Detailed Documentation Across The Bodensee

Courtesy of Bodenseequerung, Bondensee.

Oliver Halder and his colleagues at the Bodenseequerung, the governing body of the Bondensee (Lake Constance) crossings, document an unusual level of detail on lengthwise and widthwise crossings of the lake on the Rhine at the northern foot of the Alps.

The lake is located between Germany, Switzerland and Austria. Its shorelines lie in German states of Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg, the Austrian state of Vorarlberg, and the Swiss cantons of Thurgau, St. Gallen and Schaffhausen. The Rhine flows into it from the south following the Austro-Swiss frontier.

What is unusual and greatly appreciated about the efforts of the Bodenseequerung staff is their documentation of both the successful and DNF crossing attempts of solo swimmers.

While the organization observes and details the successful lengthwise crossings of the Bodensee by Christof Wandratsch (66.67 km in 20 hours 41 minutes on July 22nd 2013), Bruno Baumgartner (68.06 km in 24 hours 20 minutes on August 30th 2013), and Hamza Bakircioglu (66.67 km in 30 hours 45 minutes on July 17th 2016 shown above), it also documents and archives the unsuccessful attempts over its history:

* Jürgen Fussi on August 27th 2015 stopped after about 6 hours and 11 km due to severe bladder pain
* Mirjam Schall on August 3rd 2015 stopped after about 27 hours and 55 km due to a storm and waves
* Hamza Bakircioglu on July 20th 2015 stopped after about 26.5 hours and 51 km due to shoulder pain
* Martin Fessl on July 12th 2015 stopped after about 21 hours and 64 km due to pneumonia
* Patrick Hotz on August 18th 2014 stopped after about 5 hours and 15 km due to the water temperature, storm, and waves
* Hamza Bakircioglu on August 4th 2014 stopped after about 27 hours and 60 km due to an oncoming current and storm
* Hamza Bakircioglu on August 2nd 2013 stopped after about 26.5 hours and 56 km due to a hunderstorm
* Adrian Alejandro Wittwer on July 5th 2013 stopped after about 17 hours and 27 km due to an oncoming current and time
* Maximilian Melyarki on August 21st 2012 stopped after about 16 hours and 33 km due to severe muscle spasm
* Bruno Dobelmann on July 11th 2012 stopped after about 14 hours and 20 km
* Bruno Dobelmann on May 21st 2012 stopped after about 12 hours and 27 km due to back pain

The attention to detail of the Bodenseequerung crossings is greatly appreciated by historians of the sport,” says Steven Munatones. “Knowing about and learning from the DNF’s of the past is as important for those attempting to swim 66 km across the Bodensee as is information about the successful crossings. Each attempt – successful or not – is something to be respected and is part of the DNA of the sport.

The Bodenseequerung observers and staff have documented a total of 571 hours 26 minutes of swimming a cumulative total of 1420.18 km by solo swimmers across the Bodensee.

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Steven Munatones