BERING STRAIT, Russia-USA, November 25. "THAT is going to be the tricky thing – swimming for a short 20-minute swim for 4-5 times over a 24-30 hour period," explained British extreme swimmer Jack Bright about the most extreme relay swim possible – a crossing of the entire width of the Bering Strait, slight below the Arctic Circle.
Alexander Brylin, President of the AQUICE-sport Federation and Head of the Organization Committee of the First Intercontinental Swimming Relay from Eurasia to America across the Bering Strait Meeting of the Sun, announced the 86K (53-mile) relay will take place between July-August, 2012.
"Thirty courageous swimmers from Russia, China, Great Britain, U.S.A., Latvia, Canada, South Africa and other parts of the world are welcome to participate in this event. The swimmers will not be allowed to have any special equipment like wetsuits.
Our major goals are to (1) propagate cold water swimming and winter swimming as an essential aspect of the healthy lifestyle, (2) develop Russian-American cooperation and international friendship, and (3) conduct scientific research in order to examine the influence of the hyperthermia on the human body. We invite swimming clubs and individuals, both for-profit and non-profit organizations, to participate in this challenging and exceptional project."
Alexander Brylin himself is one of the team members. He established a record for the longest distance swum in an ice hole – 1700 meters in 48 minutes 25 seconds in the 2010 Ice Hole Endurance Swimming Championship in Russia. He will be joined by established pioneers like Lynne Cox who swam 4,160 meters in 2 hours 6 minutes in 6°C water during her 1987 Bering Strait crossing and Lewis Pugh who swam 1,000 meters in 18 minutes 50 seconds at the North Pole in 2007 in -1.7°C water. They will also be joined by Chinese swimmer Wang Gang Yi who swam in Antarctica for 54 minutes in 2°C water.
The First Intercontinental Swimming Relay from Eurasia to America across the Bering Strait Meeting of the Sun will start in Russia and end on Prince of Wales Island in the United States.