Swimming La Perouse Channel
Brylin explains the preparations for the 20+ person relay across La Pérouse Strait, “We studied the currents from the Russian side.
We already swam in the area in Russian waters earlier this year. The currents change and the water is rather cold.
We swam 13 km in 3 hours 26 minutes, but then it became very foggy and the sea was rough. The weather changes very quickly there.”
Steven Munatones says, “This is an incredible cross-border swim between Russia and the northern part of Japan that is so far off any contemporary channel swimming maps to date. This is another wonderful example of Speedo diplomacy by Brylin and his Russian, Japanese, Chinese and South African colleagues. Similar to the Bering Strait Swim between Russia and the United States that was successful in 2013, La Pérouse Channel Swim required a tremendous amount of international planning and diplomacy to get to this point. The execution of the 2-day, 2 stage swim relay is the results of unprecedented coordination amongst government agencies and officials that demands delicacy and diligence.
Given the modern-day politics between Russia and Japan, it is remarkable that a group of like-minded athletes were able to bridge the large gaps between the governments. It is a true credit to the tenacity and vision of swimmers like Brylin.”
Irina Makarova of the Interregional Cold Water Swimming Association in Russia confirmed the following participants that includes many veterans from the epic Bering Strait Swim of 2013:
- Andrei Khapochkin (Russia) organizer
- Aleksander Brylin (Russia) organizer
- Iaroslav Brylin (Russia) swimmer
- Viktoriia Brylina (Russia) secretariat
- Svetlana Kositsina (Russia) swimmer
- Valerii Kuchinskii (Russia) swimmer
- Yang Shengchun (China) swimmer
- Dr. Nataliya Fatyanova (Russia) physician
- Tatiana Alexandrova (Russia) swimmer
- Dr. Irina Zhidkova (Russia) physician
- Andrei Agarkov (Russia) swimmer
- Andrei Mikhalev (Russia) swimmer
- Viktoriia Mikhaleva (Russia) secretariat
- Valentin Sokolov (Russia) translator
- Pavel Seleznev (Aspol) organizer
- Vladimir Skoropupov (Aspol) organizer
- Justin Arnaud Coetzee (South Africa) swimmer
- Timofei Sviatov (Russia) swimmer
- Masayuki Moriya (Japan) swimmer
- Tomonari Ogino (Japan) swimmer
- Andrei Ershov (Russia) rescue swimmer
- Oksana Eletskaia (Russia) swimmer
- Tatiana Gavrilenkova (Russia) swimmer
- Dr. Gennadii Sim (Russia) physician
- Aleksandr Nazin (Russia) media representative
- Aleksander Svinin (Russia) swimmer
- Alexander Konovalov (Russia) rescue swimmer
- Ivan Kazakov (Russia) swimmer
- Victor Fade (Russia) swimmer
- Igor Belanov (Russia) swimmer
- Semen Iarochkin (Russia) swimmer
- Oleg Chekushkin (Russia) swimmer
- Nikolay Petshak (Russia) swimmer
- Dmitrii Pomelov (Russia) rescue swimmer
- Aleksander Iurkov (Russia) swimmer
- Eduard Orlov (Russia) swimmer
- Aleksey Zhdanov (Russia) swimmer
- Shinya Hosokawa (Japan) media representative
- Ekaterina Bushueva (Russia) media representative
- Artem Meleshko (Russia) swimmer
- Evgenii Shevchenko (Russia) swimmer
It is another excellent example of Speedo diplomacy, representing the international goodwill and sincere efforts of swimmers since at least the 1950’s:
- 1950: Jose Cortiñas, Leo Vigil, Rolando Elejalde and Luciana Nunez attempted a cross-border relay crossing attempt across the Florida Strait between Bahia Honda in Cuba to Key West, Florida to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Cuban flag on July 1st 1950.
- 1978: Walter Poenisch completed his Swim for Peace, the longest ocean swim of 207.2 km across the Straits of Florida from Cuba to The Little Duck Key in Florida under the rules of the International Federation of Ocean Swimmers and Divers.
- 1987: Lynne Cox swam across the Bering Strait from the island of Little Diomede in Alaska, U.S.A. to Big Diomede, then part of the Soviet Union, in 2 hours 6 minutes where the water temperature averaged around 4°C (40°F). She saw it as a way to open the U.S.-Soviet border for the first time in 48 years.
- 1993: Skip Storch attempted a swim across the Straits of Florida from Cuba to Florida, U.S.A. that ended in 25 hours.
- 2010: Lewis Pugh completed a 1 km unprecedented high-altitude swim on Mount Everest in 22 minutes 51 seconds at 5,200m altitude that drew attention to the importance of water rights and climate change that is affecting millions of people throughout Asia.
- 2013: Diana Nyad swam across the Straits of Florida from Havana, Cuba to Key West, Florida, U.S.A. in 52 hours 54 minutes that helped reduce the tensions between Cuba and the U.S.A. since the 1960’s. Nyad dealt directly between United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the Cuban senior leadership.
- 2013: The International Relay Swim Across The Bering Strait was an unprecedented 6-day relay swim across the Bering Strait from Cape Dezhnev in Chukotka, Russia, to Cape Prince of Wales in the state of Alaska, USA via Big Diomede and Little Diomede Islands.
- 2014: Lewis Pugh completed the Seven Swims In The Seven Seas For 1 Reason in order to put Marine Protected Areas: 10 km in the Mediterranean Sea, 15 km in the Adriatic Sea, 10 km in the Aegean Sea, 40 km in the Black Sea, 15 km in the Red Sea, 10 km in the Arabian Sea, and a 100 km stage swim in the North Sea.
- 2015: Lewis Pugh completed the Five Swims In Antarctica for 1 Reason that helped pave the way to establishing the Ross Sea as the world’s largest Marine Protected Area. The swims included swims on 13 February 2015 on Campbell Island at 52º South, on 19 February 2015 at Cape Adare at 71º South, on 22 February 2015 at Cape Evans at 77.6º South, on 28 February 2015 at Bay of Whales at 78.5º South, and on 7 March 2015 at Peter 1 Island at 69º South.
- 2016: Dead Sea Swim, a 16 km cross-border swim across the Dead Sea between Jordan and Israel.
- 2016: Malvinas/Falklands Islands Challenge, a tandem swim of the Unir el Mundo project between West Falkland to East Falkland in Argentina that was completed by Matías Ola from Argentina and Jackie Cobell from Great Britain in 2 hours 37 minutes in 6ºC water.
- 2017: Pan-American Colibrí Swim is a 7.9 km 3 hour 3 minute cross-border swim by ocean swimmers from five nations with the purpose to raise awareness and funds for the Colibri Center for Human Rights in the Pacific Ocean between Imperial Beach near San Diego, California, USA and finishing at Playas de Tijuana in Tijuana, Mexico, starting near the Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve. Its members include Kimberley Chambers (New Zealand), Oded Rahav (Israel), Jean Craven (South Africa), Antonio Argüelles (Mexico), Nicolene Steynberg (South Africa), Rene Martínez Saenz (Mexico), Ben Enosh (Israel), Ryan Nelson (USA), Melissa King (USA), Kamini Moodley (South Africa), Neil Macaskill (South Africa), Luc Chetboun (Israel), Nora Toledano (Mexico), Mariel Hawley (Mexico), and Ben Enosh (USA/Israel), supported and escorted by escort kayakers Dan Simonelli (USA), Billy Carlson (USA), Matt Donoghue (USA), Haden Ware (USA), Anna Lopez and the Out of the Boat Team (Mexico), Kala Sherman-Presser (USA), Tom Hecker (USA), and Kevin Eslinger (USA).
- 2018: Lewis Pugh completed The Long Swim, a 560 km stage swim across the British coast of the English Channel that he finished after 49 days and resulted in the British Government committing to protect 30% of the world’s oceans by the year 2030.
- 2019: Nejib Belhedi plans an unprecedented 141 km cross-border swim from the island of Lampedusa, Italy to the Mahdia coastline of Tunisia at the age of 67.
- 2019: The International Swim across La Pérouse Channel is a 2-day, 2 cross-border stage swim relay with swimmers from Russia, Japan, and South Africa between Sakhalin, Russia and Hokkaido, Japan.
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