Tough Tenacious Teamwork Take Two

Tough Tenacious Teamwork Take Two

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

After a year of waiting from redemption and a rematch with the Mediterranean Sea, the Cyprus Israel Swim achieved its goal of swimming from Cyprus to Israel and setting the 6-man distance relay record en route.

The unprecedented 6-man relay completed 380 km (236 miles) following a course from its start on Cyprus at 2:20 pm on October 5th (34°45.21’N, 32°24.62’E) to its turning waypoint (34°28.18’N, 33°03.26’E) to its finish in Rishon, Israel at 5:30 pm on October 10th (32°0.21’N, 34°37.30’E). The 123 hour 10 minute relay required at least 21 different legs for each of its 6 swimmers: Udi Erell, Doron Amosi, Ben Enosh, Ori Sela, Oded Rahav, and Luc Chetboun.

They broke the record for the longest non-stop 6-person open water relay record previously held by the Night Train Swimmers of California. The Night Train Swimmers’ previous relay record of 367 km (228 miles) was down the coast of California and captained by Vito Bialla. But the Israelis were very much appreciative of Bialla and his support and encouragement. Udi Erell explains, “We owe Vito Bialla for this [attempt]. The Night Train Swimmers inspired us; he helped us to focus and prepare.”

. Nearly a year after their aborted relay, Erell explained what they faced last year. “We had to abort the swim about 2/3 of the way from Cyprus to Israel, due to adverse sea conditions. The decision was a tough one to make, since all of the swimmers were still in great shape even after more than 60 hours, including one shift against 1.5-2 meter waves.

But it became dangerous for boarding the boat at the end of each shift, not to mention the need to swim further away from the yawing boat, with the risk of it losing sight of the swimmer in the darkness.

We know we made the right decision, since the sea kept building up to over 3 meters and 25 knot cross wind

And they made the right decision this year. They stuck and struggled together after a long, exhausting 5 days.

The 6-person non-stop open water swimming record bar has been frequently raised over the last 5 years:

2009: who swam 123 hours 10 minutes non-stop from Cyprus to Israel over a 5-day period between October 5th-10th to set the record for the longest open water swimming relay for a 6-person team, breaking the previous records help by the Lake Taupo Three-way Relays were two 6-person male and female relays that swam 126 km in Lake Taupo, New Zealand in 2009
2010: Mexican American Unity Swim was a 3-man, 3-woman relay that swam 200 km in Lake Powell, Utah, USA
2010: Ventura Deep Six was a 6-man relay that swam 325 km down the California coast
2012: Marina Martinique Marathon was a 6-person relay that swam 350 km within a 3.1 km loop course in Marina Martinique, South Africa
2013: Night Train Swimmers was a 2-woman, 4-man relay that swam 367 km along the California coast 2014: Cyprus Israel Swim was a 6-man relay that swam 380 km from Cyprus to Israel.

For more information on the Cyprus-Israel charity swim for Zalul (meaning “clear” in Hebrew), visit here. Their course is posted here.

Copyright © 2014 by World Open Water Swimming Association
Steven Munatones