuki Moriya of Ocean Navi and the Tsugaru Channel Swimming Association. “The straight-line distance across the channel is less than 20 km, but swimmers have an option to take the more risky, technically difficult straight-line tangent or a more curvaceous, conservative route where the swimmers attempt to slingshot their way across the channel riding along the Tsugaru Current.”
“The Kodomari Route was pioneered by David Yudovin in 1990 where he started at Kodomari fishing port on Aomori Prefecture,” said Steven Munatones who crossed in 1990. “It is a longer course, but more conservative without the speed demands of the Tappi Misaki course which is a straight shot across the shortest points from Honshu to Hokkaido.
Moar took the more conservative Kodomari Route where he faced eddies and some strong lateral currents caused by the Tsugaru Current, but Captain Mizushima always kept Moar pointed towards Hokkaido’s Shirakami Misaki. As Moar was constantly pushed away from his goal, the conditions calmed towards the end as he approached Hokkaido.
Not since 2012 has the Tsugaru Channel been host to so many experienced ocean swimming veterans. In 2012, Darren Miller (USA), Stephen Redmond (Ireland), Michelle Macy (USA), Forrest Nelson (USA), Craig Lenning (USA), Pat Gallant-Charette (USA) and Anna-Carin Nordin (Sweden) all successfully crossed from Honshu to Hokkaido.
Eventually, 11 hours 32 minutes after his start, Moar reached land on the northernmost island of Japan.
But like many experienced channel swimmers, he learned that the relatively short distance of the Tsugaru Channel is a challenge at least comparable to other channels. More’s 11:32 Tsugaru crossing took him longer than his 11:03 crossing of the 21-mile English Channel, his 7:09 crossing of the 19.7 km Rottnest Channel, his 11:04 crossing of the 21.6-mile Loch Lomond, and his 11:10 crossing of the 21-mile North Channel.
* Moar joins the following luminaries in the open water swimming world who have successfully completed at least 4 of the 7 Oceans Seven channels: Stephen Redmond (7), Anna-Carin Nordin (7), Michelle Macy (7), Darren Miller (7), Adam Walker (7), Kimberly Chambers (7), Penny Palfrey (6), Forrest Nelson (5), Craig Lenning (5), David Yudovin (5), James Pittar (4), Kevin Murphy (4), Bula Chowdhury Chakraborty (4), Tom Hecker (4), Pieter Christian Jongeneel Anderica (4), T. Scott Coleman (4), Kathleen Wilson (4), Pat Gallant-Charette (4), Lynne Cox (4), Aditya Santosh Raut (4), Yesenia Cabrera Fuegos (4), Taranath Narayan Shenoy (4), Stephen Junk (4), Adrian Sarchet (4), Rohans More (4), and Guy Moar (4).
For more information on the Tsugaru Channel, visit Tsugaru Channel Swimming Association and Openwaterpedia.
Moar’s swim was the first solo successful crossing after James Penrose retired after 15 hours 7 minutes on July 8th, Moar’s first attempt on July 9th after he retired after 6 hours, Stephen Junk retired after 1 hour 42 minutes, and Steven Minaglia’s second attempt on August 20th after he retired at 1 hour 47 minutes.
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