Bering Strait Relay, Ice Swimming Hall Of Fame Honor Event







Courtesy of Ariel Calderon, Bering Strait, Russia to Alaska.

It was the most inherently dangerous relay in history in my opinion,” commented Steven Muñatones. “The logistical and operational requirements of this 6-day relay swim across the Bering Strait from Cape Dezhnev in Chukotka, Russia, to Cape Prince of Wales in Alaska, USA (passing both Big Diomede and Little Diomede Islands) was an unprecedented undertaking that required the sustained, focused support of 121 individuals who were experienced in managing or swimming cold, turbulent seas.

It is almost unfathomable to think of a more challenging and risky swimming achievement with so many swimmers in the water over nearly a week
.”

The Bering Strait separates Russia and Alaska slightly south of the Arctic Circle at about 65° 40′ N latitude and is within a closed Russian military zone.

The 2013 Bering Strait Relay from Russia to USA was one of the inaugural honorees of the Ice Swimming Hall of Fame.

Conducted in water temperatures between 4°C and 6°C, it took years to obtain all the requisite government permissions, to agree upon all the safety protocols, secure the mother ship, hospital ship and ribs, and recruit an experienced group of hardened swimmers.

Ned Denison explains, “The event was very significant on many fronts: It was a very high‐profile event with massive media, social media, film and swimming community attention. It highlighted the danger and provided an excellent example of the investment in safety (55 staff members on the water) required in the sport.

The relay was selected as the 2013 World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year and was one of the key unifying events in the global development of ice. 44 swimmers from 15 regions of the Russian Federation in addition to 22 other swimmers from 15 countries including South Africa, Australia, Italy, Chile, Argentina, Estonia, Finland, Ireland, Poland, Czech Republic, Latvia, Ukraine, China, the UK and the USA have been and continue to be leaders of ice swimming community across the rest of the world
.”

It is a well-deserved recognition that Bering Strait Relay was recognized as an Honor Event by the new organization founded by Denison and Paolo Chiarino, Elaine Howley, Pádraig Mallon, Leszek Naziemiec, Kieron Palframan, Shelley Taylor-Smith, and Jonty Warneken.

In addition to the Relay, Honor Swimmer and Honor Contributor Ram Barkai of South Africa, Honor Swimmer Aleksander Brylin of Russia, Honor Swimmer Henri Kaarma of Estonia, Honor Swimmer Jaimie Monahan of the USA, Honor Swimmer Lewis Pugh of Great Britain, Honor Contributor – Administrator Mariia Yrjö-Koskinen of Finland, and Honor Contributor – Media Steven Muñatones of the USA were also honored.

The international relay started at 4:24 pm on August 5th and finished at 4:52 pm on August 11th 2013 with the following members taking part:

Swimmers:
1. Vladimir Chegorin, Russia
2. Maria Chizhova, Novosibirsk, Russia
3. Elena Guseva, Russia
4. Ram Barkai, Cape Town, South Africa
5. Jack Bright, UK
6. Oksana Veklich, Blagoveshchensk, Russia
7. Aleksandr Jakovlevs, Jelgava, Latvia (Starter, Swimmer, Navigator)
8. Matías Ola, Buenos Aires /Tucuman Argentina
9. Henri Kaarma, Tallinn, Estonia
10. Toomas Haggi, Tallinn, Estonia
11. Nuala Moore, Ireland
12. Anne Marie Ward, Donegal, Ireland
13. Toks Viviers, Cape Town, South Africa
14. Melissa O’Reilly (‘Mo’), Lambertville, New Jersey, USA
15. Ryan Stramrood, Cape Town, South Africa
16. Cristian Vergara, Santiago, Chile
17. Craig Lenning, Colorado, USA
18. Rafał Ziobro, Krakow, Poland
19. Andrew Chin, Cape Town, South Africa
20. Jackie Cobell, Tunbridge Wells, UK
21. James Pittar, Australia
22. Paolo Chiarino, Italy
23. Mariia Yrjö-Koskinen, Finland
24. Ivan Papulshenko, Ukraine
25. Zdenek Tlamicha, Czech Republic
26. Zhou Hanming, China
27. Oleg Adamov, Russia
28. Andrei Agarkov, Russia
29. Alekseev Semen, Russia
30. Tatiana Alexandrova, Russia
31. Roman Belan, Russia (Swimmer and Starter)
32. Elena Semenova, Russia
33. Alexander Brylin, Russia
34. Afanasii Diackovskii, Russia
35. Vladimir Nefatov, Russia (Swimmer and Chief Starter)
36. Evgenii Dokuchaev, Russia
37. Oleg Docuckaev, Russia (Swimmer and Chief Organiser)
38. Roman Efimov, Russia
39. Dmitrii Filitovich, Russia
40. Olga Filitovich, Russia (Swimmer and Starter/helper)
41. Victor Godlevskiy, Russia (Swimmer and Starter/helper)
42. Olga Golubeva, Russia
43. Alexei Golubkin, Russia
44. Alexander Golubkin, Russia (youngest swimmer at 13 years old)
45. Alexsandr Iurkov, Russia (Starter, Swimmer, Navigator)
46. Oleg Ivanov, Russia
47. Pavel Kabakov, Russia (Swimmer, starter, navigator)
48. Eduard Khodakovskiy, Russia
49. Aleksandr Komarov, Russia
50. Aleksandr Kuliapin, Russia
51. Andrey Kuzmin, Russia
52. Irina Lamkina, Russia
53. Vladimir Litvinov, Russia
54. Andrey Mikhalev, Russia
55. Victor Moskvin, Russia
56. Nikolay Petshak, Russia
57. Sergey Popov, Russia
58. Vladimir Poshivailov, Russia
59. Grigorii Prokopchuk, Russia
60. Dmitrii Zalka, Russia
61. Natalia Seraya, Russia
62. Viacheslav Shaposhnikov, Russia
63. Olga Sokolova, Russia
64. Andrei Sychev, Russia
65. Alexei Tabakov, Russia
66. Nataliia Usachaeva, Russia

Support Crew:
67. Nikolay Khitrik, Russia (Organizer)
68. Lurii Melnikov, Russia (Organizer)
69. Sergei Chernukhin, Russia (Organiser)
70. Irina Makarova, Russia (Interpreter, Starter, helper)
71. Alexey Svistunov, Russia (President of Russian Book of Records)
72. Rafael Valdes Mendosa, Russian (Interpreter, Starter)
73. Evgeny Novazheev, Russia (kite surfer)
74. Denis Berezhnoy, Russia (kite surfer)
75. Sergey Semenov, Russia (kite surfer)
76. Mariia Netrebenko, Russia (mass media representative)
77. Viktor Muzhetckii, Russia (cameraman)
78. Vladislav Bochkovskii, Russia (mass media representative)
79. Vladislav Bykov, Russia (cameraman)
80. Dmitrii Timofeev, Russia (research team)
81. Victoria Brylin, Russia (recovery team)
82. Nataliya Fatyanova, Russia (Head of medical group)
83. Irina Zhidkova, Russia (doctor)
84. Aleksandr Gremitskikh, Russia (Chief Judge)
85. Krutikov Konstantin, Russia (mass media representative)
86. Gavriil Ugarov, Russia (research crew)
87. Denis Kabakov, Russia (support crew)
88. Kiriil Zaika, Russia (support crew)
89. Natalia Yael Szydlowski, Argentina (nutritionist)
90. Paolo Adolfo Testa, Argentina (coach)
91. Carlos Eduardo Reges, Argentina (doctor)
92. Anibal Ariel Calderon, Argentina (cameraman)
93. Guillermo Gallishaw, Argentina (cameraman)
94. Alasdair Ross McCulloch, South Africa (cameraman)

Irtysh Hospital Ship Support Crew:
95. Yason Demeev, Russia (Chief of Hospital)
96. Oleg Revutskiy, Russia (surgeon)
97. Vyacheslav Grigoryev, Russia (traumatologist)
98. Valeriy Koshkin, Russia (dermatologist)
99. Svetlana Gulenkova, Russia (stomatologist)
100. Inna Lesnova, Russia (therapeutist)
101. Vladimir Savinskiy, Russia (doctor of functional diagnostics)
102. Sergey Demyanenko, Russia (Doctor of Clinical Laboratory Diagnostics)
103. Sergey Milovanov, Russia (anesthesiologist)
104. Denis Yakushin, Russia (anesthesiologist)
105. Georgiy Feodoridi, Russia (neurosurgeon)
106. Igor Rogushin, Russia (opthamologist)
107. Yuriy Obraztsov, Russia (infectionist)
108. Oleg Fartushin, Russia (radiologist)
109. Elena Ionova, Russia (pharmacist)
110. Larisa Popova, Russia (nurse)
111. Svetlana Demenok, Russia (nurse)
112. Galina Domnina, Russia (nurse)
113. Tatyana Bolshakova, Russia (nurse)
114. Svetlana Panidova, Russia (nurse)
115. Maya Surgayeva, Russia (nurse)
116. Ludmila Denisova, Russia (nurse)
117. Valentina Shilova, Russia (nurse)
118. Elena Repula, Russia (nurse)
119. Elena Kukurba, Russia (nurse)
120. Elena Sadovaya, Russia
121. Tatyana Nikolaeva, Russia

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