Swimming La Perouse Channel

Courtesy of Alexander Brylin, Sakhalin, Russia.

Alexander Brylin is organizing the International Swim across the La Pérouse Channel, an unprecedented 2-stage 42.8 km international relay between Sakhalin, Russia and Hokkaido, Japan in September.


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:

  1. Andrei Khapochkin (Russia) organizer
  2. Aleksander Brylin (Russia) organizer
  3. Iaroslav Brylin (Russia) swimmer
  4. Viktoriia Brylina (Russia) secretariat
  5. Svetlana Kositsina (Russia) swimmer
  6. Valerii Kuchinskii (Russia) swimmer
  7. Yang Shengchun (China) swimmer
  8. Dr. Nataliya Fatyanova (Russia) physician
  9. Tatiana Alexandrova (Russia) swimmer
  10. Dr. Irina Zhidkova (Russia) physician
  11. Andrei Agarkov (Russia) swimmer
  12. Andrei Mikhalev (Russia) swimmer
  13. Viktoriia Mikhaleva (Russia) secretariat
  14. Valentin Sokolov (Russia) translator
  15. Pavel Seleznev (Aspol) organizer
  16. Vladimir Skoropupov (Aspol) organizer
  17. Justin Arnaud Coetzee (South Africa) swimmer
  18. Timofei Sviatov (Russia) swimmer
  19. Masayuki Moriya (Japan) swimmer
  20. Tomonari Ogino (Japan) swimmer
  21. Andrei Ershov (Russia) rescue swimmer
  22. Oksana Eletskaia (Russia) swimmer
  23. Tatiana Gavrilenkova (Russia) swimmer
  24. Dr. Gennadii Sim (Russia) physician
  25. Aleksandr Nazin (Russia) media representative
  26. Aleksander Svinin (Russia) swimmer
  27. Alexander Konovalov (Russia) rescue swimmer
  28. Ivan Kazakov (Russia) swimmer
  29. Victor Fade (Russia) swimmer
  30. Igor Belanov (Russia) swimmer
  31. Semen Iarochkin (Russia) swimmer
  32. Oleg Chekushkin (Russia) swimmer
  33. Nikolay Petshak (Russia) swimmer
  34. Dmitrii Pomelov (Russia) rescue swimmer
  35. Aleksander Iurkov (Russia) swimmer
  36. Eduard Orlov (Russia) swimmer
  37. Aleksey Zhdanov (Russia) swimmer
  38. Shinya Hosokawa (Japan) media representative
  39. Ekaterina Bushueva (Russia) media representative
  40. Artem Meleshko (Russia) swimmer
  41. 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:

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